FTR-FIPPSB350-2
Bachelor's Thesis
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIPPSB350-2
Credits (ECTS)10
Category-
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
Lecturer(s)
PreviousNext 3
Lecturer
dr. C.L. Dege
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. J.C. Francken
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. M. Kisner
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. G.E. Kuperus
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
A. McInerney
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
Period
SEM2  (29/01/2024 to 01/09/2024)
Starting block
SEM2
Course mode
full-time
RemarksPlease note that all bachelor thesis groups have a maximum of 10 students.
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
Once you have completed the course, you will be able to:
  • formulate a problem definition;
  • collect and process relevant literature;
  • incorporate the collected material into a clearly structured argument;
  • substantiate a choice or position with arguments;
  • draw logical conclusions from the argument;
  • write a paper that meets common requirements in terms of style, design, and references;
  • provide feedback on the structure of fellow students' paper.
Content
The themes will be:
  • Power and Resistance in Digital Times – Guilel Treiber
  • Climate Denialism at the Intersection of Knowledge, Power, and Myth - Carmen Dege
  • What is the Legacy of Enlightenment? – Manja Kisner
  • Philosophical encounters between science and society – Jolien Francken
  • Human-Nature: Rethinking ourselves beyond the Anthropocene – Gerard Kuperus
  • Non-human Otherness - Aoife McInerney
Power and Resistance in Digital Times – Guilel Treiber
Even if we do not assume that the Internet and digitalization are qualitatively different from other political dynamics, and even if we accept that they are merely different mediums through which we are doing what politics has always been about, it is hard to contest that they have introduced in the last decade or so dramatic changes in the way we govern ourselves and others. In other terms, the distinction between an analog, brick-and-mortar political world oriented towards streets, squares, and parliaments and a digital, online world used as a tool to facilitate access, accountability, and supervision of government has collapsed. For example, there is no longer any logic in speaking of online or offline protest, given that most protest is both. Likewise, there is no reason to address digital or analog government since, in most cases, the two are identical in most respects. This Bachelor Thesis Course aims to allow students to develop their understanding of the political and ethical implications of digitalization. It develops on themes addressed in the Digital Revolution module and encourages questions about what kind of power and possible resistance digitalization (broadly construed) allows for.

Climate Denialism at the Intersection of Knowledge, Power, and Myth - Carmen Lea Dege
We know today that absent of significant immediate changes to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable as soon as the end of this century. Yet, after another IPCC report was published in March 2023, Greta Thunberg tweeted: “Everything is back to normal – as always. We continue to ignore the climate crisis as if nothing happened.” What are the reasons for this ignorance? Is it a lack of understanding, a lack of political will, or something else entirely? What are the relations between climate denialism and broader anti-scientific attitudes, conspiracy myths and political ideologies? How can we effectively respond to inaction as well as the growing sense of despair and eco-anxiety? In this course, we will delve into the socio-political, psychological and philosophical roots of climate skepticism and inaction. We examine the ways in which vested interests have sought to sow doubt about the reality of climate change, and we consider the role of popular culture, from books and films to social media, in shaping our ideas of nature. We will also ask whether ignorance and practices of refusal can be a positive force in addressing the climate crisis, for example by encouraging humility, openness to indigenous wisdom, and creative engagement with fiction. Students will learn to envision new possibilities of how to balance scientific accuracy with the need to express experiences of not knowing and communicate knowledge in ways that are more imaginative, meaningful and effective.

What is the Legacy of Enlightenment? – Manja Kisner
“Enlightenment” typically refers to intellectual movements that emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries, emphasizing the importance of reason, tolerance, and human freedom. Philosophers such as Voltaire and Diderot in France, Adam Smith and Hume in Scotland, or Kant and Mendelssohn in Germany, can be regarded as prominent proponents of Enlightenment. In 1784, Kant famously defined Enlightenment as “man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another.” But what is the contemporary legacy of Enlightenment? Can the core tenets of Enlightenment still hold value today? The aim of this course is to engage with the historical Enlightenment as well as the subsequent perspectives that have offered either affirmative or critical evaluations of Enlightenment. Notably, thinkers such as Horkheimer and Adorno, Foucault, or contemporary scholars like Markus Gabriel, Susan Neiman, and Steven Pinker have contributed to the ongoing discourse on the contemporary relevance of Enlightenment ideas.

