School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

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    A spectroscopic and chromatographic study of the photochemical properties of daylight fluorescent paint
    Hinde, Elizabeth ( 2009)
    Daylight fluorescent pigments fade rapidly, accompanied by a chronology of colour change. Fluorescence is a photo-physical phenomenon which involves emission of light from an excited state. Fluorescent dyes thus have a high susceptibility of being promoted to an excited state; a characteristic in the case of organic fluorophores which infers vulnerability toward photo-bleaching. Multiple organic fluorescent dyes are routinely incorporated into a given daylight fluorescent pigment, to either additively fluoresce or interact through energy transfer. The organic fluorescent dyes employed invariably differ in photo-stability, and upon loss of each species of fluorophore an abrupt colour change is observed. The collective result of this fading behaviour is that in a short period of time a daylight fluorescent paint layer will be of a different hue, devoid of luminosity. As consequence it is almost impossible to colour match a faded daylight fluorescent paint layer without the hues diverging asynchronously, or ascertain the original palette of a daylight fluorescent artwork after a protracted period of time. The predicament is exacerbated by the fact that there is no standard method in cultural material conservation, of documenting daylight fluorescent colour in a painting photographically or colorimetrically. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the photochemical behaviour of daylight fluorescent pigments, to ensure best practice in the preservation of artworks that contain daylight fluorescent paint. Fluorimetrie and chromatographic analysis of the DayGlo daylight fluorescent pigment range at the constituent dye level, prior to and during an accelerated light ageing program formed the basis of the experimental. Given the limited selection of fluorescent dyes suitable for daylight fluorescent pigment manufacture, it is anticipated that the results attained for the DayGlo range will be applicable to all daylight fluorescent media encountered in cultural material. Experimental data revealed the manner in which the fluorescent dyes behind each DayGlo daylight fluorescent pigment were formulated, and provided explanation for the 1colour changes observed upon fading. A prognosis of when and why a daylight fluorescent palette experiences hue shift and the implications this has for display is presented. Methodology for imaging daylight fluorescence, identification of the constituent fluorescent dyes in a daylight fluorescent pigment and colour matching a daylight fluorescent paint layer are presented and applied in-situ, to case studies possessing a daylight fluorescent palette.
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    Evaluating the photooxidative ageing properties of 3D printed plastics: strategies for their use and conservation in cultural heritage contexts
    Tindal, Evan Claire ( 2019)
    3D printing is a fairly ubiquitous term today, due in part to the dissemination of the manufacturing technique to a wide variety of applications. While initially developed as a prototyping tool for product development, enterprising individuals situated outside engineering and concept prototyping have integrated this technology to suit broader applications. The advent of new printing processes and print materials, coupled with the democratisation of this equipment, has introduced this technology to many new end users, including those working within cultural heritage. 3D printing applications in the arts stem from artists who employ the unique printing geometries offered by 3D printers to realise their designs, to curators eager to engage and enhance visitor experience through touch and to conservators who aim to find alternative approaches to treatment when repairing damaged objects. The adaptation of digital technologies within cultural heritage has created extensive opportunities for practitioners within the field; however, there lies an uncertainty in their application and ability to reconstruct missing elements given the recent implementation of 3D-printed material types and the lack of studies detailing their behaviour over time. Many of the materials employed in the 3D printing process are plastic polymers that have, in other forms, presented long-term stability challenges–the reality of which may prove problematic for professionals working within the cultural heritage sector. These synthetic polymeric materials exhibit susceptibility to thermal, mechanical, photooxidative, hydrolytic, and biodegradation degradation processes through pathways that include hydrolysis, photolysis, thermolysis and oxidation. Of these degradation mechanisms, ultraviolet radiation and visible light represent more significant concerns for longevity within a cultural heritage environment, due to the need for light to facilitate visitor access, as well as the destructive impact photodegradation has on the physical appearance of the material–the primary function of which was originally its aesthetic. Visible light cannot be entirely removed from a cultural heritage environment, and ultraviolet radiation is introduced to the environment through solar radiation and in some artificial light sources. Consequently, visible and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are likely to deleteriously impact 3D-printed polymers. To determine the impact of these conditions, this thesis explores the susceptibility of 9 different 3D print plastic polymers to photodegradation