Religious Studies Program

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department houses a Religious Studies program with a wide variety of courses in GE and a Religious Studies minor.

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Between the Species

Between the Species online journal logoAn online philosophy journal about the relationship between humans and animals.
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Ethics Group

Cal Poly's Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group focuses on the implications and impact of emerging sciences and technologies.
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Student Essay Contest

person writing essay

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department runs an annual essay contest. Students interested in submitting an essay are encouraged to do so. A panel of Philosophy Department faculty judge the essays and award prizes for first and second place.

Read the rules and submit an essay 

The Philosophy department wishes to thank Peleg Amzalag, Dr. Christine Aguilar, Kathryn Bremer-Bauman, Prof. Linda Bomstad, Mr. John Conte, Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Delay, Ms. Kendra French, Linda Halisky, Mike Mancini, Joshua Peterson, Mr. Marcus Sandoval, Mr. Nicholas Shantar, Edward Taylor, and Miles Wallace for their generous support of the Student Essay Contest.

Winners of the Essay Contest

  • 2023: Garrett McAvoy, "Unhappy Consciousness, The End of History, and Social Media;" Second Prize: Jacklyn Beatty, "A Response To Tracing"
  • 2022: Samantha Lannan, "The Prejudice of Reductionism;" Second Prize: Lydia Rosenthal, "Kant: The Failure and Promise of A Priori Knowledge"
  • 2021: Mat Salud, "From Thing in Itself to Will to Power: The Nature of the World in Kant and Nietzche;" Second Prize: Luca Simplicio, "Nothing About Us Without Us"
  • 2020: Cory Ellis, "Experience at the Speed of Time;" Second Prize: Angelica Lakatos, "The Semantics of Sexism"
  • 2018: Will Trammell, "Interdependence in Hegel's Lordship and Bondage;" Second Prize: Armando Ruiz, "Rethinking Robert Nozick's Entitlement Theory with Systematic Injustices"
  • 2017: Tristan Noack, "Architectural Modernism and Schopenhauer's Philosophy of Architecture;" Second Prize: Ryan Livigni, "Kant and the Sublime in Music"
  • 2016: Lorenzo Nericcio, "A Kantian Defense of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction;"  Second Prize Tie: Caleb Gotthardt, "Being and Goodness" and Regina Hurley, "A Kantian Account of Ugliness"
  • 2015: Tristan Noack, "Kant’s Transcendental Ideas;" Second Prize: Austin Due, "The Problem of Desire in Peter van Iwagen’s The Problem of Evil”
  • 2014: Jordan Rowley, "Trouble for Trope Theory: How Mathematical Intuition Challenges the Ontology of Tropes"
  • 2013: Jordan Rowley, "The Overlooked Merit of Berkeley's Criticism of the Leibnizian Calculus"
  • 2012: (tie) Alison Bode, "Nietzsche's Misogyny and the Order of Rank" and Jeffrey Traughber, "Kant's Transcendental Schematism as Answer to Berkeley and Hume"
  • 2011: no winner
  • 2010: Anna Flaherty, "A Priori Knowledge and Justification"
  • 2010: Nathan Wood (Rigo Peña Scholarship winner), "Problems with Power in Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding"
  • 2009: Steven DeLay, "Investigating Conscious Experience from the First Person Perspective"
  • 2008: Brandon Clark, "Freedom, Moral Responsibility...Internal Consistency? Kant's Account of Free Will and the Phenomena-Noumena Distinction"
  • 2007: Brian Bushman

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