Philosophical encounters between science and society – Jolien Francken
Scientific knowledge and technological innovations form an indispensable part of the world in which we live. However, thinking about the relationship between science and our daily lives raises many philosophical questions. In this bachelor thesis group, we will focus on neuroscience and related disciplines (e.g., psychology, psychiatry, cognitive and behavioral sciences) to study the status of scientific theories, measurement, the mind-body relationship, cognitive ontology, folk psychology, and explanation. Questions related to the translation of (neuro)scientific findings to society include cognitive enhancement, classification, brain reading, criminal responsibility, personhood, and media representations.

Human-Nature: Rethinking ourselves beyond the Anthropocene – Gerard Kuperus
How do we understand the human-nature relationship from both historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives? How do we relate to other (non-human) life forms, and to other (human) individuals? Are we ourselves nature? In the age of the Anthropocene (literally the geological era of the human), or alternatively the capitalocene (the age of capitalism), or plantationocene (the age of colonialism), these questions are urgent ones. We are facing a climate crisis and multiple (often related) humanitarian crises. Some might suggest we need to act, rather than think. Yet, our thinking, and how we understand ourselves, determines how we act in relationship to human and non-human others. Instead of conquering and mastering nature, we can shift towards alternatives to (or beyond) the Anthropocene. For example, we can think about ourselves as beings that create, become and are with others, or we can regard ourselves as one of the many agents living in (natural and technological) network(s). Some proposed alternatives include the chtulucene, the symbiocene, planetarity, and Gaia. Outside “our Western” perspectives we find additional alternatives that emphasize relationality, interconnectivity, non-dualism, and kinship. Using one or more of these approaches, students in this course will explore the human-nature relationships in and beyond the Anthropocene.

Non-human Otherness – Aoife McInerney
A presupposition of Western intellectual tradition has been the assumption of a hierarchical relationship between human beings and ‘non-human’ world. Many acknowledge this position to be problematic, if not detrimental, and yet successfully debunking and replacing this belief is proving very difficult.
A major challenge to creating a new and egalitarian relationship between the human and non-human is our inability to conceptualise and relate to the non-human in a meaningful way. This is to say that, in order to forge a different world, one that does justice to the non-human, is not only an epistemic task but equally an existential one. For instance, despite the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community that humanity must reconsider its relation to the earth, our failure to accomplish this stems not only from campaigns of misinformation and competing political interests, but also a failure to understand an alternative way. Knowing something and truly understanding it are not the same.
This course is dedicated to exploring the relationship between the human and non-human, not only from an epistemological perspective, but also an existential one. As such we deal with fundamental questions concerning the possibility of intrinsic value and justice concerning the non-human by delving into existential themes of subjectivity, otherness, and meaning. We continuously return to the question of what it is to meaningfully experience that which cannot — and perhaps should not —be understood through empirical means alone.
 
Level
The Bachelor’s thesis is the aptitude test that concludes the Bachelor's programme. The student shows that they are capable of conducting research under the supervision of a lecturer
 
Specifics
Studenten die zeer goed Nederlands beheersen in woord en geschrift, kunnen ook een Nederlandstalige bachelorwerkstukgroep kiezen. Zie cursus FTR-FIBA309-1 en FTR-FIBA309-2.
 
Instructional modes
Project
Attendance MandatoryYes

Sustainability certificate
Attendance MandatoryYes

Tests
Bachelor's Thesis
Test weight1
Test typeThesis
OpportunitiesBlock SEM2, Block SEM2