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College of Arts and Sciences
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The Department of Philosophy

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John Mareing Scholarship

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Criteria for Eligibility

Example Essay Topics

Guidelines for the essay

Other Student Awards and Scholarships

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Eligible Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • Declared Philosophy Major or Minor.
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA at the End of the Fall 2014 Term.
  • 60 Credit Hours Completed at the End of the Fall 2015 Term.
  • General Conduct Consistent with the Highest Standards of Academic and Personal Integrity.
  • Cannot already be a receiving a full tuition scholarship.
  • Students meeting the above criteria who have ideas about why philosophy matters should consider applying.
  • Applicants are required to write an essay of 1500 to 2500 words that addresses the relevance and role of Philosophy.

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Students are encouraged to seek a faculty mentor who can provide guidance on the essay.

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Example Essay Topics:

The relevance of philosophy for public discourse.
The relevance of philosophy for another academic discipline.
The role of philosophy anticipated for one’s own career path.
The role of philosophy for human flourishing in contemporary life.
The role of philosophy in psychology and cognitive science.
The potential for expanding philosophical discourse in schools.
The role of philosophy in determining the value of various forms of human labor.
The role and value of philosophy for a profession to establish its unique identity and ethical obligations.
The role and value of philosophy to understanding global warming and other significant crises.
The role and value of philosophy for understanding what it is to be human in a technological age.

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Guidelines for students for the essay:

Students may work with a faculty member as mentor, whose role would be to discuss ideas with the student, and provide general feedback on the essay.  The topic of the current relevance and role of philosophy is meant to capture a broad range of possible paper topics.  Students may wish to refine the paper topic to discuss a more specific issue regarding the relevance and role of philosophy.  Some possible paper topics would include:

  • The relevance of philosophy for another academic discipline.  For example, a student with a double major in philosophy and history could write an essay on the interplay between history and philosophy, and how philosophy informs and deepens our understanding of history.
  • The relevance of philosophy for public discourse.  For example, a student with interests in politics and public discourse could write an essay on how the study of philosophy and its argumentative methods can clarify political disagreements and foster tolerance and productive debate.
  • The role of philosophy anticipated for one’s own career path.  A student may wish to discuss the influence the study of philosophy has had on their choice of career path, and how they anticipate they will use their training in philosophy in the future.
  • The role of philosophy for human flourishing.  In an increasingly technological, digitized, and virtual world, how does the study of philosophy help an individual to fulfill her potential as a human?
  • The role of philosophy in psychology and cognitive science.  As empirical psychology and advances in the study of brain functioning explain more about human behavior, what contribution can philosophy make to our understanding of ourselves?
  • The potential for expanding philosophical discourse and education beyond its traditional place in academia, for example in pre-College curricula, public philosophical discourse, and popular culture.
  • The role and value of philosophy in determining the value of various forms of human labor/work, whether paid or unpaid.
  • The role and value of philosophy for a profession to establish its unique identity and ethical obligations.
  • The role and value of philosophy to the understanding global warming and other significant crises in the world.
  • The role and value of philosophy for understanding what it is to be human in an age where we are becoming more reliant on technology.

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