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Oral History Interview with Adam Briggle, 2015

Description: Audio interview with Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, regarding the City of Denton Fracking Referendum. Professor Briggle focuses on several topics including his initial engagement with the fracking referendum, being contacted by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the writing of the fracking ban, his reactions to the passing of the ban, and his arrest for protesting fracking.
Date: 2015
Creator: Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Oral History Interview with Adam Briggle, 2015

Description: Transcript of an interview with Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, regarding the City of Denton Fracking Referendum. Professor Briggle focuses on several topics including his initial engagement with the fracking referendum, being contacted by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the writing of the fracking ban, his reactions to the passing of the ban, and his arrest for protesting fracking.
Date: 2015
Creator: Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Dear Facebook

Description: This book chapter is written in the form of a break-up letter from the author to the social networking website, Facebook. It discusses social networking, technological changes, urbanization, globalization, media technology, and philosophical ideas about society.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: 2010
Creator: Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Media and Communication

Description: This book chapter discusses media and communication. As core features of humanity, communication and media clearly predate academic disciplines. They are in this sense non-disciplinary. Yet, they have for centuries been the subject of inquiry by those concerned to understand and improve human correspondence. This chapter surveys the historical development and present form of multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary studies of media and communication.
Date: July 2010
Creator: Briggle, Adam & Christians, Clifford G.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Bieberians at the Gate?

Description: Article discussing theories on the evaluation of philosophy and philosophers and the peer review process.
Date: December 10, 2012
Creator: Frodeman, Robert; Holbrook, J. Britt & Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Not in My Back Yard!

Description: This presentation is part of the faculty lecture series UNT Speaks Out on Gas Well Drilling Redux. This presentation discusses the 'not in my back yard' (NIMBY) attitude - opposition by residents to a proposal for new development that is close to their homes - and focus on whether is it principled or hypocritical to simultaneously oppose the development while benefiting economically from it.
Date: February 8, 2012
Creator: Briggle, Adam
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

“Just Tell Me the Truth”: Understanding Health Risks and Community Perspectives in Karnes County, Texas, an Oil and Gas Community

Description: Using ethnographic research methods, I collaborated with the organization Earthworks to conduct a community assessment on the health issues related to the air quality in Karnes County, Texas, an oil and gas community. The research consisted of in-depth interviews with residents on their experiences and knowledge on the health issues associated to air quality. This research is going to be used to inform the community and develop strategies to empower community members in improving their environmental conditions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Villa, Priscilla
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Landscape Legacies of Gas Drilling in North Texas

Description: In North Texas, the Barnett Shale underlies large areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW), which magnifies debates about the externalities of shale gas development (SGD). Continued demand for natural gas and expansive urbanization in DFW will cause more people to come in contact with drilling rigs, gas transport, and other urban shale gas landscapes. Thousands of gas wells within the DFW region occupy a large, yet scattered land surface area. DFW city planners, elected officials, and other stakeholders must deal with current and future urban growth and the surface impacts that are associated with gas development. This research examines how shale gas landscapes affect urban land uses, landscapes, and patterns of development in DFW. The study focuses on multiple fast growing DFW municipalities that also have high numbers of gas well pad sites. This study asks what are the spatial characteristics of gas well production sites in DFW and how do these sites vary across the region; how do gas well production sites affect urban growth and development; and how are city governments and surface developers responding to gas well production sites, and what are the dominant themes of contestation arising around gas well production sites and suburban growth?
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sakinejad, Michael C
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Ethics from the Periphery: José Lutzenberger and the Philosophical Analysis of an Unecological Economics

Description: This dissertation provides a philosophical analysis about the influence colonialism had over capitalism's current configuration and how their intricate interplay impacts both the social and the ecological spheres, in both central and peripheral countries. Such analysis draws from the work of José Lutzenberger, a Brazilian environmentalist. The current capitalist economic system tends to disregard the environment, since it would be greatly affected by negative externalities. A negative externality is an economic activity that imposes a negative effect on an unrelated third party. Many negative externalities are related to the environmental consequences of production and consumption. In addition, this dissertation explores the fact that an ecological crisis is also a social crisis. A genealogical and existential thread going from Brazil's early days as one of Portugal's colonies to the present is drawn, showing how colonialism helped to create the foundations and the conditions for the current exploitative capitalist system, in Brazil and elsewhere. To change this situation, the environment should not be entrusted to private interests but to an institution responsible for the good of society as a whole. Genuinely green economies are more prone to appear on the periphery, but only if global economic justice is achieved first.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Valenti Possamai, Fabio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Expertise Revisited: Reflecting on the Intersection of Science and Democracy in the Case of Fracking

