The Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience allows students to conduct research with College faculty and present their findings at professional conferences.
For information on internships and other opportunities contact Professor Anna Lannstrom, Chair of the Philosophy Department.
Brian Switzer '13
Philosophy major Brian Switzer ’13, spent a summer working with Constantinos Mekios, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, on “The Aristotelian Final Cause and Potential Relevance of Teleological Explanations for Modern Biology: A Comparative Study.”
“The SURE program has allowed me to do research in Philosophy that is generally unavailable to undergraduate students,” said Switzer, “particularly research in more contemporary Philosophy, since we generally study Philosophy as a historical development. The program has also allowed me the chance to work one-on-one with a great professor.”
In his project, Switzer studied Aristotle’s account of teleology by tracing the references to this concept in three of his works, with an emphasis on identifying and analyzing the sections of these texts that do not only help the reader understand the general role of final causes in Aristotelian philosophy but which are also relevant to biological considerations.
From such considerations, the focus of the project then shifted to the task of addressing the question regarding the potential relevance of teleological explanations for modern biology. Now that their research is completed, Switzer and Mekios plan to publish the results in an undergraduate philosophical journal and attend a conference to present their findings.
Switzer, who has also done volunteer work at The Farm at Stonehill, hopes next year to continue studying Philosophy at the graduate level.
(Pictured: Philosophy major Brian Switzer ’13 delivers the produce to the Kitchen of The Table at Father Bill’s and MainSpring House. The Farm at Stonehill was started to help provide local food banks with fresh fruits and vegetables.)