Senior Essays

Spring 2016 Senior Essays and Schedule

2016 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 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 Michael Riley right away of any problems.

Reuben Delay

 All men by nature, as you have probably read, desire to know. This essay focuses on discussion-based learning and how, through conversation, we can arrive at greater knowledge. When we engage in conversation our interaction, as with our learning, benefits from friendship. Aristotle’s exploration of friendship will compliment the analogies present in Plato’s Republic regarding the dialectic method. This essay will demonstrate why friendship is the ideal environment for discussion-based learning.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Tsukahara
TBD
TBD
Fri. 4/8 3:30
Dante 203
Aracely Maravilla

What The Hill Does Tom Know?

An essay concerning Tom Jones and the Man of the Hill, and how human nature plays a role in the paths we take in life.

I will be analyzing the Man of the Hill, using Rousseau's "A Discourse on Inequality", and Tom Jones to try to determine what, in their natures, led them on the paths they have taken. Hopefully this paper will answer the question "Why did Tom Jones not end up like the Man of the Hill?"

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Martinez
TBD
 TBD
Wed. 4/13
2:40
Dante 203
Aly Runke

Platopia: The Republic and Why it isn't Socrate's Eden

Mankind seeks perfection. It is pattern consistent in philosophers the world over- the perfect soul, the perfect definitions, the perfect society. In Plato's Republic one sees the constitution of the perfect city, but is that really so? Instead could the Republic be a parody of humanity's unconscious desire for perfection to warn against corruption and to outline true Justice through such parody and a dystopian society painted as utopia. This essay will explore the true motives of Plato's Republic by outlining the city as a dystopia on and pulling the lessons truly hidden its construction for the reader.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Riley
Tsukahara
 
Wed. 4/13 4:10
Dante 203
Jenni Chavez
 
 
What is love? A dynamic emotion that molds the world around us and paves the paths we lead, love is complex, protean, and multifaceted. How does love affect us? Love can be a source of fulfillment, of happiness, of unbridled joy. However, love can also be the source of sinister plots, an insidious desire for domination, and the unraveling of an individual’s reason. This essay endeavors to examine the characterization of love and the effects of love on the characters of Racine’s Phédre. Within these pages, we shall investigate love’s role in human tragedy.
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Martinez
TBD
 
Fri, 4/15 3:30
Dante 203
Shane McCarthy

The Rewards of Injustice: The Justice of Inversion in Dante's Inferno

Dante’s Inferno is both an epic story and shocking theological journey, but how do we understand the possible contradictions of his framing of justice with his punishments of inversion? What is inversion and how does he use it? What is its significance? What message is he conveying to us, and what do we learn about the nature of evil actions? We will piece together Dante’s designs, and walk with him as he witnesses the heart of darkness to learn what it truly is. 

(Updated 4/13/2016)

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Hamm
TBD
Wed. 4/20 3:30
Dante 203
Meg Birgen

 Medea and Othello: Subversions of Aristotle's Archetypal Tragic Heroes

What makes the archetypal tragic hero according to Aristotle’s Poetics? How does the poet subvert this archetype to manifest their characters’ disadvantaged place in society? Using Euripides’ Medea and Shakespeare’s Othello as examples, I will explore the inadequacies of Aristotle’s definition of the tragic hero. I then conclude by proposing my own definition.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Cobeen
TBD
Fri 4 22 3:30
Dante 203
Zoë de Lellis

The Journey to Redemption: An Examination of the Relationships in Goethe's Faust

A perfect mirror shows a perfect image of what it reflects. When a person looks in a mirror they see themselves clearly, but they see a reflected image and so when viewing themselves as others see them, as in photos, they may think themselves partially unrecognizable, as they are not used to seeing the image this way. In Goethe’s play, Faust, Goethe uses characters that mirror each other to bring up the question of whether Faust is a good person. This essay will look at the relationships in Faust and use them to examine Faust’s journey to redemption. 