Description: This dissertation aims to explain the conditions under which expertise can undermine democratic decision making. I argue that the root of the conflict between expertise and democracy lies in what I call insufficiently “representative” expertise – that is forms of scientific research that are not relevant to the policy questions at hand and that fail to make visible their hidden values dimensions. I claim that the scholarly literature on the problem of expertise fails to recognize and address the issue correctly, because it does not open the black box of scientific methodologies. I maintain that only by making sense of the methodological choices of experts in the context of policy making can we determine the relevance of research and reveal the hidden socio-political values and consequences. Using the case of natural gas fracking, I demonstrate how expert contributions – even though epistemically sound – can muddle democratic policy processes. I present four case studies from controversies about fracking to show how to contextualize scientific methodologies in the pertinent political process. I argue that the common problem across all case studies is the failure of expertise to sufficiently represent stakeholders’ problems and concerns. In this context, “representation” has three criteria: (1) the operational research questions on which the qualified experts work are relevant to stakeholders’ problems and concerns; (2) the non-epistemic values and consequences of epistemic choices of experts are compatible with social and political values and priorities; and (3) hidden values attached to facts are fully transparent and openly debated. In the conclusion, I propose a normative version of this representation theory that can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of expertise for democratic policy making. Instead of the value-free science ideal, I propose a new ideal to legitimately allow non-epistemic values in scientific reasoning without compromising the soundness of ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ahmadi, Mahdi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Indigenous Knowledge on the Marshall Islands: a Case for Recognition Justice

Description: Recent decades have marked growing academic and scientific attention to the role of indigenous knowledge in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and detection strategies. However, how indigenous knowledge is incorporated is a point of contention between self-identifying indigenous groups and existing institutions which combat climate change. In this thesis, I argue that the full inclusion of indigenous knowledge is deterred by certain aspects of modernity. In order to overcome the problems of modernity, I argue that a recognition theory of justice is needed as it regards to indigenous knowledge. Recognition justice calls for indigenous groups to retain meaningful control over how and when their indigenous knowledge is shared. To supplement this, I use the Marshall Islands as a case study. The Marshall Islands afford a nice particular case because of their longstanding colonial relationship with the United States and the impending danger they face of rising sea levels. Despite this danger, the Republic of the Marshall Islands calls for increased recognition as leaders in addressing climate change.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Gessas, Jeff
Partner: UNT Libraries

On City Identity and Its Moral Dimensions

Description: The majority of people on Earth now live in cities, and estimates hold that 60 percent of the world’s cities have yet to be built. Now is the time for philosophers to develop a philosophy of the city to address the forthcoming issues that urbanization will bring. In this dissertation, I respond to this need for a philosophy of the city by developing a theory of city identity, developing some of the theory’s normative implications, illustrating the theory with a case study, and outlining the nature and future of philosophy of the city more generally. Indeed, this dissertation is only a part of my larger project of founding and institutionalizing this new field of both academic and socially-engaged philosophical activity. Throughout the history of the discipline, other areas such a personal identity have received numerous considerations, along with the concept of identity as an abstraction. For example, there is a bounty of research addressing problems pertaining to how objects and people retain an identity over time and claims about identity in general. While one could argue that cities are not any different than any other object, such an account fails to consider that a city’s dynamic nature makes it dissimilar to other things. To illustrate this point, I develop a position called dynamic composition as identity theory that provides a framework for understanding the identity of a city, exhibiting that views within analytic metaphysics are too narrow to apply to all cases. After establishing a concept of city identity, I use an applied mereology to develop a model of city identity that shows how the parts of a city fit together to form a complete city. This model introduces the normative dimension of my project by providing a way to identify how incongruence between a city’s parts can cause problems ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Epting, Shane Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries

Practicing Relevance: The Origins, Practices, and Future of Applied Philosophy

Description: This dissertation takes up the question of the social function of philosophy. Popular accounts of the nature and value of philosophy reinforce long-standing perceptions that philosophy is useless or irrelevant to pressing societal problems. Yet, the increasingly neoliberal political-economic environment of higher education places a premium on mechanisms that link public funding for research to demonstrations of return on investment in the form of benefitting broader society. This institutional situation presents a philosophical problem warranting professional attention. This project offers a diagnosis of the problem and develops a way forward from it. Drawing from Foucauldian archaeological methods, my analysis focuses on the interplay of institutional structures and intellectual practices. Since the early 20th century, departments of philosophy on college and university campuses have been the center of gravity for professional philosophy in the US. Establishing this institutional ‘home' for philosophers drove the adoption of disciplinary practices, norms, and standards for inquiry. But the metaphilosophical assumptions underpinning disciplinarity have become problematic, I argue: they are poor guides for navigating the situation of higher education in the 21st century. Several movements within the profession of philosophy during the 1960s and 70s sought to reverse philosophers' general retreat from public affairs. Applied philosophy, environmental philosophy, and bioethics each offer a case study in attempts to address the problem of societal relevance. However, surveys of the journal literature in each field uncovered few reflections on whether or not individual projects, or the field as a whole, had any impact on the societal problems to which those philosophers turned their attention. This suggests a need for further thinking about implementation – how to institutionalize alternative practices of philosophy that do demonstrate societal relevance. By way of conclusion, I offer some of the necessary groundwork toward a philosophy of implementation, in the form of discussing significant ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Barr, Kelli Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Philosophy and the Ethics of Terraforming Mars: Adding the Voices of Environmental Justice and Ecofeminism to the Ongoing Debate