through two accelerated ageing experiments designed to 1) induce photooxidation for comparison and 2) simulate material responses to a museum environment over a period of 40 years. Materials selected for evaluation include examples from each of the primary manufacturing processes–extruded thermoplastics, photopolymers, and binding printers–and represent those commonly employed by artists for fabrication, by museum professionals creating replica models and by conservators fashioning missing components for damaged objects. Accelerated ageing experiments also included four conservation-grade materials currently classified as best-practice for use with objects, which function as a benchmark to interpret the aged physical and chemical changes in the 3D printed plastics. Experimental data revealed a clear delineation in the degradation rates evidenced within individual printed polymers and provided an explanation for the discolouration exhibited following exposure to ultraviolet radiation and visible light. A proclivity for photooxidation was determined to stem primarily from the presence of the unsaturated double-bonded carbon backbone in the butadiene rubber constituent. Additional polymer susceptibility was observed through the photolysis of material bonds and the presence of light-absorbing impurities likely introduced during manufacturing. In all cases, the long-wave UV component precipitated degradation. Across both experimental designs, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) performed the poorest, while polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) exhibited the best resistance to photooxidation. Overall, the experimental results are consistent with the initial hypothesis that 3D-printed polymers are likely susceptible to photodegradation. Further, in comparison with the 3D printed plastic polymers, the four conservation-grade materials did not exhibit significant material deterioration. These results indicate that materials currently considered best-practice within conservation performed better than the 3D-printed polymers examined in this thesis. Ergo, 3D-printed polymers do not present as an ideal alternative to materials currently employed for loss compensation, unless additional methods are taken to mitigate exposure. When situated within an a cultural heritage context, these results hold considerable significance for the profession. They inform 3D-printed material selections for artists concerned with the iii longevity of materials employed in the manufacture of their art; they facilitate future approaches for curators and conservators tasked with the display and storage of 3D-printed artworks; and they guide the approach for integrating 3D print materials with conservation treatments. Recommendations developed as a result of this research include the elimination of UV-producing light sources and the integration UV filters to block solar radiation. Visible light did not appear to significantly impact the polymers tested, however it was shown to fade the cream colourant present in the acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) sample.
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    The transformation of Australian military heroism during the First World War
    Cooper, Rhys Morgan ( 2019)
    This thesis examines how Australian heroism was defined and represented during the First World War. I present an in-depth analysis of two sets of primary sources: Victoria Cross (VC) medal citations and Australian wartime newspapers. Victoria Cross citations are official British military descriptions of battlefield acts that have earned a serviceman the VC medal and therefore offer a window into how British and dominion commanders awarded and prescribed heroism. My analysis of all British and dominion VC citations, from the institution of the medal in 1856 to the end of the First World War in November 1918, show that the type of act that was primarily awarded the VC changed in late 1916 and early 1917. While most VCs were awarded for acts of saving life before this point, this changed to an emphasis on acts of killing. Statistics compiled from VC citations also show that Australians were exceptional in the way they were awarded the medal during the conflict, receiving proportionally more awards for killing and fewer for life saving than any other British or dominion nation. Analysis of major Australian newspapers’ representations of military heroism during the war reveals a similar trend. Australian newspapers primarily represented stretcher-bearers and wounded men as the heroes of Gallipoli in reports throughout 1915, yet from the entry of Australian forces into the Western Front in 1916, newspaper representations of heroism focused far more on men who killed the enemy. This thesis offers an original contribution to the literature by showing how and why pre-war ideals of heroism transformed in Australia during the course of the First World War. It specifically identifies the dominant model of Australian heroism that existed in 1914, and traces how it was displaced by new ideals of heroism considered more necessary and apt for the conditions of the Western Front. In identifying the shifting ideals that were officially recognised and widely represented as epitomising the highest forms of military valour, this thesis is the first to examine the nature of Australian hegemonic heroism during the First World War. In analysing the dominant heroic model in Australia during the First World War and showing how and why this model transformed over the course of the conflict, this study presents new insights into the nature of heroism and masculinity in wartime Australia.
