2018 Senior Essays and Schedule

All faculty and students are welcome to attend any of the senior essay seminars. Assigned faculty and student readers can download a copy of an essay (when they become available) here by clicking on its title.

Click here for a schedule calendar; there will no doubt be some adjustments, so check often for updates. Please notify Tutor Felicia Martinez right away of any problems.

Sannah Braun

Title: Biblical Purpose in Don Quixote

Abstract: Having purpose in one's life is a powerful thing. The story of Don Quixote is a testament to this fact. My thesis explores the idea of Don Quixote's purpose parallel to the Bible's definition of purpose, while comparing a few of the other character's motives to his.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
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Readers:
Martinez
Hamm
April 5
3:30pm
Dante 203
Nathaniel and Ashley

Luke
Perez

Title: Potatoes and Rome

Abstract: This paper will attempt to contextualize Imperial Roman ideology (fascism) as it arises from the permeating myths of the state. Focusing on the rise of the Caesars, particularly Augustus, Potatoes and Rome discusses what it means to be a roman citizen and how that singularly concept structuring concept is created, permeated, disrupted. Potatoes and Rome will look to Virgil’s Aeneid as that prime concept which structures other concepts. Historical context is given through Cicero’s letters (as well as various secondary sources). Deleuze and Guattari provide the theoretical framework through which the concepts of fascism, political, etc are derived and actualized to analyze imperial state ideology.
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Christo
Hamm
April 30
3:30pm
Gal 214
Tiffany Cooper, Marielle Gardner
Marielle Gardner

Title: Reason, Ratio, Reductio

Abstract: Through both structure and content, it is evident that Kant is influenced by mathematics. Kant’s rhetoric relies on his understanding of ancient mathematicians. This paper specifically looks at infinity as an example of Kant’s reliance on mathematics. Kant’s idea of infinity comes from Newton who heavily relies on Euclid. Analyzing the connection between Kant and mathematics offers a new way to interpret Kant.

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Tsukahara
Cortright
May 3
1:00pm
D203
Angel Balma, Tiffany Cooper
Ashley Torrecillas

Title: Is Justice just difficult to understand?

Abstract: In the dialogue between Socrates, Hermogenes, and Cratylus on the correctness of names, we encounter some problems with certain kinds of names and their meanings. For example, the virtue of justice is an extension of the name just, “but the just itself is hard to understand. It seems that many people agree with one another about it up to a point, but beyond that they disagree” (Cratylus, 412d). It seems to be the case that when dealing with words of the intelligible realm, we have difficulty translating them into the visible realm. Looking at the Cratylus, Parmenides, Gorgias, and the Republic, focusing on the virtue justice, this paper will explore why it is, that words of this kind emit, or seemingly emit, more than one interpretation of meaning.

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Faculty Reader:
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Bird
TBD
April 24
2:30pm
D 203
TBD
Rachel Choate

Title: Pens, Pies, Part to Wholes

Abstract: Part to whole relationships run rampant in western philosophers’ explorations. But how effective are they? This paper will observe different takes on the roles part to whole relationships play in the understanding of formidable topics such as history (Leo Tolstoy), the good (Plato), and geometry (Euclid). It also offers an alternative eastern view that could smooth over some of the cracks that these philosophers encounter when puzzling together their wholes (Lao Tzu).

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Cardwell
Bird
May 7
3:30pm
GAL 214
Marielle Gardner and Nathaniel Schultz
Angelica Balma

Title: ‘The Way’ of Language

Ladies and Gentleman,
Seek your answers between the lines.
Let Lao Tzu govern your mind
Surely,
the Tao Te Ching will unwind.
Embark on the path of ‘The Way’
To observe its secrets, manifested mysteries,
concocted contradictions coming to agreement
and signs of names overflowing of ever-changing
essence.
Leave your world of certainty
enter certain ambiguity.
Ask yourself: What is ‘The Way’?

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Martinez
TBD
May 8
3:30pm
D203
Kristina Tomelloso
Antonia Campagna

Title: Life: A Study in Learning, Education, and Friendship

Abstract: This paper will use the theoretical ideas of education, from Rousseau’s Emile and A Discourse on Equality and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, to understand and explore the influences Pierre and Andrew in War and Peace and Sancho Panza and Don Quixote in Don Quixote have on each other.