Description: Questions concerning the ethics of terraforming Mars have received some attention from both philosophers and scientists during recent decades. A variety of theoretical approaches have been supplied by a number of authors, however research pursuant to this thesis has indicated at least two major blindspots in the published literature on the topic. First, a broad category of human considerations involving risks, dangers, and social, political, and economic inequalities that would likely be associated with efforts to terraform Mars have been woefully overlooked in the published literature to date. I attempt to rectify that oversight by employing the interpretive lens of environmental justice to address questions of environmental colonialism, equality in terms of political participation and inclusion in decision making structures, risks associated with technological progressivism, and responses to anthropogenic climate change. Only by including the historically marginalized and politically disenfranchised "voices," of both humans and nonhumans, can any future plan to terraform Mars be deemed ethical, moral or just according to the framework provided by environmental justice. Furthermore, broader political inclusion of this sort conforms to what ecofeminist author Val Plumwood calls the "intentional recognition stance" and provides an avenue through which globally societies can include nonanthropocentric considerations in decision making frameworks both for questions of terraforming Mars and also for a more local, contemporary set of environmental issues. The second blindspot I seek to correct concerns motivations for attempting terraforming on Mars previously inadequately philosophically elaborated in the published discourse. Specifically, the nonanthropocentric considerations postulated in the second chapter by various authors writing about terraforming, and elaborated in third with regard to environmental justice, reach their culmination in an ecofeminist ethic of care, sustainability, reproduction, and healthy growth which I uniquely elaborate based on a metaphorical similarity to the relationship between a gardener and a garden. Although at first ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: French, Robert Heath
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward an Ecocentric Philosophy of Energy in a Time of Transition

Description: Ecocentrism is a philosophical position developed in the field of environmental philosophy that offers an alternative view of the complex relationships between humans and the nonhuman world. This dissertation develops an ecocentric philosophy of energy in order to account for a wider set of ethics and values dimensions involved in energy politics. It focuses especially on inter-species justice as a crucial missing element behind even those energy policies that seek to transition society from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The goal is to develop an ecocentric philosophy of energy that accounts for the fundamental and deep ecological interdependences of human and nonhuman animals, plants, and other living and non-living beings. I start with an introduction and a summary of the chapters followed in chapter 2 by a clarification of the terms "paradigm" and "energy." In chapter 3 I offer an exploration of the origins of the "energy paradigm" or the predominant understanding of energy that emerged during modernity (18th century onwards). The modern energy paradigm progressively became a "traditional" forma mentis that is nonetheless based on flawed presuppositions about the human-energy-nature relationship. I criticize the homogeneous, colonizing and hegemonic nature of this paradigm, unveil its tacit anthropocentric and instrumental assumptions, and show how it still fuels contemporary lifestyles and policy. Chapter 4 presents a literature review that traces the most significant contributions from the humanities (broadly construed to include social sciences such as anthropology and sociology) to the study of energy. In this chapter, I also focus on the scarcer yet relevant literature on energy's metaphysical, ontological, and ethical dimensions. In chapter 5 I develop the theory of a radical, ecocentric philosophy of energy, building on the work of other ecocentric thinkers such as Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, and Arne Naess. Chapter 6 suggests paths towards the ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Frigo, Giovanni
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ye Si Ye Jong: a Martial Arts Approach to Business Ethics