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Pihas
TBD
Wed. 4/27 3:30
Dante 203
Callie Camper

From Knowledge to Wisdom: the Journey to a Personal Relationship with God

The search for God began as a search for natural knowledge. Mythology was replaced by philosophy as opinion concerning the natural world transformed into knowledge concerning the unlimited and transcendent. As pagan philosophy was replaced by Christian philosophy, the search for knowledge of a higher realm focused its inquiries into a search for God at a personal level. How did we evolve from an impersonal knowledge of an detached creator to an individual and personal wisdom in God? This essay will explore texts from Plato, Plotinus, and Saint Augustine in the search to find out what it means to have knowledge and wisdom in God. 

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Pihas
TBD
Mon. 5/9 4:30
Galileo 214
Jon Gumz

Character Indentification: A Guide to Yourself

How do readers identify with a character in a narrative? Is there any value in identification? These are the two questions I attempt to answer in my essay. I use two methods for recreating identification; in hopes of creating the opportunity to experience identification with a character, or to induce a recollection of a character previously identified with. My attempt focuses on two characters; Aeneas from Virgil’s Aeneid and Prince Andrew in Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. After examination and evaluation of my two methods, I present the significance of identification: both for myself, and for readers.

 Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:

Cardwell
Smith
Mon. 5/2
 3:30
Galileo 214

Henry Hall

The Way of the One

What theories could Lao Tzu and Plotinus possibly have in common? The two lived 800 years apart, Lao Tzu in China and Plotinus in Rome. Plotinus seeks unity with the source of existence namely, "The One," while Lao Tzu pursues the motion of existence namely, "the way." In their pursuit to understand the Universe and its source, Lao Tzu and Plotinus face a common paradox: division to produce relation is the condition for knowledge, while it is also the condition that renders knowledge of the whole, as the whole, impossible. The two have their own distinct methods of working with this paradox to understand the whole. Given the common scope and difficulties of the two theories, we explore the possibility of merging Lao Tzu's and Plotinus' respective theories.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Cortright
TBD
Fri  5/6 1:30
Galileo 210B
Erica Rohach

I Fear The Versed

 “That which produces an effect well must also produce it, but that which merely produces a given effect does not necessarily produce it well.” ~ Aristotle, on Rohach’s I Fear the Versed

Ahh, the annual poetry thesis! You know the type to which I refer. A senior in the Integral Program, starved for a topic or too long comfortable resting on the conclusion “I know that I know nothing,” turns to flowery ode or sonnet to seek answers about the meaning of life. Rohach, with an eye to the work of the crusty old Roman, Lucretius, will attempt to show what poetry really is: a sham. Using a rickety rope bridge of evidence, she will struggle to prove that fluff and trickery alone lie beneath the “beauty” of verse.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Zepeda
TBD
Tues. 4/26 4:00
Galileo 210b
Amanda Muña

An Inquiry into the Condition of Man

Consider your life. Done? Good. Now — any questions? If the answer is yes (like many others before you), congratulations! You have entered the game. Around us there exists a world full of answers, but none that answer the singular, perpetual question of our existence: “Why?” Through an examination of Pascal’s Pensees, we the readers attempt to discover any truth we can regarding our fundamental contradictions, our reason and heart, and ultimately, the human condition itself. What we find is an amazing complexity that we could never understand; and yet we live it every day. So go on, give it a read. After all, you are already playing.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Zepeda
TBD
Tues. 5/3 4:00
Galileo 210b
Henry Ward

Philosophical Fools: An Examination of Materialism in Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew

No comedy is complete without a fool; every Spongebob needs a Patrick, every Quixote needs a Sancho Panza. This essay examines the role of the Fool as a device, and explores the Fool's usefulness to literature: using Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew as a means of investigating the Fool. Diderot will demonstrate how fools are linked to the philosophy of materialism and cynicism, and how, by association, people consumed by either materialism or cynicism are simply foolish.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Time:
Location:
Yribarren
TBD
Wed. 5/11 3:30
Dante 203

 

Spring 2017 Senior Essays and Schedule

2017 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.

