Philosophy Senior Literature Review

Pomona Philosophy majors are required to take Philosophy 190 in the fall of their senior year during which they produce a literature review (25 pages or more) on a philosophical topic of their own choosing (in consultation with a Faculty Reader). The literature review gives students latitude that they may not have had in their previous coursework. It is very helpful, but not required, if the student chooses a topic that was touched on in a previously taken course.

The literature review summarizes and evaluates the key scholarly literature on the chosen topic. It should identify what the major ideas in the literature are, how they are related to one another, and the chief strengths and weaknesses of those ideas.

Philosophy 190 is run by a Faculty Instructor who organizes the weekly meetings. Because the Faculty Instructor may have no expertise in the student’s chosen area, each student selects a Faculty Reader with whom to work. The Faculty Reader must be a member of one of the five Claremont Colleges (5C) Philosophy departments. The student must choose a topic for which a 5C philosopher is willing to be a reader.

Philosophy 190 satisfies the philosophy senior exercise requirement. The literature review can serve as an excellent basis for the optional senior thesis. 

For more details, contact the Chair of the Philosophy Department.