2013 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 Jim Smith right away of any problems.

Taylor Bradshaw

Exploration of Stories: A Yarn on the Wondrous Art of Story-Telling

What makes a good story? Asking this question of Aristotle, Plato, and many well regarded story-tellers brought about an essay that is reminiscent of a journey. A journey that at first seems like an easy jaunt through the woods, but instead turns into a perilous flight through a menacing and confusing labyrinth.

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Joseph Zepeda
Theo Carlile
Tues. 5/7 4:30pm
Arcade 2

Julianne Cozzetto

Exploring Moderation and Reason in Search of Happiness

As you sit there contemplating what will make you happy, consider these questions: Can happiness be connected with fulfillment? How does moderation and reason affect your happiness? Since you are contemplating the nature of happiness, does that make you happy? Join me as I explore excellence and happiness according to Aristotle and as I offer a definition that encompasses more than just the philosopher's happiness. This essay will use Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen, in addition to Aristotle, to highlight the role that moderation and reason play in the search and attainment of a person's happiness.

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Theo Carlile
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Tues. 4/30 3pm
Arcade 02

Anthony Gotti

Futility in Tolstoyan Historicism
Historicism is commonly defined as the theory that social and cultural phenomena are defined by history. In essence, historicism is the belief that historical events are governed by laws. The purpose of this essay is to clarify Tolstoy’s ideas on history by breaking down his argument throughout his Second Epilogue in War and Peace.

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Jim Smith
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Tues. 4/30 4:30pm
Arcade 02

Alexis Hernandez

Soiled Virtue

Exploring Palto's Sophist and William Shakespeare's Othello, what is to be said about man's virtue, nature, and truth?  Taking a closer look at the characters Iago and Othello can we distinguish the philosopher from the sophist, if so can we determine which character is which?

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Jim Smith
Gratia Cobeen
Wed. 5/8 4:30pm
Arcade 02

Alexia Jarvis

It Takes Two

It takes two for great fiction to exist, the author and the reader. An argument based on Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own in relation to the author's voice and expanded with a view on the reader's ear  as applied to Emma by Jane Austen,  The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling  by Henry Fielding, and Much Ado About Nothing as well as Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.

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Theo Carlile
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Tues. 5/7 3pm
Arcade 02

Gabriel Ladd

In Search of Liberal Education

What is liberal education? What are the liberal arts? These questions are at the heart of any educational endeavor which aims at more than vocational training, but they are difficult to answer. I will attempt to find an answer with help from Aristotle, St. Thomas, and some of their peers.

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Steven Cortright
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Tues. 5/6 3pm
Arcade 02

Ryan Lee

How Contemptible a Thing Is Human Grandeur

This essay explores Swift's commentary on human nature through an analysis of the profound transformation that Gulliver undergoes throughout his four voyages. I also examine the consequences for readers of the novel as they necessarily consider the state of their own humanity in the face of Gulliver's corruption.

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Jim Smith
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Mon 5/9 3pm
Arcade 02

Sarah Marlett

On the Search for Truth with Succor from Saint Augustine

This essay examines the factors at play in St. Augustine's conversion: his intellect, habits, and friends.  With his Confessions as my guide, I attempt to find the importance of eternity in understanding truth.

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Rali Christo
Joseph Zepeda
Thurs. 4/25 3pm
Arcade 02

David Mendoza

The Pursuit of Happiness

This essay is an examination of the ways which we pursue happiness, and perhaps understanding what may be the best way to do so. With the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Lao Tzu, and Henry David Thoreau offering their respective opinions on this topic, I attempt to make sense of humanity's greatest journey.

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Theodore Tsukahara
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Wed. 5/8 3pm
Arcade 02

Erendida Orellana

But Alas, at the End We All Die...

My purpose in this essay will be to demonstrate how the economic system we live in today is responsible for the flawed view that many have concerning man's human nature. In this essay I will seek to explain that being competitive or cooperative are qualities that are actually not inherent in man, but which are determined by the society we live in. Taking Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's view on human nature, I will argue that the capitalist system as described by Karl Marx tends to bring out a competitive quality in man which cannot be said to be inherent in his nature. Overall, my purpose in this paper will be to outline how the competitive quality the capitalist system brings out in man ultimately hinders man's endeavor to survive.

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Joseph Zepeda
Theo Carlile
Mon. 4/29 3pm
Arcade 02

Ian Parelius

What, then, is time?

This essay inquires into the nature of time according to St. Augustine and its implications for the human condition. It is fair to assume that most people know how to use 'time' in everyday speech. We ask each other what time it is, comment on how slow or fast the week has gone, or regret how little time we have to do all the things that must be done in our hectic lives. However, when asked about the nature of time, the question may stifle us in perplexity, or perhaps, annoyance. Is time real or substantial; or is time merely a figment of imagination, useful in measuring change and motion (the before-and-after)?

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Steven Cortright
Br. Raphael
Thurs. 5/2 3pm
Arcade 02

Alexis Reynoso

Act Naturally

This essay examines Vico's proposal of Divine Providential history and its implications on civil religion and civil morality. Rousseau's theory of natural man and Kant's metaphysics of morals are used as alternatives to Vico's Divine Providential history. Ultimately, civil morality replaces civil religion as the moralizing force in a society.

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Steven Cortright
Joseph Zepeda
Wed. 4/24 3:30
Arcade 02

Kris Macias

Chimera

Nietzsche claims that one can be the master of one’s will and ruler of his own destiny. He claims that this ruler of the self, this Antinihilist, must one day come; but more importantly that their coming will be the end of suffering. As Christ came to forgive our sins before God, so must the Antinihilist come to liberate man from his own torment. The story that follows is a response to that claim.

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Br. Richard Lemberg
Jim Smith
Wed. 5/1 3pm
Arcade 02

Julianne Slate

Common Differences & Differentiating Similarities: The Distinguishing Factor in Classifying Philosophical Texts

Within philosophy as a whole, the distinction between Western and Eastern philosophical thought is widely accepted as a way in which to classify philosophical texts. But what, exactly, is the fundamental difference that distinguishes a work of Western philosophy from one of Eastern philosophy? Is this distinction the only credible way in which to classify philosophy? The intention of this essay is to provide answers to these questions by comparing and contrasting Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, and Confucius' The Analects.

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Elizabeth Hamm
Theodore Tsukahara
Wed. 5/1 4:30pm
Arcade 02