Thesis Information

Thesis Guidelines

There are two guidelines for potential thesis students to keep in mind. First, a written thesis proposal and bibliography should be submitted to the department in April of the junior year. Second, thesis writers should have completed about 40 pages by the end of Winter Study.  See “The Degree with Honors” for more details.  If you have more specific questions, please consult the department chair.

If you are interested in doing a full-year thesis, talk to a faculty member whose teaching and/or research area aligns with a potential research topic.  Note:  The alternate route to honors has been phased out as of the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Key dates for full-year honors theses, 2024-2025

— April 15, 2024: Initial proposal due to potential advisor
— May 15, 2024. Revised proposal/plan of action in light of advisor’s comments
— December 1, 2024. Presentation to department faculty of work in progress including an overview of the entire project and one substantially developed part of the thesis. This should be scheduled in consultation with your thesis advisor and the department chair.
— End of Winter Study, 2025. Progress report and one draft chapter (or equivalent). After this material is turned in to your advisor and second reader, a determination is made whether to continue with the thesis.
— April 30, 2025. Thesis due
— Spring Reading Period. Presentation of Honors Work

Sample Thesis

At present we have a sample thesis by Max Weinstein. We expect to add more theses soon. Max’s thesis is saved as an Adobe Acrobat file. You may view different portions of his thesis by clicking on one of the appropriate titles below. To return to this menu use the return button.

Dialectic in Context: An Interpretation of Plato’s Protagoras
Title Page Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2Chapter 3ConclusionBibliography

