Undergraduate Philosophy Research at Marist
Department publishes annual journal, prepares to host regional conference
POUGHKEEPSIE (March 31, 2014) – The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies has published a new journal of undergraduate research ahead of the Fourth Annual Mid-Hudson Valley Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, which Marist will host April 4-5.
Volume One of the Marist Undergraduate Philosophy Journal contains original research by undergraduates from Marist, Rutgers University, Hunter College, Georgia State University, University of Georgia, and the University of British Columbia.The idea for the journal was initiated in 2012 by Dr. James Snyder, assistant professor of philosophy, and students. “It is a natural progression from the undergraduate conference," Snyder said. The conference brings undergraduates from some of the top colleges and universities, including Yale, Swarthmore, and West Point, with this year's conference bringing the first international participant from Madrid. The journal was created in collaboration with students who assisted in designing the website, creating the template for the journal articles, and sending out a nation-wide call for papers. Six of the best papers were selected from submissions received from around the country, as well as from abroad.
"Philosophy is one of the most practical majors because it teaches a set of transferable skills that apply themselves to many different situations and career paths," Snyder said. Students learn how to think about problems, propose solutions, and think about the logical implications of potential solutions. This is a very difficult and creative process. In addition to these skills, students also learn ethical values that are of the utmost importance."
The journal is part of a general process of professional development being highlighted in the department, which also includes the upcoming conference. The conference's keynote address will be delivered by Catherine Wilson (right) of the University of York and the CUNY Graduate Center, who will speak on "Morality and the Individual: A Problem or Two for Bernard Williams." Her research is primarily in ethics and the history of early modern philosophy. Her most recent book, Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2008), is a groundbreaking examination of the role that Epicurus and Lucretius played in shaping the central features of modern philosophy and science. Some of her work on ethics examines the implications of evolution for ethical theory. She explores this subject, among others, in her book Moral Animals (Oxford University Press, 2004).
This year's conference will include undergraduates from Marist, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Bard, the United States Military Academy at West Point, University of Detroit-Mercy, and Vassar, who will present original research on topics ranging from business ethics to the philosophy of mind, with students from Marist and West Point providing commentary.