2020 Abstracts Stage 2

The Ethics of Marriage and Divorce: The Key to Living a Prosperous Life in Contemporary Society

This project is founded upon recent published data which portrays an increased trend in the rate of divorce over the last century. The central thesis of the dissertation involves the question: why has the rate of divorce increased over time and should this be at all a concern or reflection of modern-day society?
Contemporary attitudes omit an attitude of divorce being a less scandalous, daunting concept in comparison to earlier decades, however, this project examines whether the marital benefits may indeed be experienced outside of the marital realm.
The dissertation considers contextual societal components with feminist viewpoints to analyse the sexual, reproductive elements of marriage in regard to monogamy and child bearing to then analyse the material, economic elements of marriage within a Marxist perspective.
I include the philosophical theories of Hegel and Kant to examine the ethical elements of marriage as well as the work of John Finnis to consider a more contemporary standpoint.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

The Art of Online Dating: A Heideggerian Account of Online Dating as Poiesis

Online dating is a major social phenomenon which is radically changing the ways in which we interact with each other.
How does online dating affect the ability to reveal one’s self authentically, and to develop authentic relationships with others?
Might there be a way of understanding online dating as a route to truth, and thus as being an artistic phenomenon?

Main Concepts:

Online dating and modern technology

Authenticity and the internet

Authenticity and romantic relationships

Online dating, art, and truth

2013 Abstracts Stage 3

Identity and Relationships on Social Networking Sites

Is the intermediation of identity and presentation, that is so predominant on Facebook, being prescribed as confrontational and uncompromising interaction OR is there a discrepancy between the “online” & “offline” self?

How do we identify ourselves and others on Facebook?
Do we alter our identities- for better or worse- as we re-create ourselves online?

Facebook links millions of people, in new spaces. It is changing the way we think, the form of our communities, our very identities.

If Facebook has such a significant influence over users, does it have an influence on how we identify ourselves and other people?

In Heidegger’s essay entitled, ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, he studies modern technology. He attempts to prepare us for a “free relationship” with the existence of technology. However can we have “free-relationship” social networking sites?

“The strange feature of the Facebook friendship raises an immediate question: is it really a “friendship” at all?”
‘From boredom and necessity, man wishes to exist socially.’ Nietzsche
“A genuine friend is someone who loves or likes another person for the sake of that other person.” Aristotle

Taking in Aristotle’s account of friendship would the relationships on Facebook be justified?

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

The Reality of Love: A Critical Analysis of the Western Idea of Love as a Concept and an Attempt to Understand our Modern Interpretation of What it is to be “in love” and How this has Developed and Altered Over Time

My objective in this essay is to produce an accurate analysis of our understanding of love, how it has changed over time and to examine how different theories, ideologies and cultural progressions have influence our contemporary understanding of love’s nature, origin and effect.

First I will examine Ancient Greek philosophy on love and the work of Plato in order to establish a foundation for understanding.
I will then analyse contemporary psychoanalysis from Freud and contrast this with Irving Singer’s theory on forms of romanticism from ‘Philosophy of Love’ and ‘The Nature of Love’.

After this, I will critically discuss changes in social standpoints on sexuality, Christianity and its portrayal of love, modern changes in how we find love, faithfulness in loving relationships and the correlation between love and sex.

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side? A Look into Marriage and Infidelity, in Reference to Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut

I aim to explore the concept of how we act morally in marriage and what motivates us to do so. I chose to use this film as my object, as in the film, the character of the ‘wife’, Alice, is honest about her psychological desires for other men and claims she believed herself incapable of controlling this desire and that it was only though accidental luck that it did not happen. However, the ‘husband’, Bill, claims that he simply does not fulfil the desires he has for other women out of consideration for Alice and out of respect for the commitments made in their marriage.

In my project, I want to investigate whether the concept of marriage holds any value and if a faithful, monogamous relationship is possible in our modern society today. With the factor of temptations surrounding us, are we able to resist and rationally control our inclinations of overwhelming desires and manipulate our will in order to follow the duties inherent in marriage. The philosophers I will use are: Immanuel Kant and his duty based ethics, Soren Kierkegaard and his views on marriage and St Thomas Aquinas relating to lust as a sin.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3

True (?) Romance. How has the Ideal of Love Been Lost in Contemporary United Kingdom and What Are the Ramifications?