Jack
Brook

Don Quixote's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
( Cervantes, James, Pascal)
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Martinez
Riley
May 9
3pm
D203
Cirenna
Dao
The Waiting Game. The Connection Between Human Nature and Faith.
Man's wretched human nature is the pinnacle of my thesis, along with understanding how reason and faith all come together to either save man's natural inclinations or not? By looking at the works from Pascal and Montaigne, I have gone through and established the importance of having faith in one's life and if that is enough to help save man's human nature.
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Hamm
TBD
May 17
1pm
D203
Jack
Iles

Education, Sophistry, and the Polis, according to Plato and Hume

A thesis in which Iles tries to subtly––or not so subtly, depending on your reading––push his political agenda by placing traditional values and education over both positivism and deconstructionism by accusing the two of being silly sophistry; all the while trying to avoid explicit names and examples, but instead relying on two smart dead people to give weight to his argument, while also trying to avoid falling into casual nationalism

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Cardwell
Zepeda
April 25
3pm
D203
Nicholas
Johnson

The Legacy of Euclid

 

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Smith
Hamm
April 19
1pm
D203
Alejandro
Kerrigan
Missing the Marx?: A retrospective into states of nature, an exploration of exploitation, and questions for our future

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Tsukahara
TBD
May19
1pm
D216
John
Konevich

Nature Leaving Nature: The Journey of Man

My thesis is examine Rousseau's discourse on Inequality and Social Contract. It's aim is to track man from savage beast to societal being, how we got there and what pushed man out of nature. It concludes with how our human nature is tied to government and what is the best way to create a government according to our nature.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Pihas
TBD
May 5
1pm
D216
Dustin
Linck

On the Origin of Resolutions: An essay concerning the evolution of labor, and our American labor consciousness--individual and social

A proper analysis--of our ignorant, consumptive policies, of our purpose (or excuse) for having them, and, ultimately, of the development of our consciousness--has shown the need for original, conscious synthesis: of freedom and liberty, the reason for them, the virtue in them, and, most certainly, of our expenditures of energy. Further, since this analysis has naturally presupposed a certain need that we have categorically ignored, we know that this ignorance keeps us from successfully struggling with our problems together, i.e. ignorance keeps us from consciously synthesizing together our individual analyses. If we could remember this fact, then this would be a relative, synthetic resolution (found in future conversations) of our American problems.

"I highly recommend watching Michael Pollan's Cooked on Netflix before 1pm on May 3rd, 2017"

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Zepeda
TBD
May 3
1pm
D203
James
Maynard
The Evolutionary Tendencies of the Human Aesthetic

Good evening fellow intelligizers of the absolute! I hope you have saved your appetites for the dialectical discourse we are soon to be engaged in. The question I pose to you, my fellow readers, is what capacity does the human species have for evolution? Since the birth of the human race in the natural world, what have been our evolutionary tendencies? Now I understand that this line of inquiry seems rather dull and dry. Why bother wasting time over a regurgitation of Darwinian Theory and various social contracts? Please do give your host a little more credit than that! Although I am but a novice, I do understand how to treat my guests. For now, however, I simply extend the invitation. If you are human, and believe yourself in possession of the great capacity of Logos, this meal may suit your taste. I cannot promise any satisfaction will last - for the philosophic mind is a hungry one.  But as it stands, come and stay for our evening of debauchery. Enjoy the light air, and maybe have a drink – but do gain the courage to go and dance in the nighttime music. Soon our most honored guest will arrive, and our meal shall begin.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Zepeda
TBD
May 12
1pm
D216
Alexander
Otto

