Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Todd Womble

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Jeremy Elliott

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Paul Morris


Because the humanities and the sciences approach philosophical questions in contrasting ways, the study of literature and the study of physical science are often viewed as unrelated realms of scholarly inquiry. Science aims to provide a methodological approach for gathering knowledge about the world, while the humanities focus on criticism or analysis of cultural artifacts. However, even though the conceptual frameworks applied in scientific study and literary study are often incompatible or remarkably divergent, their methods for conceptualizing and transmitting ideas are the same, for humanity understands the world and experience of this world through narratives composed of referential metaphors. Consequently, both realms of study serve as philosophical inquiries into the nature of reality and existence by constructing narratives that illustrate a story of the world, even if their ontological descriptions or frameworks are at odds. By exploring the ways that modern physics demonstrates the world’s wholistic and self-relational behavior, this project illustrates how both fictional stories and narratives from empirical science emanate from the behavior of the world. Analyzing the narrative presented in Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy and demonstrating the ways in which its story is conceptually cohesive with modern physics, this project describes how McCarthy’s fiction and quantum theory are unified in their elaboration of a constitutional mono-ontology. In this way, the complementary connections between these disparate philosophical examples exemplifies a harmonious interpretation of ontology, where the world persists as a continuously fluctuating narrative of material construction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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