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    Virtue and the Three Monkey Defence: Regulating Ethical Conduct in the Australian Public Service.
    Patterson, Philip Martin ( 2019)
    The thesis is an investigation of the efficacy of the “values-based” ethics regulation system (“system”) operated by the Australian Public Service (“APS”). Normative propositions which identify virtue, human character, or dispositions to behave, as determinatively contingent factors in public officials’ compliance with their statutory ethics obligations serve as an entry-point for the investigation. The proposition, that a public officer’s compliance with statutory ethical obligations is down to virtue, is critiqued from the standpoint of the tension which arises from two mutually incompatible narratives argued to coincide in relation to perceptions of ethical conduct in the APS; the first ‘official’ narrative is in the form of the APS Commissioner’s annual State of the Service Report, which regularly reports near perfect compliance of APS officers with their ethical obligations. The second narrative arises from myriad news reports, parliamentary inquiries and whistleblower disclosures, of apparently considerable and systemic misconduct, serious misconduct, corruption, and other forms of misfeasance. In order to put this analysis into effect, the thesis poses the following questions: - To what extent is virtue – expressly or impliedly – a constituent theoretical component in the development of the liberal-democratic tradition and, in particular, the model of Westminster public administration which developed from this tradition in the nineteenth-century? - Does the APS system of ethics regulation rely upon a virtue-ethics type methodology, or is one implied in its design? - What challenges are posed to the efficacy of the APS system of ethics regulation from the standpoints respectively of situationist ethics and sociological theories of interaction? The thesis investigates the historical place of virtue (and related concepts) in the theoretical formation of the liberal-democratic project, and particularly the conceptual development of the social contract and the Westminster model of public administration. The triumvirate concepts of trust, legitimacy, and consent, provide an analytical prism through which to critique the notional place and operation of the statutory system of ethics regulation in the APS and, particularly, certain (arguably) virtue-like statutory provisions which are traditionally emblematic of, or otherwise fundamental to, the principles of Westminster public administration. Nineteenth-century developments such as the disappearance of “virtue” from public discourse and the formative development of the idea of the ‘permanent civil servant’ are analysed in their historical context. The evolution of the modern APS, from its traditional Westminster formulation, to the current results-focused “values-based” system, is described and critiqued in terms of the resulting tensions for the accountability and impartiality of public servants. Finally, the proposition that virtue must properly constitute the basis for a public officer’s compliance with statutory ethical obligations is critiqued from two theoretical perspectives that pose a challenge to virtue-ethics: firstly, the current debate between situationist ethicists and virtue ethicists as to the validity of the so-called fundamental attribution error; and, secondly, interactionist theories, focusing in particular on the work of Harold Garfinkel, Erving Goffman, and Anthony Giddens. The thesis proposes that the (unacknowledged) primary purpose of the APS ethics regulation system is to manage perceptions of legitimacy for the sake of the social contract.
