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Honors Thesis in Philosophy

A student does not have to be a member of Honors College to do Departmental Honors. The Philosophy Department encourages any Philosophy major with an overall GPA of at least 3.4 and a department GPA of at least 3.5 in Philosophy to consider writing an Honors Thesis and standing for Departmental Honors. A minimum of 15 semester hours in Philosophy is required — 18 s.h. in Philosophy is strongly recommended — before attempting an honors thesis.

Departmental Honors involves developing an independent research project, in consultation with a Philosophy department faculty advisor, that culminates in a 30- to 50-page essay, which a student defends before a committee of Philosophy department faculty. It is recommended that students begin to consult with a faculty advisor in the spring of their junior year if they wish to pursue Departmental Honors. Departmental Honors work should be carried out over a period of two semesters: usually the fall and spring of senior year with the goal of completing the thesis by mid-April of the senior year, allowing time for presentation, defense, and revision. With the approval of the Department Chairperson, the student registers for PHI 193, Honors Essay in each of those semesters. 

Bound copies of a number of recent theses may be browsed in the Department's seminar room, 104A Heger Hall. Here are some of the recent titles:

2017: Francine Chirico, Free Will & Retributive Justice: The Problem of Agent-Causation for Retribution (advisor: Amy Baehr)

2017: Eric Singer, On the Justificaiton of Unification as a Virtue of Scientific Theories (advisor: Christopher Eliot)

2017: Sabrina Singh, Rethinking Right Decisions: The Use of Decision-Making Capacity Assessments Among Dementia Patients (advisors: Christopher Eliot and Ira Singer)

2016: James Scott, Skepticism and Relationship in Hume’s Dialogues (advisor: Ira Singer)

2015: Kyle O'Dowd, Moral Objectivity and Two Constructivist Theories (advisor: Ira Singer)

2014: Robert Vanderbeek, Kant’s Refutation of Idealism: An Investigation of His Bipartite Realism (advisor: Terry Godlove)

2014: Patrick Tierney, Practical Skepticism, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Doubt (advisor: Mark McEvoy)

2012: Gareth James, An Exploration of Causation: Defining 'Cause' and investigating the legitimacy of the Principle of Universal Causation (advisor: Amy Karofsky)

2011: Richard Tonetta, Moral Responsibility: An Analysis and a Defense (advisor: Ira Singer)

2010: Michael Manfredi, Umpire Hart vs. Umpire Dworkin: Legal Theory and Sports Officiating (advisor: Amy Baehr)

2009: Anthony Durwin, Cognitive and Evolutionary Epistemology: An Approach to Philosophy (advisors: Christopher Eliot and Mark McEvoy)

2009: Christopher Valencia, Hume: How Wisdom and Miracles Clash (advisor: Ira Singer)

2009: Brandon Walus, Authority at Dusk: Revealing the Shadows (advisor: Amy Karofsky)

2008: Heather Mercadante, Modern Skepticism: An Evaluation of Post-Cartesian Responses (advisor: Mark McEvoy) 

2008: James Meissler, Fides et Scientia: Aquinas' Religious Epistemology (advisor: Amy Karofsky)

2005: Kenneth Levin-Epstein, Vagueness (advisor: Anthony Dardis)

2005: Adam Pekor, An Alternate Interpretation of Leibniz: An Analysis of the Role of Causation in His Philosophy (advisor: Amy Karofsky)

2005: Tom Bishop, Contradiction in Libertarianism: Why Libertarian Rights Can Never Be Protected for All (advisor: Amy Baehr)

2004: Micah Liebert, Justifications for the Ascription of Agency in Kantian Philosophy (advisor: Terry Godlove)

2003: Elefteria Gomes, Hume's Social Naturalism: An Examination and a Defense (advisor: Ira Singer)

2003: Ioanna Vasiliu, Masks and Shifting Alliances: Deciphering Hume's Dialogues (advisor: Ira Singer)

2003: Bryan Vetell, The Irreducibility of Subjective Phenomena: Mary, Bats and Ideas of Sailboats (advisor: Anthony Dardis)

2002: Tim Coombs, The Anti-mimetic Landscape (advisor: Anne O'Byrne)

2002: Russell Wiener, The Origin of Spontaneity in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (advisor: Terry Godlove)

2000: Anthony Verouhis, The Constructed Individual (advisor: Anne O'Byrne)

1999: Joseph Russo, The Rationality of Theism: A Response to the Verifiability Principle (advisor: Ira Singer)

1998: Angela DiBiasi, The Right to Appropriate: Can Social Justice Coexist With Private Property? (advisor: Ira Singer)

1997: Matthew Tedesco, Suspense of Judgment in Hume's Philosophy of Religion (advisors: Terry Godlove and Ira Singer)

1997: Tamara Buziashvili, Determinism, Freedom and Morality in Spinoza's Ethics (advisor: Terry Godlove)

1995: Dave Gerardi, Kant's Theory of the Self (advisor: Terry Godlove)

1990: Nikki M. Constantine, The Problem of Self in Hindu Thought, Buddhist Thought, and in the Philosophy of David Hume