Theses & Dissertations

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 79
  • Item
    Doing Development Justice: Corruption, Non-ideal Theory, and Global Justice
    (University of Guelph, ) Wiens, Jeremy; Deveaux, Monique
    Corruption is an issue of justice and an issue of international development. In this thesis, I advocate that global justice theory should be combined with non-ideal theory and international development theory in order to provide robust descriptive and normative analyses to address political corruption. To this end, I critically evaluate Gillian Brock’s newly published global justice theory of corruption and combine it with non-ideal theory to create a framework of normative claims that can be used to understand and combat instances of corruption seen in our nations. I apply this framework to a literature case study of the 1999 arms deal scandal in South Africa to ground my discussion and demonstrate the applicability of my framework to a salient example of corruption in a developing nation. Finally, possible directions for future research are offered that non-ideal global justice theory or development theory can benefit from.
  • Item
    Strangers in NeoAristotelian Ethics, Metaethics and Politics
    (University of Guelph, ) McCracken, Gennady; Hacker-Wright, John
    With Aristotle’s famous emphasis on the importance of community, it is unsurprising that his theoretical descendants have neglected different kinds of strangers. I seek to fill this lacuna. My first paper explains the basis upon which neoAristotelians have responsibilities to severely disabled strangers. I argue that severely disabled people are part of neoAristotelian communities given that they have a good that can only be fully characterized in terms of the goods of those communities. Severely disabled strangers are also the subject of responsibilities given that we cannot effectively oppose ablism at the level of community without opposing it globally. My second paper responds to the membership objection against Aristotelian naturalism. According to this objection, Aristotelian naturalists cannot explain how someone who self-assesses their species membership as a non-human can have human moral responsibilities. I respond by a MacIntyrian appeal to the class of intelligent mammals. Specifically, by appealing to the characteristics intelligent mammals share, I am able to block the ability of a “moral outsider” to self-assess their species membership and explain why they have human moral responsibilities. My third and final paper explains why we have responsibilities to people the world over. Building on the ideas in my first paper, I argue that effectively opposing systemic injustice at the individual level requires opposing it at the global level. This not only explains why we have global responsibilities but plays a key role in motivating them. This is because our global responsibilities are tied into our relationships to those nearest and dearest to us. I term my account “absolute resistance theory.”
  • Item
    You Are What You Eat: Orthorexia, Purity, and Health in the Digital Age
    (University of Guelph, ) Boss, Shannon; Deveaux, Monique
    In this project, I offer a critical ethical analysis of orthorexia to understand the social processes and forces that create and sustain this “pathology.” Orthorexia names a putative eating disorder where individuals develop an unhealthy obsession with eating right, usually understood in terms of eating ‘healthy,’ ‘pure, or ‘clean’ foods. Most of the growing literature on orthorexia attends to issues of definition and diagnosis, leaving a large gap in our understanding of how and why this putative eating disorder has emerged in the 21st century. Drawing on and working within a feminist phenomenological framework, my project aims to better understand clean eating discourses in the United States that facilitate the emergence of orthorexia and how individuals fashion themselves within these systems of meaning. Through an interdisciplinary methodological approach that combines historical and theoretical analyses with qualitative research, I draw connections between shifts in nutrition paradigms, public health, and the rise of digital technologies, as well as offer insight into how purity discourses tend to operate in the West. In Chapter Five, I shift to a deductive-inductive reflexive thematic analysis of selected food tracking apps and food blogs to flesh out a critical analysis of the biopolitical and infopolitical trajectory of clean eating discourses in the United States. Using this Foucauldian framework, I argue that orthorexia is best understood as a technology-of-self that we are all increasingly primed towards. Understanding orthorexia in this way demonstrates the extent to which pursuing health via purity is exactly what is valued and expected of a good eater in the United States. Ultimately, by highlighting how individuals understand and fashion themselves through digital technologies in relation to expectations to eat clean and be healthy, I show how clean eating discourses draw on, reify, and sometimes challenge the idealized healthy, thin, white, middle-class, and post-feminist feminine/masculine subject that dominates health discourses. These insights offer the beginnings of a framework from which to better approach definition, diagnosis, and treatment of orthorexia beyond individual pathology, in addition to drawing much-needed attention to individuals’ embodied engagement with digital technologies in the pursuit of health.
  • Item
    Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and Children's Flourishing: Connecting Key Concepts Toward a MacIntyrean Account
    (University of Guelph, ) Fehr, Jacob; Brennan, Samantha
    I contribute to discourses on character education, virtue ethics, childhood goods, educational goods, and children’s flourishing by analyzing literature, outlining different kinds of accounts of children’s flourishing based on the concept of childhood goods, and describing a MacIntyrean view of children’s flourishing. I show that accounts of children’s flourishing are shaped by positions on the philosophical question of what is good for children and whether it is unique to or for them. Pursuing children’s flourishing in educational programming and policy thus also depends on this issue. I conclude any party trying to help children flourish through education should ground their view in a philosophical account of how children flourish on pain of being arbitrary and aimless. I also sketch a MacIntyrean view of children’s flourishing based on a relevant virtue ethics. My goals are therefore argumentative and descriptive.
  • Item
    Agency and Practical Reason: A Consideration of Some Objections to Constitutivism
    (University of Guelph, ) Vriend, Justin; Hacker-Wright, John
    Constitutivism is a Kantian constructivist meta-ethical position which attempts to ground the authority of norms of practical reason in their embodiment of an aim which constitutes its bearers as agents (“agency’s constitutive aim”). David Enoch is skeptical of this position, arguing that agents might be alienated from agency’s constitutive aim such that it could not be a source of normative authority. “Agency and Practical Reason…” discusses three ways this alienated form of agency could be modeled (pretend agency, ironic agency, and compulsive agency) and articulates an account of constitutivism in which these models are incoherent or otherwise disarmed. This account draws on the work of David Velleman, Christine Korsgaard, Peter Railton, and especially Luca Ferrero. In advancing this account, this paper attempts to provide the best available constitutivist response to Enoch’s brand of skepticism.