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    De Se Communication: language, thought and co-aboutness
    Zhou, Lian ( 2019)
    This dissertation is about the co-aboutness problem of de se communication. An essential requirement of successful communication is that participants of communication must talk about the same subject matter. I call this requirement the co-aboutness condition of communication. According to the traditional picture of communication, what is communicated is transmitted between participants of that communication in accordance with the replication transmission model. In that case, the co-aboutness condition is satisfied by same-saying, which is the replication of one other’s linguistic expressions. The basic idea behind the same-saying strategy is that we talk about the same subject matter if we use the same words. However, for an idiosyncratic type of communication, which is de se communication, same-saying simply does not work. De se communication is the communication of de se thought. In de se communication, we will definitely talk past each other if we just replicate one another’s words. For example, if I say, ‘I am happy’, and you reply, ‘I am happy’, we are not talking about the same subject matter because I am talking about my feeling and you are talking about your feeling. So, how can we satisfy the co-aboutness condition in de se communication? This question is the central question of this dissertation. I argue that in de se communication, what is communicated is transmitted in accordance with a new model, the translation transmission model. In order to satisfy the co-aboutness condition of communications which conform to the translation transmission model, a new strategy must be developed. I call the new strategy ‘translation’. Participants of a de se communication talk about the same subject matter by means of translating one another’s words. The most important part of this translation strategy is the translation of first person terms. The singular first person indexical ‘I’ is representative of first person terms. So, in this dissertation I will focus on the translation of ‘I’. For the purpose of fulfilling the co-aboutness condition in de se communication, which term is a good translation of ‘I’? In order to answer this question, I introduce Worsnip’s analogy between the intrapersonal incoherence and interpersonal disagreement (Worsnip, 2019, pp. 252-259). Based on this analogy, I develop a further analogy between the intrapersonal de se inference and the interpersonal de se communication. This analogy gives us an important clue for looking for a good translation of ‘I’: if ‘X’ is a good translation of ‘I’, then the co-referential relation between ‘X’ and ‘I’ must closely imitate the co-referential relation between two tokens of ‘I’. So, the term whose co-referential relation with ‘I’ best imitates the co-referential relation between two tokens of ‘I’ is the translation of ‘I’ for which I am looking. This term, I argue, is ‘you’. The analogy between the ‘I-I’ same-saying and ‘I-You’ translation is sustained by three similarities. The first similarity is that the ‘I-I’ co-reference in de se inference and the ‘I-You’ co-reference in de se communication are both explained by explanations of the externalist approach, and their externalist explanations are analogous to one another. This similarity is the most important one of the three similarities. Why is there ‘I-You’ co-reference in de se communication? How does my ‘I’ co-refer with your ‘you’? I argue that the co-reference of ‘I-You’ translation is established by the match between the mutual recognition relation and the ‘I-You’ reciprocity in de se communication. The second similarity is that the ‘I-I’ co-reference is transparent to the producer of de se inference, just as the ‘I-You’ co-reference is transparent to the participants of de se communication. The third similarity is that both the ‘I-I’ co-reference and the ‘I-You’ co-reference are immune to the effect of misrepresentation. I articulate those three similarities. My articulation justifies the legitimacy of the analogy between ‘I-I’ same-saying and ‘I-You’ translation. In this articulation, I examine the ‘I-You’ translation by three criteria for determining the proper connection between translation and co-aboutness. After this examination, I conclude that the ‘I-You’ translation satisfies all three criteria. At the end of the dissertation, I provide my answer to the central question of this dissertation: when participating in a de se communication, we fulfill the co-aboutness requirement by using ‘I-You’ translation.
