In addition to introductory and historical courses, the Department of Philosophy offers courses in traditional areas of philosophy such as metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology, as well as in such non-traditional areas as philosophy of biology, decision theory, and Asian philosophy. The philosophical education we provide is nourished by the outstanding research of our nationally and internationally renowned faculty. The Department of Philosophy is strongly committed to fostering intellectual skills that will serve students well outside philosophy.

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  • Niche construction and the role of environment: towards a new logic of natural selection explanations 

    Chiu, Lynn (Chien-Hui Chiu) (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    I argue that natural selection explanations are not necessarily externalist, i.e. they don't always cite features of the environment as explanans. In the first chapter, I argue against the Propensity Interpretation of ...
  • Epistemic democracy and political legitimacy 

    Zhang, Sheng (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
  • Niche construction and the role of environment: towards a new logic of natural selection explanations 

    Chiu, Lynn (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    Biological systems may move in, feed on, socialize with, and change the world around it. How should we explain how these systems develop, act, think, and evolve? Internalists and externalists urge us to look past the ...
  • Toward a virtue account of science 

    Wright, Jacob Warren (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2014)
    This dissertation argues for a virtue account of science in which foundational scientific goals are achieved by scientists' employment of virtuous tools and practices. Chapter 1 discusses contemporary literature on the ...
  • Epistemic Virtue and Knowledge Attribution 

    Harris, Keith Raymond (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    What factors influence whether we may rightly attribute knowledge to a subject? It is uncontroversial that factors like whether a subject has a given belief, whether that belief is true, what evidence the subject has for ...
  • The Metaphysics of Content : Towards a Minimalist Account of Propositions 

    Frank, Devin (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    Propositions appear to be needed as the objects of belief and other propositional attitudes, the primary bearers of truth and falsity, and the semantic contents of sentences, but there remains significant debate over their ...
  • A Salience Account of Explanatory Power 

    Shorey, Katy (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    When we ask questions like "why won't my car engine start?" or "why is John late?" we are searching for explanations. We search for explanations in a variety of contexts and for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we want a ...
  • Compensation as the Moral Foundation of Jus Post Bellum 

    Koszela, Adam (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2015)
    Given how much harm can be done after the fighting part of wars end, and given recent failures to secure lasting peace after conflicts (e.g. in Afghanistan and Iraq), developing an account of the conditions of a just peace, ...
  • A solution to skeptical puzzles 

    Lee, Kok Yong ([University of Missouri--Columbia], 2014)
    In this dissertation, I aim at resolving the skeptical puzzle. An instance of this puzzle is as follows: (1) I know that I have hands. (2) I don't know that I am not a brain in a vat (being stimulated to experience having ...
  • Epistemic duties and blameworthiness for belief 

    Gadsden, Christopher Todd ([University of Missouri--Columbia], 2014)
    People sometimes believe things they shouldn't. Tommy believes in Santa Claus, Rev. Jones believes that the world is ending, and Adolf believes that some ethnic groups are superior to others. But are they somehow at fault ...
  • Moral wrongness and reactive attitudes 

    Fan, Wenwen, 1984- ([University of Missouri--Columbia], 2014)
    In my dissertation, I examine the relationship between moral wrongness and negative reactive attitudes. In particular, I inquire (1) whether moral wrongness is conceptually connected to the empirical disposition to hold ...
  • Pragmatism in John Henry Cardinal Newman 

    Mitchell, Cyprus Richard (University of Missouri, 1913)
    The purpose of this essay is to discuss the pragmatic implications of Newman's Philosophy. We propose to deal first with the point of antagonism found for Newman and the Pragmatists in 'Rationalism'; second, to analyze the ...
  • The idealism of Kant 

    Natchev, Chris Nichols (University of Missouri, 1912)
    The philosophy of Kant is undoubtedly one of the most stubborn and daring attempts of the mundane mind to furnish a true account of its own knowledge. This philosophy, both on account of its teachings and through its ...
  • Rethinking the evolution of human intelligence 

    Rohwer, Yasha (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2012)
    Humans have very large, complex brains for their size. Why are humans so intelligent and why did we become intelligent so quickly? My dissertation addresses the question of how to model the evolution of human intelligence. ...
  • The philosophy of Josiah Royce, professor of the History of philosophy at Harvard, as set forth in his World and the individual 

    Horton, Henry P. (Henry Pomeroy), b. 1869 (University of Missouri, 1905)
    My first purpose when I undertook the subject of Professor Royce's philosophy was to make a thorough comparative study of his various works. The difficult character of his conceptions and the somewhat formidable volume ...
  • A new defense of the knowledge norm of assertion 

    Montgomery, Brian Alan (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2012)
    Recent work in both the philosophy of language and epistemology has relied on the premise that there is a norm of assertion, that there are certain epistemic conditions that a speaker must meet vis-à-vis her asserted ...
  • Optimality explanations: a new approach 

    Rice, Collin (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2012)
    Despite its importance, philosophers have found it difficult to say precisely what constitutes a scientific explanation. One of the most prominent approaches is the causal approach, which claims that explanation is a matter ...
  • Justifying war: an account of just and merely justifying causes for war 

    Allen, Crystal (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2012)
    My project is to offer a new answer to the traditional question: What can justify the resort to war? I defend substantive accounts of the Just Cause and Justifying Cause conditions: the reasons that can make it just and ...
  • Choice, ownership and responsibility 

    Liu, Xiaofei (University of Missouri--Columbia, 2012)
    My dissertation is to answer these two questions: "Does moral responsibility require choice?" and "If not, what does it require?" Classic accounts of moral responsibility, such as libertarian accounts, assume a volition ...

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