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The Senior Program

Philosophy concentrators take the senior seminar, 550, in the fall of their senior year. Students in 550 are expected to complete a clear, focused, powerful piece of philosophical writing, and to defend it in an oral presentation. The pair should show that they have done the work and developed the philosophical skills that merit a degree in philosophy at Hamilton College.

Helena LaPorte Burns - Three Minute Thesis
Helena LaPorte Burns received the People's Choice Award in the Three Minute Thesis Competition for her thesis presentation “Philosophy as Conversation: A Project that Actively Engages the Public World Through Rigorous Discourse and Creative Performance.”

Recent Senior Thesis projects include:

  • Debating Free Will: Why Bother?
  • The Illusion of School Choice
  • Is it Morally Permissible to Change Disability?
  • Should One Idle: An Exploration of Idleness
  • Philosophy as Conversation
  • Philosophies of Love: Approaching Underrepresentation through Pedagogy
  • Kripkenstein: The Kryptonite to Legal Formalism & Originalism? Towards a Principled Approach to American Constitutional Law
  • A Constructive Response to Black Nihilism: Sunshine in the Night, a rap EP
  • A Warning Against Celebrity-like Relationships on Identity-Based Social Media
  • Governed Happiness: A Study of Happiness Under Different Political Structures
  • Non-Therapeutic Infant Male Circumcision: The Ethical Issues
  • Atrocities on Camera: On The Moral Responsibility of Filmmakers Who Include Atrocities in their Work
  • The Subject Side of Respect: Why and How to be a Respecter
  • Sexual Healing: Does Language Preclude Authenticity?
  • Working Towards Happiness: An Exposition of Epicureanism and Guidelines to Happiness
  • Metaphysical Realism: The Door Not the Window
  • Why Climb Mountains? An Investigation into What Mountain Climbing Can Teach Us About the Self
  • On the Rationality & Moral Permissibility of Physician-Assisted Suicide in Light of the Theoretical Nature of Suicide as an Action
  • Truth Pluralism without Realism
  • The Epistemic Value of Art and Emotions
  • Loosening the Grip of Subjectifying Social Conventions Holistically
  • Epoché  and Pyrrhonian Discourse
  • Meaning in Life
  • The Limits of the Market: Aristotle and Sandel on Commodification
  • From Ideal to Institution: Is Punishment Justified?
  • Violence: Covert Violence and Education in the U. S.
  • Famine, Common Morality, and the Punishability Distinction
  • Science Fiction as Thought Experiment on the Question of Personal Identity
  • Thoreau’s Moral-Epistemological Attunement Regarding the Sustainability of Nature
  • Rethinking Urban Violence

Contact Information


Philosophy Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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