Past Thesis Topics


Name Theses Title Year
Tai Henrichs Building a Kantian Home for Animals 2023
Danny Irvine How We Mean What We Mean: The Role of Intentions in Determining Meaning 2023
Reid Kurashige Kant and the Problem of Inner Alienation 2022
Yiqiu (Benny) Weng The Problem of Missing Evidence in Contemporary Dark Matter Research 2022
Isaac Wilkins Incredulous Stares: Uncovering Uncertainty in the Everettian Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics 2022
Zach Schreier Life, Mind, and the Manifest Image 2021
Nicholas Anselmi Kant’s Practical Theodicy: Cutting The Gordian Knot of Evil 2020
Anhui Huang How Explanations Explain 2020
Jason Hansel The Political Meaning of Epictetan Stoicism 2019
Zach Ottati Functional Reality: A Role of Functionalist Interpretation of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism Critique 2019
Noah Betz-Richman Phenomenal Intentionality, Private Concepts, and the Problem of Externalism 2018
Ethan Jacobs Disclosing the Possibly Actual: Skepticism and the Method of Critique 2018
Eric Muscosky Criticis, Dogmatism, and the Problem of a Wittgensteinian Political Philosophy 2018
Seunghyun Angela Yeo Reasons in Kantian Constructivist View 2018
Teague Morris The Echo of a Thought in Sight:  Aspect-Seeing and Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy 2017
Emma Schwartz An Ethical Evaluation of Disputes over Frozen Embryos 2017
Vidya Venkatesh Beyond the Mathematical Mufti: Wittgenstein and the Language of Mathematical Practice 2017
Gordon Wilford Plato’s Divided Soul: A Defense of Tripartition in the Republic 2017
Conrad Damstra Spontaneity and Reason: Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and Hegel’s Response 2016
Willis Keuthau The Ethics of Ethics: The Stakes of a Philosophical Approach 2016
Dylan Meacham Rule-Following and Basic Conceptual Capacities 2015
Taylor Oddleifson Causal Structuralism 2015
Zoe Jenkin Conceptual Change and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction 2012
Zina Ward Realism and Instrumentalism in Contemporary Microeconomics: Considerations for Bounded Rationality 2012
James Finley A Defense of a Semantically Dialetheist Response to the Liar’s Paradox 2011
Santiago Sanchez-Borboa Reasons and Emotions 2011
Alison Hansen-Decelles The Animal-Famine Argument 2010
Silvia B.S. Lawrence Philosophizing through Language 2010
Aditi Chaturvedi Perfect and Human Eudaimonia:The Nature of Happiness in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics 2009
Raffana Donelson U.S. Prohibitions of ‘Organ’ Sale – A Philosophical Diagnosis 2009
Rachel Schneebaum Re-reading the Problem of Consciousness 2009
Jane Gimian Cultivating A Skillful Attitude: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Intellectual Engagement, Subjective Awareness, and Expert Action 2008
Lauren Guilmette Critical Theory in the Bedroom 2008
Laura Specker Revising Our Ethical Beliefs: the Consideration of Animals 2008
Anna Edmonds Abandoning the Truth Aim: a Reevaluation of the Aim of Belief and the Goal of Cognition 2007
Caroline Anderson A Libertarian Defense of Free Will 2006
Roy Liu The Procedural Character of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy 2006
Robert Hemm Reconstructing Justice: Critiquing Rawls on Justification and
Paul Sonenthal The Role of the Observer in Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 2005
Laura Zuckerwise Answering the Normative Question: A Critique of Reflective Endorsement 2004
LaToya Stephens Justice, the foundation . . . 2002
John Morrison Contextualism and the Neglected Question of Context 2001
Max Weinstein Dialectic in context : an interpretation of Plato’s Protagoras 2000
Douglas B. Marshall Mathematical fictionalism 2000
Christian Dankers Incommensurability and the relationship between Chinese and Western medicine 1999
Jeffrey S. Edmonds Metaphysics, nihilism, and style : learning from Heidegger’s study of Nietzsche 1999
Jennifer Ann Smalligan Written transformations : an approach to Michel Foucault’s The history of sexuality vols. 2 and 3 : The use of pleasure and The care of the self 1999
Daniel P. Kray Poetic vision and philosophic thought 1998
Charles Imohiosen The description of nature : Kant, Bohr, and the new metaphysics of science 1997
Alexandra Natasha Steinberg Examining multiculturalism theory and practice in the liberal/communitarian debate 1997
Karolina Hubner Language’s bewitchment : the metaphysical fallacy and Ludwig Wittgenstein 1997
Maura Elizabeth Hedwig Tumulty Bread alone : Wittgenstein and anorexia 1995
Nicholas Kolodny The late Foucault 1994
Michael Masterson Pictures of captivity : escaping philosophical pictures 1994
Peter Adamson A place to stand : reason and faith in the works of Dante Alighieri 1994
Kurt Shaw The ecstasy of the postmodern : Jean Baudrillard and late capitalism 1993
Charles H. Stevenson The environment, attitude, and truth 1993
Michael E. Lapin Personal identity and the brain 1993
Edward S. Lee Educating Plato 1992
Margaret Kohn The politics of bodies and pleasures 1992
Kenneth M. Levy Behind the eight ball : the mystery of the causal connection 1991
Joel McElvain The collapse of the right and the good : a critique of liberal foundations 1991
Jeff Butler Determinism : reviving a dead hypothesis 1991
Joseph Lewis Cruz Epistemology/ideology : justified belief in context 1991
Michael Cole Hegel and Nihilism 1991
Michael Reisman Communicating the ineffable : the dramaturgical theory of action 1990
Rachel Elizabeth Zuckert Freedom and objectivity in Kant’s first two critiques 1990
Robert J. McCarthy “In the end, I blame society” : the social unification of the fragmented self 1990
Rajiv Vrudhula The inner experience : western and Buddhist deconstruction 1990
Norah M. Vincent Metamorphoses of fear 1990
Michael W. Swartz Missings and mis-directions in language 1990
William E. Underwood III Hannah Arendt and human plurality 1989
David Reiss Nietzsche’s conception of the self 1989
Karen Elizabeth Bessin Thinking bodies and other selves : women’s experiences of body, relationship, and identity 1989
Raymond Yau Concepts and capacities : a defense of the dispositional answer to Kripke’s problem of meaning 1988
Stein, Edward D On the origin of beliefs : an analysis of evolutionary epistemology / by Edward D. Stein 1987
Tae Cho Reconciling diverse elements of meta-ethics 1987
McCabe, David Nietzsche, art, and the affirmation of life 1985
Merims, Adam Jon Cinematic essence, film and theater: two ways of thinking about film 1983
Adams, Philip Bratten The problem of freedom and determinism: is soft determinism a pseudo-solution? 1982
Koessel, Michael Duane The paradox of the other: freedom and the social vision of Jean-Paul Sartre 1982
Kightlinger, Mark Fred The critique of reason in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche 1981
Smith, Jeffrey Merrill Against technological determinism 1980
Raskob, Jakob Thomas Plato’s “Meno” 1979