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Trinity University philosophy students have many opportunities for work outside the classroom. Students may participate in the student-led Philosophy Club, apply for membership in the international philosophy honor society, and submit work to the Hemlock Award, a competition for the best student philosophical essay—to name a few.
Faculty encourage students to attend philosophy conferences and submit their work to reputable undergraduate journals. Undergraduate philosophy conferences provide opportunities for students to engage with philosophy students and faculty from other universities. Funding is available for students to travel to conferences to present their work.
Office of Experiential Learning
Undergraduate research is central to Trinity University's values. The Office of Experiential Learning provides a place for students to gain information about internships, community service and service-learning opportunities, beyond the classroom course projects, and undergraduate research opportunities.
Today, cross-cultural understanding is as much a practical necessity as an educational standard. Study abroad is an embodiment of the liberal arts ideals and a sign of the initiative and breadth often looked for by employers.
Philosophy majors regularly study abroad in locations all over the world.
Philosophy for Children
In a unique service-learning class, students learn the theory and practice of teaching philosophy to children. Students study educational theory and develop lesson plans appropriate for children, then they visit a local public school to meet with small groups of children and lead philosophical discussions.
Discuss Philosophy in Community Settings
Trinity students have the opportunity to take part in philosophical discussions outside the Trinity classroom. One program takes students to a local prison to discuss philosophy, trade ideas, and build a community of inquiry with incarcerated participants.
Contact the department for more information about these activities.
The student-led Philosophy Club is open to all Trinity students and meets regularly to hold discussions and socialize with other students interested in philosophy. Students choose the discussion topics and regularly invite philosophy faculty to contribute at meetings.
Lecture Series and Events
Stieren Arts Enrichment Series
The annual Stieren Arts Enrichment Series hosts an array of artistic talent, but also features an internationally recognized philosopher of the arts each year, in recognition of the fact that the arts must be not just passively enjoyed, but actively appreciated. The series is made possible through an endowment created by Jane and the late Arthur Stieren of San Antonio.
The Philosophy Department regularly hosts internationally renowned philosophers, providing students with opportunities to learn and discuss ideas with some of the same philosophers whose works they are likely to be studying in class. These visits are often organized in collaboration with other departments and campus groups, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of philosophy.
The Philosophy Department also hosts a range of social events throughout the year, including holiday receptions, an end-of-year picnic, and meals with graduating majors.
Stay up to date with news and events for the department.
Student Awards and Recognition
Annual Hemlock Award for Best Philosophical Essay
Each year, the Philosophy faculty recognize outstanding philosophical work by awarding the Hemlock Prize to the best philosophical essay submitted by a student. The Philosophy Department developed the award in honor of former colleague, John Murphy.
Essay submissions are customarily selected by department members from student essays received in class. However, the contest is open to any Trinity student who wishes to submit a philosophical essay.
To be considered, the Department of Philosophy must receive your essay by the date specified early in the spring term. The winner(s) will be announced at the annual Honors Awards Convocation held during Spring Family Weekend.
Please contact the Department of Philosophy (Ext. 8305) if you have further questions. We encourage you to enter this contest, and look forward to receiving your essay.
Aidan Carr '22
“Sexual Appreciation vs Sexual Desire"
Olivia Bowen '24
"Haslanger’s Answer to the Metaphysical Problem of Race"
"The Identity Illusion"
"Was Baruch Spinoza a Monist? The Debate Between Edwin Curley and Jonathan Bennett"
1st Place - Carlos Coronado
"Heraclitus’ Doctrine of Change & its Two Aspects: Material Instances and the Process of Change"
2nd Place - Mary Herring
"Rationality, Desire, and the Good Life: The Role of Rationality in Aristotelian Psychology and Ethics"
1st Place - Daniel Conrad
"The Compatibility of Artworks and Games"
2nd Place - Katie Jones
"Marx and Justice"
Le Quyen Pham
“Ways the World Could Have Been”
“Defending the Humean Supervenience Thesis of Laws of Nature”
1st Place - Mason Stark
"Fiction and Knowledge: Can We Learn From Literature"
2nd Place - Sam Taylor
"A Revolution in Art: DJs and Dancers in Electronic Dance Music"