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Philosophy Students Participate in Prestigious Events

Philosophy statue

April 22, 2019

Three University of Northern Colorado philosophy students were chosen to participate in competitive events earlier in April as well as a future event in the summer.

Senior Flor Mendoza and junior Vanessa Salazar presented papers at the fourth annual Undergraduate Women’s Philosophy Conference this month at Metro State University of Denver. This conference is competitive and has a 25% acceptance rate of students who applied.

  • Flor MendozaMendoza’s paper, titled “Philosophy Through the Guilty Silence,” discusses the educational aspect of philosophy and examines why people of color and women tend not to feel included when classes are silent about ways in which philosophers fail to live up to their own ideas.

  • Vanessa SalazarSalazar’s paper titled, “Counterpart Theory and its Implication on Free Will,” is based on Philosopher David Lewis’s rules for counterpart theory. According to the theory, any possibility that could have occurred, such as a career change or different love interest, exists in an alternate world. Salazar, who has spent much time researching the idea of free will, discusses how free will cannot be present if counterpart theory is true.    


Junior Nate Evans is participating in the prestigious and highly selective Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy with all expenses paid. This competitive program allows students to gain experience with new approaches to philosophy while working with philosophy teachers and a diverse set of students.

“This is going to foster a lot of intrinsic value for me especially as I get ready to apply for grad school, and the content area applies nicely with my specific interest,” said Evans.

The program is two weeks, and students will take three courses on gender- and race-based violence, philosophical methodology and existentialism — a philosophical approach that emphasizes the existence of a person as a free and responsible agent who determines their own growth through acts of their own will.

“We have worked hard to make sure that students can connect their philosophical education with choices after college, which is why we look for opportunities like the summer program and MSUD conference,” said Nancy Matchett, Ph.D., UNC Philosophy chair and professor.

The three students involved in these opportunities express gratitude towards philosophy faculty who helped them in, not only these experiences, but also in better understanding their points-of-view beyond UNC.


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