Department of Philosophy and Religion


Student Activities

The department is proud to offer interested students a number of unique and exciting opportunities to extend their education beyond the classroom. The exact activities vary from year to year - for example, a group of students in a class may propose attending an undergraduate conference to present their papers, as happened in 2004 when students from the Asian Philosophy seminar traveled to the Southeastern Asian Studies conference. The list, however, always includes:

The National Ethics Bowl: Held each year in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE), the National Ethics Bowl is inspired by TV's College Bowl. In the Ethics Bowl, up to 40 teams from schools across the nation prepare for debate on a set of 13 ethical case studies. The cases present ethical dilemmas in a variety of areas, the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), to  personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), and social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.) The cases for each round are randomly selected and then a moderator poses a specific question for the team to answer about that case. A panel of expert judges evaluates the answers for clarity and intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant factors, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness. Funding for travel and expenses is provided by the Department of Philosophy & Religion and the Rutland Institute for Ethics. Clemson's team has done well in recent years, making it to the semifinals in 2004, placing third nationally in 2005, and winning the national championship in 2008. For more information, contact the coach, Charlie Starkey

If you would like to propose an activity or need information about anything not discussed here, please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator, Kelly Smith.

Student Organizations

Clemson has an extremely active body of undergraduates interested in extracurricular Philosophy and Religion activities. In fact, interest has grown so rapidly that the department now has an undergraduate coordinator, Kelly Smith, whose job it is to oversee and facilitate all student activities. What's really important about this fact is that the department has allocated a small budget which can be used to facilitate said undergraduate activities. At the moment, this includes:  

  1. Free snacks and beverages at the meetings of The Philosophical Society of Clemson (the Clemson student philosophy club). 
  2. Occasional distributions of free club T-shirts and paraphernalia.
  3. Coordinating occasional trips by students to undergraduate conferences, such as the National Undergraduate Bioethics conference discussed above.