Phaedrus: The Soul Discovering Truth

Mr. Otto covers the story of the Phaedrus and the purpose of myth in reality. The myth in question is the chariot, and this represents the soul, the origin of the soul, and the spiritual fulfillment of the soul.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Riley
TBD
May 2
3pm
D203
Gabrielle
Patterson
I 'Kant' Believe It's Not Science! An Explanation of the Metaphysician's Self-Abuse in the Pursuit of Truth
Every few years, a senior is stupid enough to write on Kant. This year, I am that senior. Everybody is likely thinking one of two things.
1: I hate Kant and I barely understood what he was saying when I read the Critique of Pure Reason, so there is no chance that I am going to that seminar.
2. I've never read Kant and have only heard scary things about him, so I am for sure going to avoid that thesis.
To these perfectly justified thoughts, I only issue a disclaimer: My mom, who has never read Kant, or anything like him, read my thesis and was able to understand it. So don't be afraid! I wrote it so that everybody can and should be able to read and understand it.
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Cortright
Hamm
May 10
1pm
D203
Andrew
Penman
"Emperors In Mirrors Are Smaller Than They Appear"

Is Tolstoy correct in asserting that "a king is history's slave?" Is he right about how history works?

Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Riley
Smith
April 21
1pm
D216
Kathryn
Price
Could We Be Wrong? An Exploration into Mathematical Truths, First Principles, Where We Were Wrong, and How We Could Be Wrong Again.

The Great Books Program incorporates mathematical and scientific theories from a wide variety of marvelous thinkers, some of which contradict. From Ptolemy to Copernicus to Newton to Einstein, there seems to be an ever changing understanding of our world and reality. But what if our discovery is not yet finished when it comes to our comprehension of mathematics and physics? Could we be wrong about concepts we believe to be evident? These are the questions considered in this thesis. So if an exploration into mathematical truth sounds like a good read, you’ve come to the right place. And if not, still read it.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Smith
Martinez
May 16
3pm
D203
Dimitri
Quaglierini

“On Becoming a Monster: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”

The support and care provided by loved ones shape who an individual is and what they eventually become. For Victor and his creation, the lack of love and support ultimately leads them to their narcissistic and melancholic feelings. This essay examines Freud's pieces on Mourning and Melancholy and On Narcissism to help understand the psychology of Victor and his creation in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Pihas
Hamm
April 28
1pm
D216

Spring 2019 Senior Essays and Schedule

 

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:
Time:
Location:
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.
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Christo
Hamm
April 30
3:30pm
Gal 214
Tiffany Cooper, Marielle Gardner
Marielle Gardner

Title: Influence of Mathematics

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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
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).

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
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.
Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Cardwell
Riley
May 8
1pm
D203
Kristina Tomelloso

Title: “Difficult Dialogues”

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?

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Cortright
TBD
May 3
3:30pm
D203
Angelica Balma
Hannibal Huntley

Title: Kant and Correspondence of Mathematics

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.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Cortright
TBD
May 10
3:30pm
D 203 
TBD

Spring 2018 Senior Essays and Schedule

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.

Elizabeth Casey

 Title: Heroes through History

 Abstract: Everyone adores heroes. Tales of character performing heroic deeds began before writing even existed in oral stories passed down over generations. The definition of what makes a person “heroic” has evolved over time; our modern understanding of heroes differs greatly from that of the ancient Greeks. Yet despite these differences, some characters transcend the boundaries of society to become heroes immortalized in all cultures for all time. . . . I personally love heroes. I love reading how they overcome all the obstacles in their path. They hold values which are the most embodied virtues of their society. But I wonder, do societies create their own heroes? Or do heroes create societies?

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Cardwell

May 8
3:30pm
Dante 219
Margaret Carlton
Dylan Connell

Title: State of Nature

Abstract: A short story and essay which integrate modern scientific breakthroughs in biological anthropology, with the political philosophies of our program’s social contract theorists.

