Colorado Summer Seminar in Philosophy

July 19th through August 6th, 2010: Boulder, Colorado.
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Seminar is intended for outstanding undergraduates who are considering graduate school in philosophy. The aim is to introduce students to the atmosphere of a graduate-level seminar, giving participants a chance to explore and sharpen their philosophical abilities before they commit to a graduate program.

In addition to offering the experience of a graduate seminar, we hope participants will benefit from meeting other students with similar interests and from interacting with prominent faculty in the field.  The Seminar is designed to prepare participants for graduate school, and to help participants gain admission into the best programs.

The class size will be between 15 and 20. The course is highly intensive, meeting five times a week for three weeks, for three hours a day, with a further student-led discussion session in the evenings. The readings will be dense and difficult, and students will be expected to participate extensively. Several papers will be required. Preference will be given to students with significant background in philosophy who have not yet applied to graduate school.

Topic for 2010: Applied Philosophy
The topic of the Seminar changes every summer. In 2010, the Seminar’s topic will be applied philosophy, extending not only to ethical and political questions, but also to philosophical problems that arise in science, human reasoning, and literature. Likely topics include:

  • death
  • abortion
  • the moral standing of animals
  • literature and emotion
  • the practice of science
  • human rationality
  • climate change
  • environmental philosophy

Summer in Colorado
The seminar will take place on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Located at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, 25 miles northwest of Denver, Boulder is perhaps the most attractive college setting in the country. Participants will be encouraged to explore the city of Boulder and the nearby mountains. Weekend outings will be organized.

Tuition and Housing
Tuition: $750
Housing: approximately $400

To receive full consideration, applications must be received by April 1st. Decisions will be made within a month.

You can find application instructions and more information at:

Student Travel Awards

We often post here on the blog calls for papers for undergraduate philosophy conferences…  If you are a University of Puget Sound student that got a paper accepted at one of these conferences and would like some help with your travel expenses, the university has some funds available.  Here are the details:

2009-2010 UEC Student Travel Awards for Conference Presentation

The University Enrichment Committee is pleased to announce the Student Travel Awards for 2009-2010. Proposals are invited for travel by full-time students whose independent work has been accepted for presentation at regional or national conferences. Funding is for the student(s) who actually present the paper or work. The maximum limit on each award is $500. Student co-presenters will share a single grant.


Conference travel scheduled for the 2009-2010 academic year (July 1, 2009- June 30, 2010) is eligible for consideration. Applications will be processed as received through April 9, 2010.

Application instructions and further information:–travel-award/student-travel-awards/

Evolution and Ethics Lecture: Sex and the Scala Naturae

Biologist Marlene Zuk will be giving the third and last talk in the Collier Committee Lecture Series: Evolution and Ethics (the first one was by historian Paul Farber and the second one by philosopher Geoff Sayre Mccord).

“Sex and the Scala Naturae”
Marlene Zuk, University of California Riverside, Department of Biology
Monday, March 8, 7:30 PM, Mc 003 – Rausch Auditorium,
Free and open to the public

Since well before Darwin, people looked to animals as illustrations and models of behavior. With respect to sex and gender, animals are used in two ways, both of which can harm our understanding of the animals as well as ourselves. First, we use animals as model systems. For example, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and other species in the genus have been used to study genetics. If we use model systems as the archetype, it is easy to conclude that anything that deviates from the model is aberrant, not “normal”. Because we often view males as the norm, they become the model system, with detrimental effects. Second, we pay more attention to certain kinds of animals than others; we are more excited about bonobos than butterflies. Relevance is often defined by how similar the animals seem to be to humans, with the idea that some species are higher, some are lower, and humans are the highest of all. This ranking is called a scala naturae, and it is completely false, leading to the use of animals as role models, and ultimately to a counter-productive view of how evolution acts on the sexes.

Film on Tues 3/9: The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema

Tuesday, March 9th at 7pm in Rausch Auditorium

Film screening followed by an informal discussion led by Alisa Kessel (Politics and Government), Justin Tiehen (Philosophy), and Ariela Tubert (Philosophy).  

THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA features Slovenian philosopher  and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek discussing some of the most prominent films ever made (including films by Hitchcock, Coppola, Chaplin, Lynch, Fleming, and others).  More information is available here:

Don’t miss it!

Summer Grants

If you’re interested in getting money this summer to work on a philosophy project of your own choosing, you should apply for one of the summer grants available through the university.  Here’s some of the relevant information…

The University of Puget Sound, with the support of the Richard Bangs Collier Institute of Ethics and Science and an anonymous donor, has established summer research programs for undergraduates in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. These programs offer students the opportunity to engage in independent research projects during the summer. Stipends of $3,000 and $3,500 will be awarded on a competitive basis to students who demonstrate research interest and ability. Students who receive awards agree:

  1. to devote full time to the project for at least ten weeks during summer 2010. Students who cannot devote ten weeks of full time work to their research should not apply;
  2. not to enroll in summer classes, and not to hold any other employment while engaged in research (an occasional exception may be made for limited part time employment, and permission for such must be obtained by Associate Dean, Sarah Moore);
  3. to submit a written report of the research to the faculty research supervisor and to Associate Dean Sarah Moore no later than August 31, 2010; and,
  4. to give a presentation to the university or broader community, either during the summer or early in the fall, 2010 semester.

Please note the following eligibility requirements:

  • Summer research awards are not open to students who will have graduated before their research is completed.
  • Summer research award recipients are expected to be enrolled the following fall semester.
  • Students who apply for a Summer Science Research Award are ineligible to apply for a Summer Research Award in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

For 2010, most summer research award recipients will be University Summer Scholars and will receive stipends of $3,000. Research may be proposed on any topic of interest. Recipients must be enrolled at UPS during Fall 2010.

In addition, two students (who will have completed their sophomore year by the end of Spring 2010 and who will be enrolled Fall 2010) will be named Richard Bangs Collier Scholars. These students will receive stipends of $3,500. Applicants for this award submit a proposal describing an interdisciplinary project that applies the concerns of a humanistic or social science discipline to scientific material, or that makes use of a science to explore a topic in the humanities or social sciences. The science involved in the project may be any of the natural or human sciences (including biology, chemistry, geology, natural sciences, physics, computer science, mathematics, economics, exercise science, and psychology). The project must involve both a humanistic or social science and a natural or human science sufficiently distinct from one another to encourage meaningful interdisciplinary perspectives.

Application deadline: 5:00 p.m March 9, 2010

For further information, follow this link:–travel-award/summer-research-grants-in-the-/