You must decide whether to complete the project with a portfolio or with a paper presentation. The two options are explained below. Grading will be on a Pass/Fail basis.
As a "capstone" requirement for the philosophy major, students will be required to submit a portfolio containing (1) four or five papers they have written for philosophy courses; (2) a philosophical self-assessment. Together, the papers and the self-assessment must total at least 35 total pages.
The portfolio is intended as a means for students to demonstrate that they possess the skills, abilities, and aptitudes that the Department has identified as being essential for philosophy majors.
(1) The course papers (previously written for courses) should:
In selecting papers for the portfolio, students should try to demonstrate breadth and diversity.
The same paper may be used to meet more than one of requirements (b) through (e).
Papers should be arranged in chronological order, and should include at least one from early in the student's philosophical career.
(2) The philosophical self-assessment should be at least 10 pages long and must include:
Two faculty members will be assigned by the Chair to read and evaluate each portfolio.
The papers submitted in the portfolio will not be graded or evaluated; it is the selection of papers and the self-assessment that will be graded.
Two copies of the portfolio are to be submitted: one will be returned to the student, and one will be placed in Department files.
For purposes of completing the portfolio, students will address this checklist of skills:
Philosophy Majors should be able to:
Philosophy majors should be able to:
Philosophy majors should know the following:
Philosophy majors (especially those contemplating graduate study) should be able to:
Your project is to develop a paper on a topic in philosophy under the tutelage of one or more philosophy faculty members. At the end of the semester, you will orally present your paper to the department (students and faculty), and take and respond to questions and comments afterward. Because you are crafting a presentation paper, the length should be appropriate for the project: no less than twelve and no more than sixteen pages (font-size twelve, double-spaced, not counting citations). Word count is a more accurate guide: no less than 3,000 words (not counting citations) and no more than 4,000.
We will be evaluating your presentation paper itself, your oral delivery of it, and your question-answer session afterwards. Grading is pass/fail rather than a letter grade.
(We recommend that you practice giving your presentation with peers or in front of a mirror or on a recording. Your teachers will also provide guidance.)
You are expected to follow your presentation with a question and answer question session. Respond appropriately and respectfully to all questions and comments given. (Knowing your subject well and being aware of what various philosophers have said about it will, of course, help you anticipate questions or comments.) You can expect that the majority of the questions will be requests for clarification of points made in the paper and objections to the position you defend.
Meghan Davis, Philosophy Major