Honors Option

The Philosophy Department's Honors Option is designed to challenge and enrich the educational experience of outstanding Philosophy majors and, with a successful completion, recognize and honor their achievements. It is designed specifically for those students who plan to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy or other disciplines that involve the interpretation and analysis of texts, writing of clear and well-organized prose with rigorous and persuasive argumentation, and cooperative discussion. 

I. Application Process: Students must apply to be admitted. To apply, fill out the Honors Options Student Application and submit it together with a DARS report and a writing sample to the Honors Coordinator (Dr. Alex Sager, asager@pdx.edu). The writing sample should exemplify the student's ability to write clearly and rigorously, as well as show that the student understands the basics of research methods in Philosophy. There is no length requirement for the writing sample, but a 5-7 page sample is preferred.

II. Requirements to qualify for the Honors Option:

  • At least Junior Standing (90+ college credits)
  • Completion of at least 20 credits in Philosophy including at least one 400-level course
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in Philosophy courses at admission to Option
  • Writing Sample
  • Faculty Mentor

III. Requirements for receiving Departmental Honors:

  • Completion of PHL 403: Honors Thesis and PHL 485: Honors Seminar
  • Receipt of A- grade or above in both PHL 403 and PHL 485
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in all Philosophy courses at graduation
  • At least 60 credits in Philosophy 

For more information on the Honors Seminar, please refer to the FAQ or reach out to Dr. Angela Coventry (coventry@pdx.edu). Faculty specializations can be found in the 20-21 Philosophy Advising Packet.

Honors Seminar Projects


Landon Echeverio
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Cognitive Closure and Epistemic Commitment"

Jolie Gentzkow-Foster
Advisor: Maurice Hamington
"Epistemic Subjectivity and the Use of Evidence in the US Legal System"

Gabriel Huston
Advisor: Maurice Hamington
"The (In)conceivability of Reform in the Western Academy"

AJ Jinkins
Advisor: Brad Berman
"Platonic and Rawlsian Justice: A Comparison of Structural Inequality"

Sunho Kim
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Cultural Divergence and the Commonality of Morals"

Benji Mahaffey
Advisor: Tom Seppalainen
"Is Addicted Phenomenology Just Human Phenomenology?

Matthew Orenchuk
Advisor: Randy Spencer
"A Journey Toward Allyship"

Ben Siebenaler
Advisor: Brad Berman
"A Defense of White's Reading of Plato's Ethics in the Gorgias"

Cory Tollefson
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Spinozistic Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Exploring the Integration of Spinoza with ACT"


Emily Bracy
Advisor: Bryan Cwik
"Neuroimaging and Implications for Use in Criminal Cases"

Naomi Fredgant
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"The Relation Between Spinoza's Monism and Kabbalistic Monotheism"

Joshua Gramley
Advisor: Maurice Hamington
"Democracy, Disability, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act"

Chelsea Pines
Advisor: Alex Sager
"Style Appropriation and the Burden of Proof"

Oscar Szakacs
Advisor: Brian Elliott
"Marxist Historical Processes: Walter Benjamin's Theory of History"

Conrad Whitney
Advisor: Monica Mueller
"Judgment for the Actor: Arendt's View of the Spectator that Exists in All Actors"

Owen Woods
Advisor: Avram Hiller
"A Project in Conceptual Engineering: The Term "Organic"


Gabriel Huston
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Where the Fetish-Character in Music Still Persists"

Nicholas Johnson
Advisor: Alex Sager
"The Nomadic Assemblage of Occupy Wall Street: An Investigation into the Philosophical Concepts of Deleuze and Guattari Present in the Occupy Wall Street Protests"

Kainai Shade
Advisor: Alex Sager
"Examining Contradiction Interpretations in Kant's Formula of Universal Law"


Brooke Ayala
Advisor: Bryan Cwik
"Epistemic Self-Determination: Alternative Techniques to Combat Indigenous Erasure"

Naomi Ginsborg-Warren
Advisor: Brad Berman
"Substantial Unity and the Priority of Form"

Gabrijel Hammond Savic Ra
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Hume and Gandhi: Sympathy as Non-Violent Method for Social Change"

Winston Meier
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Episodic Selves, Autotelic Agents"

Sarah Paquette
Advisor: Angela Coventry
"Descartes and Memory: A Contemporary Evaluation"