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    The Buddhist ethics of killing: metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics
    Kovacic, Martin Alexander ( 2018)
    Significant media interest and academic scholarship has in recent years brought attention to the normative status of killing in Buddhism, concurrent with the worst genocidal event since the last century, committed by apparent Buddhists, in Rakhine State in Myanmar, in August-September 2017. This event, the culmination of some five years of Buddhist aggression, was preceded by a concerted trend in academic Buddhist Studies to re-frame the textual, historical and cultural-anthropological account of violence and killing in classical and modern Buddhist sources. A normative schism appeared to be one of the results of this revisionary project, summarised by the question: are some cases of intentional killing actually or conceivably permissible in Buddhism? Popular media and academic specialists appeared to belie the orthodox claims of senior Buddhist representatives, contributing to a possibly equivocal understanding among Buddhists themselves, as well as the general public. Seeking to provide a robust account of the normative status of killing in Buddhism, this study theorises on relevant Buddhist philosophical grounds the metaphysical, phenomenological and ethical dimensions of the distinct intentional classes of killing, in dialogue with some elements of Western philosophical thought. The thesis pursues this philosophical explanation and justification for the Buddhist-ethical prohibition of killing in two main sequential stages. First, in Part I, Foundations, I examine and assess canonical modes of reasoning and criteria for the ethical evaluation of lethal acts, available in canonical Nikaya, Vinaya, Theravada, and some classical Mahayana texts, and their modern commentaries. Second, in Part II, Constructions, with reference to these and other early Buddhist sources, including those available in Abhidhamma/Abhidharma, Sautrantika and Pramanavada texts, I analyse four major intentional categories of lethal action. This engages the domains of killing as (1) preventive, deterrent and retributive punishment; (2) as a form of mercy-killing (including relevant cases of euthanasia, suicide and assisted-suicide, and abortion); (3) as ideological-religious contestation (relevant to terrorism, religious and political violence, and ideological militarism among other forms of symbolically-constituted action); and (4) as existential self-defence. In sum, the study engages a broad theoretical spectrum of lethality in the Buddhist-textual and cultural context, with a view to establishing a philosophical groundwork for the Buddhist-ethical theorisation of the many intellectual quandaries that emerge around killing in the different domains of Buddhist normative and applied ethics. In doing so, the study offers explanation for why killing in these domains is fundamentally wrong, by exposing what specifically in each intentional domain makes it so. In accounting for these differentiated cognitive-affective causes of killing, we come to understand how the acquisition of philosophical insight into such causes cognitively enables the Buddhist-ethical project of the extirpation of human-caused suffering.
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    Through Fire and Flood: Migrant Memories of Displacement and Belonging in Australia
    Evans, Gretel Frances Rose ( 2019)
    Natural disasters are a significant feature of the Australian environment. In a country with a rich history of immigration, it is therefore surprising that historians have not yet examined the specific challenges faced by immigrants within this hazardous environment. This thesis examines migrants’ memories and experiences of bushfires and floods in Australia. Drawing on oral history interviews and regional case studies, this thesis explores the entanglement of migration and natural disaster in Australia and in the lives of migrants. Oral history interviews with migrants who have experienced bushfires in Victoria or floods in Maitland, New South Wales, are at the heart of this study. This thesis contributes to scholarship in three distinct fields—migration and environmental history, and disaster studies—and brings them together through an examination of migrants’ memories of bushfires and floods in Australia. Although traumatic experiences, displacement, and a changed and challenged sense of home, community and attachment to place and environment are common themes of both migrants and survivors of fire and flood, rarely have the similarities between these experiences been noted. This thesis is not a history of natural disasters in Australia, nor a retelling of a history of immigration to Australia, but an exploration of experiences of ‘double displacement’. This thesis argues that migrants’ recollections reveal how their burgeoning sense of home, community and attachment to place and environment was challenged by natural disasters. It highlights how their experience of ‘double displacement’ contributed to a new sense of home and belonging in a natural disaster-prone country.
