Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

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  • Kevin Winchell will serve as Coordinator of Bonner Leadership and Community OutreachInitiatives here at Stetson next year.In this position, he will coordinate community service programs while building relationships with community partners to advance causes of social justice, leadership, and empowerment.
  • Sonal Patel (Right) was a Capitol Hill intern for Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) where she worked on public policy issues, the US-India Nuclear Deal, and Women's reproductive rights issues.
  • Craig Dobson (1996) graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy. He is a software engineer for Convergys Corporation in Lake Mary, Florida and completed aMaster's of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Florida Institute of Technology in 2003. Craig plans a return to the classroom for an M.A. in Philosophy.
  • Jacqueline McCarthy Karp (1997) received a B.A. in Philosophy and went on to graduate from Emory University's School of Law in 2000.She practices land use and zoning law in the DC area and in 2004 married Richard Karp, a lobbyist with the American Petroleum Institute.

2007 Senior Project

  • NICOLE BELIAN "Are We Obligated to Protect the Environment for Future Generations? A Communitarian Approach to Intergenerational Justice."It is argued that future persons have a right to live in an environment that not only can sustain their basic needs to life, such as clean water and clean air, but also the aesthetic worth of nature.On the basis of a communitarian theory, it is argued that future generations have inherent value, and therefore present human beings have a moral obligation to preserve the environment.
  • MARY BERNARD "Simone de Beauvoir's Existentialist Ethics of Freedom" Simone de Beauvoir helped create, in her work The Ethics of Ambiguity,an ethical system within existentialist philosophy founded on a two-level concept of freedom and demanding opposition to oppression. Often labeled a feminist, she has been marginalized from mainstream philosophy. A major claim of this thesis is that she ought to be recognized as a philosopher in her own right, and not only a feminist who borrowed her philosophy from Sartre.
  • KENAN GORDON "Karl Marx: Morality and Capitalism"It is argued that the debates concerning Marx's moral stance on capitalism are not necessary. Over time Marx's style of writing changes from ideological to concrete and pragmatic. He talks less about moral issues because he saw morality as a creation of capitalism, and concepts of morality would not need to exist in a socialist society.
  • IAN HALL "Resurrecting Moral Relativism-Approaching an Ethic Fit for Human Beings"While many ethical theories champion the universal, ethical relativism is a theory that addresses the needs of the individual human being in the concrete context of his or her actual life projects. While naïve relativism is rejected, this thesis argues that the contextual element of ethical relativism is worth preserving. (December 2006)
  • SONAL PATEL "A Philosophical Investigation of Sex Selective Abortion in India"Using the thought of Nussbaum and Sen, it is argued that sex selective abortion, as this is practiced in India today in some places, is not morally defensible.
  • JOHN O'KEEFE "Aesthetic Pursuits: Reflections on Art, Morality, and Language"In Part I, it is argued that aesthetic pursuits have an intrinsic value that is independent of moral value. In Part II, it is argued that an aesthetic medium, music in particular, is a language.
  • IAN WASSER "Nietzsche's Doctrine of the Will to Power:An Analysis and Critique" Different interpretations of Nietzsche's 'Will to Power' are considered and it is argued that the best interpretation is that it is a mythological doctrine. This myth provided for Nietzsche a means for breaking away from a narrowly moralized conception of will, that is, from a notion of it as simply a choice between good and evil. For him, will to power is broader and deeper than this and its embrace is an affirmation of all of life, including its most basic desires and emotions.
  • KEVIN WINCHELL "Taking Rights for Granted: An Examination of Social Reality and its Influence on the Allocation of Morality" It is argued that human rights are granted by human agreement, but nevertheless have an objective grounding. This grounding is analogous to the grounding of linguistic facts and social facts, as opposed to the grounding of the sort that physical facts have. As well, it is argued that the granting of rights that are analogous to human rights can be legitimately extended to non-human beings, but only to the extent and to the degree that non-human beings are connected to the human form of life.
  • CHANTEL WONDER "The Philosophical Grounding of Human Rights in a Pluralistic World"It is argued that human rights have an objective grounding in nothing more or less than human agreement and that this agreement is of the same sort that, according to Wittgenstein, underlies human language. This thesis is opposed to a realist theory which would ground human rights in nature or god, and it is also it is also opposed to an idealist theory that human rights have no objective grounding at all.

2006 Senior Project

  • Brendan J. Rogers (May 2006) is the Hall Award recipient for 2006.In addition to writing a thesis in which he argued that the categories of time cannot be intelligibly reduced to the categories of space, Brendan produced a video as part of his oral defense.The title of his thesis is "Time that Strikes an Emotional Cord: Emotion Being Used as an Argument for a Tense View of Time."
  • Trey S. Smith (May 2006)is a double major in Philosophy and History and the Haas Award recipient. He presented a senior thesis entitled "A Critical Look at Political Philosophy from the Student Movement to the Second Iraq War" and explored the evolution of Jurgen Habermas'political philosophy from the German Student Movements in the 1960's to the Second Iraq War.In his project, Trey highlights Habermas' shifting emphasis away from Marx and toward Kant.
  • Kevin R. Hanson (May 2006) is a Lawson scholar and a double major in Philosophy andReligious Studies."In God Beyond Theism: An Analysis of John Shelby Spong and a NewParadigm of Christianity's God", he analyzes both the contemporary scholar John Shelby Spong and the traditional understanding of a theistic God.Through a concentration on Spong's view of a non-theistic God and the history of liberal Christianity that he builds upon, Kevin argued that theism is but one human definition of God, none of which can ever fully exhaust the meaning of God.
  • Tiffany L. Porter (May 2006) graduates with a major in Philosophy and presented a senior project entitled "Woman as Life: An Essay in Nietzscheian Hermeneutics" where in opposition to the charge of misogyny (hatred of women), she claims that Nietzsche's emphasis on awakening the Dionysian spirit in us suggests his own positive evaluation of women.
  • Rebecca L. Nichols (May 2006) graduates with a major in Philosophy and presented a senior thesis on Aristotle's and Nussbaum's accounts of who is capable of leading flourishing lives.Her thesis, "Born Losers: A Criticism of Aristotle's Elitism" examines the question of whom, if anyone, is responsible for providing citizens with the basic necessities essential for human flourishing.
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