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Student Projects

Department of Philosophy

Meagan Malone, Honors Project in Philosophy 2008
"Determining White Responsibility for White Privilege" 

Meagan MaloneThe project focuses on whiteness research, a relatively new field of study that posits white privilege as the predominant factor in the perpetuation of racism. I use Shannon Sullivan's book Revealing Whiteness: Unconscious Habits of White Privilege as the basis for understanding white privilege, drawing from it yet-to-be-worked-through assumptions about whiteness: first, the assumption that race is still a useful designator in society, and second, the assumption that white people have a collective responsibility to lessen their privilege. Using a wide array of different thinkers including sociologist, psychiatrist, and philosopher Frantz Fanon, as well as an assortment of varied approaches including contemporary neuroscience, the project provides reasoning for the aforementioned assumptions, concluding that race is still a strong force in our society deserving of recognition and that white people do have an obligation to end white privilege.

 

Derek Beaushaw, Honors Project in Philosophy 2005
''Time The Problem"

Derek BeaushawHow do we think of time? How does one experience it? Does it even exist? In The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Rilke presents a character who becomes obsessed with time to the point of insanity. His character begins to divide time into smaller and smaller units, reveling in the knowledge that he has so much time to deal with. He comes to realize, however, that time is passing him by more and more quickly as he divides it into infinitely small units. This character will be looked at in relation to larger philosophical notions of time. Does he pose an entirely new set of questions about time? Is he representative of the way people truly think about time? These questions will be looked at in relation to how humans "deal with" time. The two philosophers I will mainly base my philosophical evaluation of time upon are Husserl and Heidegger. The merits and problems of each philosopher's view will be discussed.

 

 Kevin Maguire, Honors Project in Philosophy 2004
"Being and Spirit: Martin Heidegger"

Kevin MaguireThis thesis is framed around the 1933-34 Freiburg Rectorship lectures by Martin Heidegger which differ markedly from his phenomenology in Being and Time in their tone and content and in being directed to the public. "Spirit" and nationalism, prominent in the lectures, are things that Heidegger had never talked about before. I examine firstly the role of spirit in Heidegger's works and secondly the role of his national political agenda in his works. After looking at how Jacques Derrida deconstructs both Being and Time and the lectures in Of Spirit, I conclude that the thought of Being and Time is totally separate from the thought of the lectures.