2012 Abstracts Stage 3

The Age of Aquarius: The Mayan Calendar and Evolution of Consciousness





AIMS: The Mayan Calendar is a meter of the evolution of consciousness. The Mayan Calendar has taken us into the new Age of Aquarius. I intend to discuss what changes this actually means for our civilisation and assess predictions of our future that we are now moving into a more spiritual ‘Golden Age.’

INTENTIONS: Analyse the future via Diana Cooper who predicts that we are moving from living in the third spiritual dimension into the fifth. Discuss the concept that our lives might be predetermined using Calvin. Look at our past with Karl Marx and see whether through ‘Alienation’ we have lost our sense of togetherness. Look at Lyotard and the concept that science relies upon a kind of faith. Is science better than faith? Use Weber to find where we have lost our sense of ‘spirit.’ Look at how we have become fragmented with Nature through technology and networks. I also look at Lungold’s concept of ‘hypnosis by repetition’ and use Foucault to assess whether we are stuck in a rut with capitalism and need to change our lifestyles.

METHODOLOGY: I have used hermeneutic interpretive and the genealogical approach to help me find meaning in texts and look at how concepts have changed over time.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3


The aim of this project is to explore different styles of leadership. To discuss the legitimacy, efficiency and value of different styles that are employed by leaders.

The theories of psychologist Daniel Goleman will be explored throughout this project as he clearly identifies six main styles of leadership: Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Coaching. The different styles outlined by Goleman, will be legitimated against the arguments for legitimate authority laid out by Max Weber.

Christopher Hodgkinson’s work on leadership theory will have a major role in the discussion of Goleman’s leadership styles as Hodgkinson lays out his own leadership archetypes: The Careerist, The Politician, The Technician and The Poet.

In Goleman’s theory the ability to learn and develop leadership through growth and development is explored. This will be an interesting contrast to Hodgkinson’s ideas concerning The Poet archetype, an almost mystical character who weaves spells over his subordinates, a true charismatic leader.

Main sources:
Goleman. D Leadership that gets Results, Harvard Business Review, the President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2000

Hodgkinson. C, The Philosophy of Leadership, Basil Blackwell Publisher Ltd, Oxford, 1983

Weber. M . The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, trans. Henderson A.M, Parsons. T, Oxford University Press, New York, 1947

2010 Abstracts Stage 3

Credit to Capitalism: a Philosophical Examination of the Most Enduring System of Our Time

The aims of this project are:

-To gain a greater depth of knowledge regarding the origins and definition of capitalism.
-To offer descriptions of the vast differences between Chinese and American capitalism.
-To give in depth analyses of the economies of both the United States and China.
-To open up capitalism as an economic concept to philosophical debate.
-To assess whether notions such as freedom and human potential are relevant in a discussion of capitalism.
-To make philosophical assertions about capitalism in advancing the worth of the human being and encouraging humanity’s ‘flourishing’.

Capitalism is the most enduring economic system of our time, there has to be a reason communism and Marxism have failed and why democratic led reform and capitalism have become the most successful political and economic systems. Capitalism is widely regarded as being able to give every single individual the opportunity to achieve wealth and the opportunity to involve themselves within the business of profit.

Max Weber’s account of the origins of capitalism in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism explains that religious protestant doctrine emphasises the moral goods of hard work, investment and discipline. During modernity, these ideals paved the way for the beginnings of unrestrained and individualist capitalism that is now the norm in the US. Weber identifies that an individual endeavours to involve himself in moral economic activity because of a ‘calling’ which can be seen as an obligation to God. Moreover, economic achievements were seen as the true measure of one’s moral standing.

I shall then focus on John Rawls’ most famous work, Political Liberalism; I believe that it is only in a liberal political system that true capitalism as we know it can be achieved. Liberal politics allows free trade and the opening up of an economy. The philosophical tradition of liberalism is widely regarded as enabling capitalism and engineering the free market that exists within some nations today.

My project will be a hermeneutical explanation of what capitalism essentially is, followed by an empirical investigation into the different strains of capitalism found in the USA and China and assess whether China can really be called a capitalist nation at all.

Sources used- Max Weber –The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and John Rawls – Political Liberalism.

2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Consumer Values in Modern Britain

Territory: I have chosen to investigate the ways in which capitalism and modern consumerism have changed and shaped our concept of moral values. I will focus on the way in which consumerism manipulates and controls our society and whether the values of modern Britain are gradually being eroded. Questions that need addressing: I wish to discover why there has been a shift in the material condition of humanity in the west and how the post-modern power structures have changed us. This shift to a capitalist world with the significance of materialistic values is a model that I wish to dissect with the purpose of unveiling the mechanism of change that brought it about. The outcome of this will be the ability to grasp the shift from the old centralised ideology of value systems to the material values which are fashionable and sought after today. Additionally, I hope to discover whether the decline in religious belief in Britain is associated with the erosion of moral values. Key thinkers and sources: The main sources of my research will lie within the philosophical thought of Max Weber and Friedrich Schiller. I will also be drawing upon the ideas of Karl Marx and the modern sociologist Mike Featherstone.