Authors: Shelly, Rousseau, Hobbes, Darwin.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Zepeda
Cortright
April 20
1pm
D214
Lea McGhee
Steven Wieser
Kenji Rautenberg
Felicia Good

Title: Truth and Christianity in Don Quixote: Remaking the World With the Game of Storytelling

Abstract: What is truth? What is the difference between fiction and history? How does one know? In Don Quixote, Cervantes calls the reader to question truth and knowledge itself, particularly in relation to the unquestioned perspective of the Christian and Catholic religion. Through language and the game of storytelling, Cervantes and his characters together remake a world in which the reader can re-evaluate their assumptions and determine what is madness and what is sanity, after all.

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Martinez
Michael Riley
April 20
3:30pm
D203
Julia Stanislav, Alicia McCallister
Hayley Hamer

Title: Saying the Same Thing: What is it to Agree?

Abstract: What does it mean for many to say the same thing? 

“I say ‘____’; what do you say?”
“I say the same.”
Uses primarily Hegel and Aristotle to examine different levels of language, including: voice (ability to make noise), speech as an awareness of things, spoken beliefs, and philosophical discourse. Searches for the link between language and the spirit/soul. What is the force that units all speakers?

Advisor:
Faculty Reader:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Readers:
Cortright
TBD
May 4
1pm
GAL 214
Lea McGhee
Alicia McCallister
Dylan Williams
Alex Keener

Title: The Stuff of Legend: What it Means to Be a Hero and Why Beowulf and Pierre Bezukhov Belong in the Same League

 Abstract: What does it mean to be a hero? I aim to challenge and re-evaluate how we define what a hero is and should be. First, through an examination of a conventional hero in Beowulf, and then testing that definition against an unconventional hero in Pierre Bezukhov of War and Peace. I argue that the definition of a hero should be changed, and then through an analysis of Pierre Bezukhov’s character I show that he meets the criteria and should be considered just as much a hero as the likes of Beowulf or even Hector.

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Doval
TBD
April 27
1pm
GAL 214
Steven Wieser
Isaac Choi
Jack Fouts
Alicia McCallister

Title:Ἰδιαί Ἀρχαί: Disputes from the Beginning

Abstract:
What happens when there are multiple proposals for the ἰδιαί ἀρχαί of a particular science? In other words, what if different definitions are proposed for key terms or there are different permissions or limitations as to what is able to be done? Explore this question in reference to the science of metaphysics with the help of Aristotle, Euclid, Kant, and Newton.

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Zepeda
Cortright
May 2
1pm
D203
Steven Wieser
Ryan Villegas
Sophia Courtemarche
Halen, Ornella, April
Lea McGhee

Title: Sympathy for the Devil

Abstract: In this essay I will be exploring the devil figures in both Job and Faust. It may be easy and familiar to identify the devil as we see in Job. This Satan figure is considered to be the negator of truth or the master of destruction, but I am interested in other devil figures like, Mephisto in Goethe’s Faust, who plays the role of trickster and instigator. This essay will attempt to gain a deeper understanding as to what the devil character’s roles are in both texts, and whether or not they are solely present in order to cause misfortune and chaos amongst humans. I say, Goethe’s version of the devil is simply used to challenge the supposed faith and understanding humans have of life on Earth and God. Can one say that the devil is of help to human experience of Job and Faust?

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Cortright
Doval
April 24
3;30pm
D219
Hayley Hamer
Dylan Connell
Jordan Barcena
Jill Hubbard
Brenda O'Connor
Crystal Monroy
Corbin O’Connor

Title: The Prison of Skepticism

Abstract: Reason furnishes one with the means of preserving the self, but it fails to address why one ought to preserve the self. This is an attempt to determine whether one’s faculty of reason, and its ability to liberate them from the laws imposed by necessity, is the truly means by which they are able to attain a state of liberty. John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding provides a definition of volition, thereby establishing the foundation for a new notion of choice, as it is understood in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, and Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling.