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Faculty Reader:
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Readers:
Riley
TBD
April 23
3;30pm
Gal 214
TBD
Tiffany Cooper

Title: Ethics: Created or Discovered

Abstract: What is morality, its nature? Is it an objective thing out in the world waiting to be discovered? Or is it a subjective thing, created by preference and opinion? Something equatable to a science, seeking to discover moral truths, whose existence is testable and provable? Or completely subjective, depending on each situation? Metaethical foundations provide the scope for moral values, more specifically, what morality itself is. How do we come to the hold the ethics we use as the very means to establish what is to be considered moral, namely, what is to be considered right and wrong? And are these ethics an objective discovery or merely a necessary construction in order to universally implement what each individual should believe to be either right or wrong? The analysis will begin with the pre-socratics, focusing on Homer and Heraclitus, continue on to the socratics, investigating a range of Plato’s works, and will end with the moderns, zooming in on select texts from both Immanuel Kant and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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Bird
TBD
April 12
1pm
GAL 214
TBD
Colin Jones

Humor and Education: A Practical Model for Didactic Efficacy

Appendices

What ought to be the content of a Liberal Arts education? Who ought to be its target? and Why did the chicken cross the road? This dissertation will answer all this, and more! In this quadripartite thesis, the author will argue that the only effective Liberal Arts education is an integrated curriculum of significant works, that all of society needs to be taught, lest we all perish in the abject absurdity of relativism. The thesis is split between a demonstrative argument exploring the didactic efficacy of the phenomenon of ‘humor’ towards the dissertation’s thesis, and a brief series of appendices to the first half. The demonstrative portion of the dissertation takes the format of a faux-reconstruction of Aristotle’s lost second book of Poetics with a commentary by the fictional character Cide Hamete Benengeli from Don Quixote, with heavy annotations exploring the nature of signs, meaning, allusions. The appendices serve as a more formal approach to the same aims presented in the demonstrative portion, and will analyze concepts of truth, information, and error with a reliance on Kantian terminology and examples from Frege, Hegel, Plato, Dedekind, and others. Ultimately, a model for a Liberal Arts education is presented developed from the arguments herein.

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Readers:
Cortright/Tsukahara
TBD
April 9
3:30
D219
Antonia Campagna
Luke Perez
Anna Ahrens

Title: Paradise Perverted: Divine Creation vs. Human Fallibility


Abstract: What is the relationship between creator and created, between the divine and the human, and what part does the reader play when reading about these relationships in texts? My thesis explores these dichotomies and how they influence the reader’s use of justification for particular characters in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
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Faculty Reader:
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Readers:
Martinez
TBD
April 12
3:30pm
D203
TBD
Kassandra Tate

Title: Tom Jones is a Proverb

Abstract: By analyzing Henry Fielding’s The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, we perceive the characters as demonstrating proverbs found in Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath and Shakespeare’s Sonnets, even though they don’t quote these proverbs. Considering all the definitions of the terms that have changed through time in these proverbs, we gain multiple perceptions of the proverbs and of the characters demonstrating them. We will analyze the evolution of words and their definitions through time and how they affect our understanding of proverbs found in Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath and Shakespeare’s Sonnets and those portraying those proverbs.

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Cardwell
Riley
May 8
1pm
D203
Kristina Tomelloso

Title: Difficult Dialogues; and How to be Judgy

What is dialectic, what is it good for, and what is required of each interlocutor in order to have a dialectical conversation? Using primarily Plato’s Philebus, we hope to answer these questions. In other words, what could the characteristics of Socrates way of conversing possibly have to do with difficult conversations to have had then, have now, and have in the future?

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Cortright
TBD
May 3
3:30pm
D203
Angelica Balma
Hannibal Huntley

Title: Why Kant Can Konnect Mathematics to Experience

Abstract: Why do a priori synthetic judgements, such as mathematics, correlate to real world appearances/objects? In this thesis I will answer and attempt to defend Kant’s view of mathematics as a synthetic judgment and its correspondence to reality.

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Cortright
TBD
May 10
3:30pm
D 203 
TBD