Portfolio of Undergraduate Works 2018

The following posts are a few essays and the 50 page thesis that were required for my undergraduate degree. I’ve included them on this blog primarily as academic writing samples for my portfolio.

Gene-Editing Technologies: Deaf Power and Resistance

1. Introduction: On Valuing Deaf Lives The Deaf community has contributed to the value of my life immeasurably. I’ve made friends with deaf people who have shared perspectives with me that I had never considered as a hearing person[1]. After being admitted to Gallaudet University, I learned more about the obstacles and challenges that deaf … Continue reading Gene-Editing Technologies: Deaf Power and Resistance

Kantian and Buddhist Consequences of Self

Metaphysical theories on the nature of ‘self’ include cross-cultural perspectives that are often overlooked or categorically dismissed. However, the consideration of other philosophies is imperative to any serious undertaking in search of truth and knowledge. By contrasting starkly different views, we can come to recognize what each may have taken for granted. Additionally, the implications … Continue reading Kantian and Buddhist Consequences of Self

My Fellow Sufferer: Schopenhauer and Buddhists on the Nature of Suffering

To a blank white fan: Searching in earnest Whether deep in my own heart I have a selfish will; I find my heart wholly blank, Nothing but air blowing there. – Ryokan[1] It is often said that philosophers throughout time have sought to understand the nature of the world. However, it could be argued that … Continue reading My Fellow Sufferer: Schopenhauer and Buddhists on the Nature of Suffering

Bioethics and the Nature of Self: Dominant Western Concepts of Self Justify Gene-Editing

This is my undergraduate thesis from Gallaudet University Fall 2018.
The topic is gene-editing and the nature of self. As is evidenced from the writing, most of my focus for the thesis was on learning about the current bioethics debates.
My position is not a defense of gene-editing. I am opposed to gene-editing. However, it is useless to argue against gene-editing from within the framework of what seem to be dominant western concepts of the separate self. Within this framework, arguments against gene-editing tend to take a position of defending certain lives based on specific features. Broad arguments against gene-editing may take the form of arguing for the necessity of biodiversity. Although I appreciate this approach, I wonder why we are in the position of justifying life. It may come down to a question of whether a society believes that the self is not more than the body and mind. To put it simply, if the concept of self is such that a person is only valued for her mind and/or her body, then it is pointless to argue against methods of “improving” that mind/body.
I’ve published this thesis on my blog as only an example of my academic writing. The task of writing a thesis was grueling and at least one of my professors fell asleep while I was presenting it! Nevertheless, here it is.
“A good thesis is a finished thesis.” -my wise professors

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