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Martinez
TBD
April 13
1pm
GAL 214
Michael Maynard
Anna West
Elise Yockelson
Julia Stanislav

Title: “Is Chivalry Dead?: An Examination of the Women in Don Quixote”

Abstract: In Don Quixote, Cervantes satirizes an antiquated chivalric code through the comical misadventures a of self-declared knight errant who wants to make reality mirror his beloved books of chivalry. One of the main conditions of chivalry on which Don Quixote focuses is coming to the aid of damsels in distress. Cervantes shows just how unnecessary and unhelpful his knight errant’s obsession with saving vulnerable women is through creating several strong, capable, and independent female characters who challenge the chivalric trope of the damsel in distress. Despite their self-sufficiency, these female characters are limited by the patriarchal society in which they live, which, in many ways, perpetuates chivalric and discriminatory views of women. Has chivalry been preserved to such an extent that there is no need for Don Quixote to “reinstate" it? If the the outdated chivalric society which Cervantes critiques and the current society are so similar, is Cervantes also critiquing the current society?

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Martinez
TBD
April 10
3:30
D219
Arabella Romero
Lea McGhee
Anna West
Ryan Villegas

Title: Mimesis in Historiography

Abstract: To who or what do we owe our knowledge of the past? Shall we praise the historians for recording any number of such events? "This historian says that the Ancient Greeks fought the battle of Salamis in this way", says one student of Classics. "But", says another student, "that cannot be so! For this other historian claims that the battle of Salamis manifested in another way!" Multiple contending interpretations about one event thus ensue. How is this the case? Is it even possible for historians to accurately record and report such events? In this essay, I will explore such questions pertaining to the validity of historiography as a general discipline by looking towards the aristotelian standard for history and poetry. To this end, I will weave in an examination of mimesis in its various manifestations, while also exploring the nature of causality and how it poses problems to historiography.

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Christo
TBD
April 13
3:30pm
D203
Dylan Connell
Steven Wieser
Manny Simon
Brenda O'Connor
Nika Worth
Anna West

Title: A Journey on the River: The Manifestation of Cicero's Model of Friendship in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Abstract: An examination of the friendship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim based on the definitions of friendship proposed by Cicero in De Amicitia and Aristotle in the Nichomachean Ethics.

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Christo
TBD
May 2
3:30pm
D203
Julia Stanislav
Lea McGhee
Damian Cortez
Spencer Bruno
Julian Zepeda
Steven Wieser

Title: A Critique of Faith: Dante and Kierkegaard on the Phenomenon of Belief

Abstract: How do we understand what is meant by belief in God?

This piece seeks to explore the nature of faith from the Abrahamic tradition (specifically with an eye towards Christian theology) by considering the methods of definition used by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy and Søren Kierkegaard in Fear and Trembling. Beginning with an examination of their primary definitions, this piece seeks to explore these authors’ differing accounts of the origins and authorities through which faith functions, and how such faith interacts with other elements of human existence (i.e. morality). Throughout, the piece shall consider the works of poetic writing brought forth by these two authors in their own descriptions of faith through an exploration of fiction and imaginative/hypothetical works towards reaching or approximating the transcendent.

This discussion seeks neither to defend nor excoriate the practices or teachings of particular religious institutions, nor does it intend to prove or disprove the existence of a God. The focus instead lies with investigating the human elements of faith as presented through Dante’s and Kierkegaard’s work, and providing an analytical evaluation of what these two authors have brought forth on the topic.

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Hamm
Riley
April 18
1pm
D203
Alex Keener
Julia Stanislav
Margaret Carlton
Rodrigo Flores

Title: A Path to Freedom from the Shackles of Appearances

Abstract: Epictetus’ Enchiridion can server as a practical manual to free ourselves from the shackles in Plato’s allegory of the cave.

 

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Cardwell
Patton
May 11
1pm
Gal 214
Ryan Villegas
Alex Keener
Alexus Trujillo