Jessica Knapp

Portrait of Jessica Knapp with a view of a village in the background

Jessica Knapp
  • Philosophy

Class of: 2015

B.A. Philosophy 2015

I graduated in Fall 2015 with a degree in philosophy. My philosophy thesis was entitled,An Investigation of the Self as relational and the propensity for evil produced from indifference towards human relationships. Provoked by Albert Camus’ The Stranger, this thesis explores the connection between evil and indifference towards human relationships. Relying heavily on Hannah Arendt and Simone De Beauvoir, I offer an understanding of the self as relational and then explore how an indifference towards human relationships leads to a higher propensity for evil.

For my last semester at Carroll, I had the wonderful opportunity to study in Siena, Italy. Since graduation, I have returned to Siena to continue learning the language and culture that I have just begun to grasp and am living with a wonderful host family.

For the future, I plan on pursuing a career as a Foreign Service Officer, specifically working in public diplomacy.

Why did I choose philosophy?

To be honest, Carroll College wasn’t my first choice for college and philosophy was not my first choice for a major. However, I would not change any of the decisions that I have made. I am greatly indebted to Carroll College and the philosophy department for the holistic education it has provided for me.

I have already found immense value in my degree in philosophy. In general, a degree in philosophy can provide a student with a deep understanding of the complexities of ideas in the world we live in. I truly believe that someone who studies philosophy will learn to think critically, argue logically, and communicate effectively. These skills are so important, especially in today’s world. Philosophy is a way to approach the seemingly unanswerable questions to our lives.

My advice for future students of philosophy is to always understand what a philosopher is saying and why that philosopher is saying it. Then translate that skill to all you encounter for the rest of your life. This is a difficult task, and even more so if you disagree with the person you are in dialogue with. However, you will find that when you understand what someone is saying and why someone is saying it, you can address what has been said keeping in mind the motive of the person. This leads to an authentic and even productive philosophical discussion of any topic.