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Tolerance and “belief-sensitive pluralism.”
(2023-08) Love, Chris W., 1988-; Beckwith, Francis.
This dissertation explores timely subjects that pertain to the limits and nature of tolerance. Should governments enact hate speech laws? Ought we to prohibit speech and other actions on the basis of appeals to psychological and dignitary harm? Should we endorse recent efforts to revise or reject the traditional conception of tolerance, so as to justify the demand for “identity recognition”? The dissertation takes its launching point from a stand-alone chapter that explores yet another timely subject of debate: how to interpret the actions of those who oppose certain forms of LGBTQ policy. In the course of that chapter, I argue that we have a duty to try and understand the actions of others according to their own beliefs, and especially their own worldview beliefs, relevant to the subject at hand. Only then can we form a just view about the will behind those actions and, hence, avoid gross mischaracterizations of those agents. I call the duty in question “belief-sensitive pluralism.” It is a duty of interpretation or, more precisely, of contextualization. Not only does belief-sensitive pluralism promise to transform current debates over LGBTQ policy in wholesome ways, but it also bears importantly on the above questions about tolerance. In particular, the application of sensitive pluralism strengthens traditional worries about the ethics of hate speech laws, in ways that demand the attention of citizens and governments alike; it reveals serious complications with the categories of psychological and dignitary harm, which make those criteria unfit for a pluralistic society; and it shows that efforts to revise or reject the traditional conception of tolerance, in order to justify modern calls for identity recognition, make immoral demands of citizens. In these respects, belief-sensitive pluralism sheds much-needed light on areas of contemporary concern. Readers who worry that the widespread practice of belief-sensitive pluralism would transform political society in ways that cannot be squared with liberalism—or, at least, Rawlsian liberalism, with its careful avoidance of worldview considerations, given their propensity to divide citizens—will find a concluding chapter on that subject. It maintains that Rawlsian liberalism and belief-sensitive pluralism can be reconciled.
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Reconstructing the early Paleocene light environments using fossil Platanites from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, and its implications for stomatal pCO2 reconstructions.
(2023-08) Geng, Jie, 1997-; Peppe, Daniel J.
In the last two decades, stomatal proxies have been extensively used to reconstruct the concentrations of paleoatmospheric CO2 (pCO2) based on the well-established negative correlation between stomatal density (SD) and pCO2. However, various light environments within a fossil flora, known to influence many plant traits, including SD, were rarely discussed in most previous pCO2 reconstructions. We collected one well-preserved early Paleocene flora from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, that is dominated by Platanites. We then analyzed the light environment of this flora based on leaf epidermal cell wall undulations, quantified by undulation index (UI), and the range of leaf carbon isotope. We found a negative correlation between UI and SD, which indicates that leaves under higher light intensities produce higher SD. Importantly, we observed a positive correlation between UI and reconstructed pCO2 using a leaf gas-exchange model, and we recommend future pCO2 reconstructions using stomatal proxies also assess variations caused by canopy light environments.
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“My country ‘tis of thee” : How the anti-establishment narrative of church history led Baptists to embrace America.
(2023-08) Huneycutt, Jacob T., 1999-; Elder, Robert, 1981-
This thesis traces the development, use, and influence of the “Anti-establishment Narrative of Church History,” particularly among white, southern Baptists in the United States between the Revolutionary War period and the early twentieth century. This narrative, which originated in late-sixteenth century England, portrayed church-state establishment, power, and money as having tarnished the church from the time of Constantine onward. Southern, white Baptist leaders of various sorts often appealed to this narrative of church history as a warning. The narrative consistently influenced how they interpreted intra-denominational and political disputes. Ironically, even though this narrative decried the church and the state becoming intertwined, from the time of the Revolutionary War onward, Baptists influenced by it embraced America. Due to the United States’ republican and disestablished character, Baptists felt that after centuries of true Christianity being oppressed, America was God’s deliverance.
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Toward improved in vitro models for human health risk assessment : mechanisms of short-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) toxicity.
(2023-08) Solan, Megan E., 1995-; Lavado, Ramon.
The global prevalence of manufactured chemicals lacking comprehensive toxicological profiles poses a significant challenge. This issue is exemplified by the widespread contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) worldwide. Despite their extensive use in various consumer products, the persistent and toxic nature of PFAS was not fully understood until after their global dissemination. As scientific knowledge advanced and regulatory bodies took action, short-chain alternatives were introduced to replace problematic precursors. However, these alternatives still lack sufficient toxicity data, emphasizing the need for robust chemical safety assessments. Initiatives to develop rapid and cost-effective solutions that utilize exposure-based strategies, hypothesis-driven tiered systems, and animal-free toxicological testing techniques have evolved in response to these issues. While in vitro high-throughput screening (HTS) methods have shown promise, their integration into the existing chemical risk assessment framework faces obstacles concerning physiological relevance. The overarching objective of this dissertation was to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the toxicity of short-chain PFAS and to develop improved in vitro models for human health risk assessment. The specific aims of this research are as follows: (1) comprehensively review the current state of in vitro methods employed in assessing human health risks associated with PFAS; (2) compare the cytotoxicity profiles of seven PFAS in six human cell lines; (3) investigate the impact of short-chain PFAS on oxidative stress biomarkers in human liver, kidney, muscle, and microglia cell lines; (4) examine the effects of short-chain PFAS on human cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes; and (5) evaluate the influence of short-chain PFAS on gene expression profiles relevant to toxicity using a liver-on-a-chip model. The findings of this research have the potential to impact decision-making processes related to PFAS, the management of PFAS risks, and the development of alternative PFAS compounds. By shedding light on the toxicity mechanisms and enhancing in vitro models, this dissertation contributes to the advancement of human health risk assessment and aids in the development of safer alternatives to PFAS.
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Synthesis of boron, antimony, and bismuth diiminopyridine complexes and reactivity with tris(ortho-carboranyl)borane.
(2023-08) Tidwell, John R., 1996-; Martin, Caleb D.
Diiminopyridines (DIMPYs) are a unique ligand class capable of multi-site substitution to fine tune coordination. This ligand framework offers multiple binding modes and the potential for stabilization of abnormal oxidation states due to the ligand’s inherent redox activity. The utility of DIMPY metal complexes has garnered a multitude of attention as they are capable of facilitating polymerization reactions, selective hydrogenation, hydroboration, hydrosilylation, transfer hydrogenation, methanol reforming, carbene transfer, insertion chemistry (C-N, N-H, O-H), cyclopropanation, epoxidation, and various other named reactions. More than 50 elements across the periodic table are successfully synthesized bound to the pincer DIMPY ligand. The original work in this dissertation includes generating the first known examples of boron(bidentate), antimony(tridentate), and bismuth(tridentate) complexes. This completes group 13 of the periodic table in regard to complexation, reveals that row 2 elements can in fact bind to the DIMPY ligand, and provides further insight into potential complexes to explore the aforementioned catalytic processes and reactions. Boranes are desirable synthetic tools due to their ability to catalyze transformations, hydroboration reactions, and form frustrated Lewis pairs with increasing interest in regard to their design and stability. Tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane [B(C6F5)3] has been the benchmark Lewis acid and as history shifts toward a green approach, our lab generated a fluorine-free Lewis superacid, tris(ortho-carboranyl)borane. In exploration of its catalytic capabilities, we needed to understand the stability of our newly formed catalyst with E-H functional groups. We observed that with O-H and N-H bearing substrates protodeboronation is observed forming new bis(ortho-carboranyl)borane-based products whereas with S-H, P-H, and B-H substrates, no reaction was observed. This information is invaluable when considering catalyst screening and therefore is disclosed herein.