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Loni Taber

McNair Scholar Loni

Loni Taber is an undergraduate student at Eastern Washington University. She is majoring in philosophy with minors in both environmental science and women's and gender studies. Her wide range of interests have allowed her to conduct research and practice activism in her community. These opportunities include working with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe  as an Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE ) intern to monitor ground water levels in the Hangman Creek watershed during restoration to bring back the endangered westslope cutthroat trout. She helped build floating wetlands with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance to reduce phosphate and nitrate levels in Hayden Lake located in Idaho state. Loni was also a volunteer for Women and Science to encourage young girls to get involved in STEM careers, and she recently published a paper on Aristotle and American democracy in the Skepsis Proceedings for the 25th Ancient Olympia Conference for 2016 in Greece. Currently, her research focuses primarily on the political philosophies of Hannah Arendt who was a German-Jewish scholar alive during the time of the Holocaust. She is working with mentor Dr. Christopher Kirby to better understand Arendt's descriptions of violence, power, and the political movements that  have influenced atrocities such as genocide. Loni hopes to attain a Ph.D. in order to become a university professor of philosophy and to also continue her passion for activist work.

McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Christopher Kirby - Philosophy

McNair Research Title: A New Phenomenological Definition of Violence: Why The Language We Use Matters

McNair Abstract Title: The current definition of violence is limited and contributes to the overall rationalization of violence as a means to an end. Through investigating the issue of violence in relation to the overarching problem of domination, it is my goal to reveal through Hannah Arendt's scholarship the proposal to "deal with violence as a phenomenon in its own right." Understanding violence is currently obfuscated by the inherent wrongness implied by its etymology coupled with the continued justification of its utility. Therefore, to make progress in reducing violence and changing the way in which humans interact, it is necessary to establish a new foundation for our understanding. By providing a new phenomenological definition of violence, the goal of this paper is to create a platform of discourse that enables compassion and humaneness to fundamentally motivate public and private affairs. This research was conducted with a qualitative mixed methodology. It employs a hermeneutics of restoration, genealogical investigations, feminist methodologies, and a phenomenological analysis of violence. The purpose of which seeks to cultivate an obligation to co-create a more humane world by redefining the language we use to understand it.

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