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Philosophy and Religion Student Research

In their senior paper, students display their dexterity in critical judgment.

Philosophy and religion majors who plan to go to graduate school will produce a 30-page paper with the guidance of their adviser. Many senior papers began as research papers written for class credit. With your adviser’s help you choose your topic and work on the paper during the last semester of your senior year. 

National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

Philosophy students at an undergraduate expo
Dr. John Whitmire (on left) and paper presenters
NCUR 2007 at Dominican University, San Rafael, CA


Fall 2014

Sebastian Berea-Moreno "Ordinary Words"

Melissa Bradley "Levinas, Feminism, and Maternity"

Richie Carpenter "Animal Ethics and Levinas"

Katy Hopkins "Wittgenstein and Feminist Philosophy"

Dalton Mautino "Pain Management and Wittgenstein"

Michael Smith "Language in Exile: Wittgenstein and Private Language"

Michael Thames "Wendell Berry: The Art of Belonging"


Spring 2014

William Buddenberg "The Necessity of Freedom"

Glenn Duru-Iheoma "Sandel on Justice and the Common Good: What's Right, What's Wrong?"

Cassie Ebert "Human Fulfillment and Spiritual Practices"

Tara Fleck "Appiah: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Disagreement"

Brittany Hester "The Legitimacy of Buddha-Nature"

Alex Joseph "'Concerning Fairness and Freedom"

Luke Kohrman "Self-Determination in Westeros: Is Robb Stark's Rebellion Justified"

Carter McDevitt "Hampshire's Critique of Monotheism"

Bob McNeil "How to Heal an Entire Race: A Progressive Democratic Prescription"

Amanda Mitchell "A New or Reconstructed Deism"

Allen Sewell "Sartre, Levinas, and the Problem of the Sacred"

Hunter Waldrop "Suffering and Grace in the Writings of Simone Weil"


Spring 2013

Michael Branon, "The 'Narrative' Nietzsche: A Psychopragmatic Alternative"


Spring 2012

Jason Beck, "Cinema's Ethical Arc of Transformation: The Redemptive Quality of Emmanuel Levinas' Ethics in Literary Film"

Emily Elders, "Problems of Global Justice: Freedom, Fairness and Human Capability"

Daniel Shuskey, "Augustine's Quest for the Beata Vita: Overcoming the Problem of Evil"


Spring 2011

Bryan Nicholls, "Reflections of Change: Religious Diversity for a Contemporary Age"


Spring 2010

Garrison Bowers, "Wittgenstein and Experimental Psychology"

Christina Esmay, "Nietzsche's Phallocentric Discourse and Feminist Attempts at Reclamation"

Shaun Martin, "A Return to Aristocracy -- Reconciling Multiplicity and the Self in Nietzsche"

Nick Sanford, "Readings of the Will to Power -- From the Metaphysical to the Institutional"

Keisha Scionti, "Judaism and Style"

James Thomas, "The Unchained Earth: The Death of God in the thought of Nietzsche and Tillich"

Josh White, "Is Religious Diversity a Defeater for Basic Christian Belief?"


Fall 2009

Matt Kirby, "Chaos Zombies: The Role of Zombies in Modern Day Apocalyptic Literature"

Jared Utecht, "Samsara is Nirvana: Existential Logic of the Autonomous Individual in Schelling & Nishida"


Spring 2009

Norman Brown, "The Moral Value of Tragedy in Relation to Living a Good Life"

George Corbett, "Alienation and the Modern University"

Elizabeth Kilgore, "Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Michael O'Shea, "Constructive Deconstruction: The Derridean Ethics of Pluralism"


Fall 2008

Ryan Becknell, "Unbinding the Man in Chains: Examining the Social Contract"

Carrie Eidson, "The Development of Satan in Judaism and Its Implications for the Judeo-Christian Tradition"

Joseph Hagan, "Ethics and Wittgenstein: Is He a Relativist?"

Andreas Horn, "The Necessary Communal Virtues for the Greatest Individual Human Flourishing"

Spencer Spellman, "Rationality and Belief in God"

Lucia Stiglich, "Dharma and Duty: A Comparison of Kant and the Bhagavad Gita"

David Young, "Utilitarianism is a Humanism: In Defense of Mill's Utilitarian Philosophy"


Spring 2008

Katie Rath, "De-Gendering God: Examining the Relationships Between Us and Him/Her/It/What?"


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