2023 Abstracts Stage 2

To what extent is authenticity present, simulated or not present in Reality Television programmes?

This project is intended to investigate the existence of authenticity in Reality Television programmes. It will look into three main Reality Television shows: The Only way is Essex, Made in Chelsea and Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Whether or not Authenticity is present within these three shows will be investigated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Charles Taylor

It will then be discussed what is meant by simulated authenticity with a reference to a case study conducted by Randall L. Rose and Stacy L. Wood who interviewed 15 Reality Television viewers and evaluated their perceptions of authenticity through the participants journals and interviews.
This project will ask and answer the questions: Is what we see on our screens authentic? Has it all been constructed for entertainment? How do we become our true authentic selves? Is authenticity present, simulated or simply does not exist within the genre of Reality Television?

2015 Abstracts Stage 3

The Philosophy of Education: How can the educational philosophies of Plato, Rousseau and Dewy be used in improving the current state of the education system?

An analysis of the modern education system through the eyes of Dewey, Plato and Rousseau.

Can the principles of these three men found in Democracy and Education, Emile, and Republic respectively be used to make a profound difference in modern education?

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

Are We Naturally Egoistic or Altruistic?

THOMAS HOBBES – ‘Leviathan’

Man is selfish in the state of nature; we achieve peace through a sovereign which we obey for selfpreservation.

BERNARD MANDEVILLE – ‘The Fable of the Bees’

Altruistic behaviour is a myth and the motivation for everything we do is egoistic. Our ultimate goal is always to increase our own welfare and we help others only to the extent that helping them can benefit ourselves.

AYN RAND – ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’

Rand believes that since selfishness is serious, rational and concerned with one’s own wellbeing, then it is therefore a requirement to achieve ultimate moral value. Rand therefore states that this is the reason that selfishness is in fact a virtue.

DAVID HUME – ‘Treatise and second Enquiry’.

Hume puts forward that not only do we experience in ourselves a feeling for humanity but we also observe it in others. He argues that this sympathy and benevolence disproves the selfish hypothesis and is “contrary both to common feeling and to our most unprejudiced notions”.


The theory of utilitarianism somewhat contrasts with both egoism and altruism.


Rousseau argues that human nature on the whole is good. He argues that it is the influence of society that corrupts and changes the ‘natural man’ into an egoistic being.

Calculated altruism, underlying self-interest?
Doing good for the sake of reward?
Selfishness in disguise?
Survival of the fittest?

Natural interest in the good of others?
Doing good for the sake of good?
Developed and evolved throughout humanity?
Must we be taught altruism due to natural selfishness?

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

To What Extent Should a Teacher Be a Figure of Authority?

What is the purpose of education?
How can we define the role of a teacher?
By what method can a teacher fulfil the requirements of education?

Philosophical theories have provided answers for these questions over time but to what extent can we implement them in the reality of our time, taking into account the needs of our society?

I wanted to assess the problems and possibilities of theories, specifically looking at Rousseau, Hobbes and Steiner. These are however mere ideologies which create problems when the reality of government policies and education are taken into account.

“What I hope we will see is our exams are once again trusted across the globe and our children are among the best in the world.” (Michael Gove, Education Secretary).

“My answer is: abolish authority. Let the child be himself. Don’t push him around. Don’t teach him. Don’t lecture him. Don’t elevate him. Don’t force him to do anything” (A. S. Neil)

2008 Abstracts Stage 2

Do we Need to Wake up? The Individual and the American Dream

TERRITORY: The American Dream. CONCEPTS: The Individual Vs Society, Equality Happiness and Fulfilment, Freedom. PHILOSOPHICAL THINKERS/TEXTS: Rousseau: and his theory of the social contract- The individual vs Society & Equality. John Locke: The 2 Treatises of Government. The natural rights of men and Government- Equality and the individual and society. Mill & Bentham: The theory of Utilitarianism and what it means to be happy for society and the individual. Problems? Is the American dream just a myth? Can society and individual peacefully co-exist? Are all people truly equal in their attempt to obtain their American dream?

2007 Abstracts Stage 2

“A Million Little Pieces” (James Frey)

The book about the time James Frey spent in a rehab clinic found its way onto the New York Times bestseller list after Oprah Winfrey added it to her “World’s Most Powerful book club.” Starting up with concepts such as freewill and determinism and the authenticity of autobiographies I began to look at what part the self plays in writing such works. Looking at Rousseau’s Confessions amongst other things it was obvious that a shift had occurred in terms of human responsibility coinciding with the greater importance placed upon the individual through the centuries. Starting with the different approaches of Rousseau and Frey I began to contrast the concept of Freewill in terms of Addiction. Modern thought would be to class addiction as a chronic illness where both the involuntary cravings and the voluntary use (of given substance) are CAUSED. However, “The recognition that addiction is a brain disease does not mean that the addict is simply a hapless victim” Whilst also taking into account the contemporary philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, I looked at to what extent the addict can be held responsible for his actions. The extreme philosophy of Sartre and to an extent Frey leaves the responsibility solely on the shoulders of the individual, whereas modern thought including genetic work claims a strong link to Determinism.

2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Democratic Principles in Lithuania

I have chosen the subject for several reasons. Apart from being able to investigate the journey of the development of democratic ideas in Europe, I had a chance to review the history of my own country and therefore present its difficult and passionate strife for the things that the Western part of Europe has taken for granted for so long. The picture below represents the unity and devotion that were the main accelerators in achieving what are now 3 proud independent democratic countries. It is a picture of the events of 1989 August, when people of all 3 Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) gathered together and joined hands across the 3 nations ( 650 km, more than 400 miles) in order to demonstrate their opposition to Soviet rule. Somewhere in that live fence stood myself, a five year old, expressing my right to be free. Philosophical Concept: I investigate the ways freedom can be manifested in a society. My main sources are Mill’s “On Liberty” and Rousseau’s “Social Contract” that represent the discussion between collectiveness and individuality that is crucial in defining the principles of any form of government, especially democratic.