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    Conceptual Change: Rationality, Progress and Communication
    Sadrforati, Mohammad Mahdi ( 2019)
    Conceptual change in science first became a hot topic five decades ago, when questions were raised about rationality and progress through scientific change. Among the first philosophers who raised these concerns, particularly in terms of the incommensurability thesis, were Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. The main target of the incommensurability thesis was to reject the continuity of scientific change, which would ultimately question the progress of science, and rationality of scientific choice among rival scientific theories. Although philosophers of science have widely discussed this issue since the 1970s, a common understanding of conceptual change has been absent. What most scholars discussed were about specific cases of conceptual change, such as the change from ‘phlogiston’ to ‘oxygen’ or from the Newtonian use of the term ‘mass’ to the way Einstein employed it. With the heated discussion focused on these and similar cases, the notion of conceptual change per se has largely been overlooked. The first and most well-known approach to explaining conceptual change, embraced by scientific realists, was the referential approach. This approach explains rationality and progress of science in terms of the stability of reference. In order to explain referential continuity, theories of reference borrowed from the philosophy of language. If reference stays stable across scientific change, then we can explain many complicated cases studies where the progress and rationality of science were questioned. However, in the first years of the twenty-first century, a younger generation of philosophers, mainly philosophers of biology, argued against the referential approach in favour of a non-representational approach. In fact, fixing a unique reference for some key biological terms is notoriously difficult, if possible at all. Therefore, the reference of some biological terms should be determined depending on the context of use and on user’s coordination intentions. In this thesis, my main aim is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the new non- representational approach to conceptual change. I argue that, while raising valid objections to the referential approach, the non-representational approach fails to explain communication and to fully vindicate rationality and progress in science. On demonstrating philosophical shortcomings of this new approach, I articulate my own framework for evaluating the adequacy of an account of conceptual change. Although proposing a new account of conceptual change is beyond the scope of this thesis, I briefly outline a possible way to meet the desiderata on an adequate account of conceptual change, opening a new space for further research to satisfy the proposed framework.
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    Point Cook: The Crucible of Air Force Capability in Australia
    Campbell-Wright, Stephen John ( 2019)
    This thesis argues that place can have an influence on cultural heritage. A site can have a profound effect on the cultural heritage of a community or institution through the influence it exerts on public memory and sense of community. It can infuse itself into the narratives that give a community its identity. Such influence is heightened in the military context, especially where events of significance form the basis for the origin stories of the organisation. While military forces in Australia often refer to significant places, they give little attention to investigating, documenting and interpreting the effect of these sites on their cultural heritage or, more broadly, on local communities near the site, and on the nation. This study examines the influence of place on cultural heritage through the example the National Heritage Listed military site of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Point Cook. The thesis is an analytical case study that uses the site of Point Cook, and it comprises two principal components: historical enquiry and cultural heritage analysis. The approach is cross-disciplinary and places historical research into the site within a cultural heritage framework. The elements of intangible cultural heritage and site significance provide a framework for the historical enquiry into the site that, rather than comprising a single historical narrative, documents and expresses the history of the site through those two cultural heritage points of reference. The subsequent analysis interprets the site within four settings: the local community around Point Cook, the national setting, the international setting and finally the RAAF community. This thesis finds that the RAAF base at Point Cook has significantly influenced the cultural heritage of the RAAF. It pervades the public memory of the organisation, infusing itself into its birth narrative and acquiring attributed layers of meaning that act, in part, to form the identity of the present-day institution. Further, the site has helped to shape the culture of the local community, and it has played a part in the broader narrative of national development—in particular, in the roles that military and civil aviation have played in Australia’s development. The research findings demonstrate that sites of significance can have an effect that is not constrained to the community associated with it and can be used to help shape local communities, as well as to provide richer detail in the national narrative.
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    Remembering the counterculture: Melbourne’s inner-urban alternative communities of the 1960s and 1970s
    Mckew, Molly Alana ( 2019)
    In the 1960s and 1970s, a counterculture emerged in Melbourne’s inner-urban suburbs, part of progressive cultural and political shifts that were occurring in Western democracies worldwide. This counterculture sought to enact political and social change through experimenting with the fabric of everyday life in the inner-urban space. They did this in the ways in which they ate, socialised, lived, related to money, work, the community around them, and lived – often in shared or communal housing. The ways in which they lived, loved, related to the community around them, and found social and personal fulfilment was tied up with a countercultural politics. My thesis argues that these inner-urban counterculturalists embodied a progressive politics which articulated and enacted a profoundly personal criticism of post-war conservatism.