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to offer a new approach to business ethics grounded in the martial arts. This dissertation argues that traditional rules and regulations approaches to business ethics, though important, are inadequate. Such “top down” approaches must be complimented with corporate reform that comes “from the inside out.” The dissertation consults the martial arts to develop a core, multifaceted virtue – Ye Si Ye Jong – that ought to form the foundation for creating a corporate culture (or an ethos for business) that embraces a new approach to decision-making at every level of the organization – from the boards of directors, to individual employees. This dissertation frames the problem as a matter of corporate culture or ethos. This framing is a distinctive approach to corporate or business ethics in two respects: its emphasis on virtue and its integration of core concepts from the martial arts. This dissertation utilizes an uncommon example of business decision-making as its source for a case-study – a prominent university. While many may not think of colleges or universities as exemplars of common business activities, they do, in fact, provide a source of many ethical business dilemmas, both common and unique. Universities have boards of directors, consumers (students and others), and regularly evaluate many financial and cost accounting situations that are not unusual to most businesses. The Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State University provides an opportunity that is ripe for consideration of various business ethics decision-making and, as such, is analyzed later in this paper.
Date: December 2013
Creator: House, Shaun D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mapping Overlapping Constellations: Nature and Technology in Research in Philosophy and Technology/Techné and Environmental Ethics

Description: The overlap between the separate fields of philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy can be investigated using the two longest running flagship journals for each field, Environmental Ethics (EE) and Research in Philosophy and Technology, which is now published as Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology (RPT/Techné). By looking at the theoretical and conceptual ideas on nature and the environment expressed in RPT/Techné, at those on technology and artifacts expressed in EE, and at the individuals who contributed them using the principles of social epistemology as developed by Steve Fuller, a stereoscopic view incorporating the insights from both specializations can be constructed. The ideas developed in the articles can be charted like stars within constellations, loosely connected in groupings that are neither clear nor evident. Five constellations can be discerned from the relevant articles in each journal, and while there is some overlap, there is considerable difference. The stereoscopic view is developed in three ways: first, by reviewing the contributions of authors who have published in both journals; second, by utilizing resources in both specializations to add subtlety and depth to the ideas expressed, starting in this case from Jacques Ellul’s “Nature, Technique and Artificiality”; and third, by using W. D. Ross’s ethical theory, which fuses prima facie duties with virtues, to integrate traditional ethical concerns with those raised by philosophers focused on technology and those concerned with the environment.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Miller, Glen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Oil in Ghana: a curse or not? Examining environmental justice and the social process in policymaking

Description: There is great expectation that oil development in Ghana will catapult the nation towards prosperity and lead to drastic improvement in the wellbeing of Ghanaians. However, there is also concern that Ghana could fail to achieve these due to the resource curse notwithstanding the fact that scholars of the curse have yet to agree on the inevitability of the curse. Resource curse scholars adduce different reasons for its occurrence or absence. One thing common among the scholars, however, is that none discusses environmental justice in the context of the curse. In this dissertation, I examine Ghana's attempts at avoiding the resource curse through policymaking and implementation using the Guidelines on Environmental Assessment and Management of Ghana's offshore oil sector as a case study. I argue that a strong environmental justice frame is required to avert the curse in Ghana. Specifically, I assess the policy process in Ghana's oil sector, the institutional framework for managing the sector, and analyze the perception of environmental justice for policymaking. The outcome of these assessments show that although the policy process requires broadening for full and effective participation, Ghana has checks and balances policies to avert the resource curse and to deliver environmental justice in the oil sector. In addition, Ghana has an institutional framework that requires strengthening, in various way, in order for it to complement the checks and balances policies
Date: May 2018
Creator: Akon Yamga, Gordon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nature's Patrons: Private Sector Engagement and Powerful Environmentalisms

Description: In this dissertation, I examine the role of private sector engagement in environmental governance. The relationship between mainstream environmentalism and the private sector has moved from one of general hostility to one of constructive engagement in recent times. As a result, the traditional distinctions between environmental non-governmental organizations and private corporations have become blurred, making way for public-private hybrids, facilitated by frameworks of philanthropy, sponsorship, and corporate social responsibility. Connected to these broader reconfigurations in environmental governance are simultaneous alterations in the normative framework of mainstream environmentalism. Ideologically, environmental policy and neoliberalism are now intertwined, entangling assumptions about nature and culture, and reflected in the popularization of environmental protection mechanisms that are deeply embedded in the values of the market economy. Analyzing particular examples of such engagements, and informed by Gramscian theory, I analyze the connections between rising corporate presence in mainstream environmentalism and broader normative and practical change, focusing, in particular, on the frameworks of ecomodernism and the Green Economy. I argue that contemporary private sector engagement in environmentalism leads to the support, production and construction of powerful environmentalisms: environmental ideologies and practices that gain power from, not in spite of, prevailing dominant interests. As such, these powerful environmentalisms tend to produce and reproduce elite processes of capitalist production and prioritize instrumental norms of human-nature relations, while marginalizing others. I conclude by outlining suggestions in support of a democratic environmental politics that represents and recognizes a more diverse array of actors, human-nature relationships, and frameworks of environmental care.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Ward, Nora Catherine
Partner: UNT Libraries