Current relationships are under strain due to the gap between fictional love (the ideal) and genuine love. Marriage and monogamy are the metanarrative structures and institutions of the ideal of love that are causing tension in love, requiring paramours to be more consistent than their identity allows for. As identity lacks an origin without the ideal, it becomes relative to the Other in a cyclical relationship that causes identity to be in constant flux. Without a stable base on which to love, the ideal can longer function.

Therefore if agents still want to love, then they must accept that each moment is unique and the only ground for love is the individual’s experience of the other in the Other. The essay is heavily influenced by the works of Jacques Derrida (Violence and Metaphysics), Jean-Paul Sartre (Being and Nothingness) and Emmanuel Levinas (Totality and Infinity).

2008 Abstracts Stage 2

What is the Game of Love?

When we fall in love, we fall first for the physical appearance and then for the beauty that the other embodies. We fall in love with the ‘who’ that radiates through a face and a body. In that gaze we unite the flesh and spirit of the loved one and reveal them as an unrepeatable existence. Lovers perceive their fragility in the world, and so they entrust each other to corporeal language, and by exposing themselves to each other, seek an unrepeatable, whole and necessary existence (Cavarero: 2000). The amorous game creates a scene for the unification of body and mind, a place where the content of being can be released. In this unification you can feel as though you are part of the world soul, fragile in the external yet consumed by the fleeting power to appreciate ulterior forms; to know love and to know what it is to exist

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

Our Modern Day Love for Convenience’: what makes an authentic marriage?

Territory/object: Marriage/Thai Brides. Concepts: contract, marriage, freedom/autonomy, love. Thinkers/texts: Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Change/contrast: contrast between Thai Bride marriages/modern day British marriages. Contrast object with arranged marriages and love marriages. Main objective: My project is driven by the intuition that our normal Western understanding of marriage as the lifetime union of two loved ones, (under a public formal contract), is questionably going to become a thing of the past. Here, we must take into consideration factors such as: -the world interacting on an unprecedented technological advances,(Internet access, accessibility to cheap travel, etc) and, -more importantly, the resulting impact of influential views from different cultures upon each other. I will be investigating what marriage is in today’s world/in the past, and whether much has really changed. I also ask the question as to whether modern Britain has time for love? Intended knowledge outcomes: By engaging in this project, I intend to: 1. learn about the historical origins of marriage; 2. be acquainted with the standard descriptions of an authentic marriage and the justifications of these; 3. be able to define the central concepts of marriage and property; 4. demonstrate the connection between my key texts and everyday understandings of a phenomenon (here, marriage).

2007 Abstracts Stage 3

Love, Honour and Obey? Sexuality, intimacy, love and the family

Territory – Relationships, marriage and the family unit. Empirical Research – Government stats, art and literature. Philosophers – Kant, Hegel, Giddens. Concepts – Kant saw marriage a sexual contract, Hegel as an amalgamation of love and law, Giddens as unnecessary in the postmodern. My argument – Many see the emancipation of women and the sexual liberation of the sixties as causing chaos and the breakdown of the family. I will argue that harking back to nostalgic phantasms is a poor reflection of true reality and that one must ride with the times and embrace the pure relationship based on choice, freedom and intimacy.

2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Love will Tear us Apart: is Every Relationship based on Conflict?

My territory: Domestic Violence. My Methods And Sources: Women’s Aid, The Women’s Shelter, Political Bills and Laws, Interviews, Questionnaires, Books, Magazines, Pamphlets. The Ideas: Husserl and Hegel’s influence on Sartre’s construction on his theories of love and viewing the other as an attractive object. The battle to one’s freedom from being viewed as an object. Krishnamurti’s idea of the importance of becoming a free individual to transcend an essentially violent society. My Philosophers: The Existentialists, Husserl, Sartre, Krishnamurti.