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APSU philosophy major wins 1st place in regional competition

Nan Rankin, a philosophy major in her junior year at Austin Peay State University, won first place at the Second Annual Appalachian Regional Student Philosophy Colloquium.

The colloquium took place April 3-4 at Eastern Tennessee State University. Rankin won first place for best undergraduate paper for her essay, titled "A Substantive Revision to Firth's Ideal Observer Theory."
Nan Rankin, a philosophy major in her junior year at Austin Peay State University, won first place at the Second Annual Appalachian Regional Student Philosophy Colloquium.

The colloquium took place April 3-4 at Eastern Tennessee State University. Rankin won first place for best undergraduate paper for her essay, titled "A Substantive Revision to Firth's Ideal Observer Theory."

The Ideal Observer Theory is one of the main theories about the nature of morality. The theory holds that an action is morally right if an ideal observer would approve of it or recommend it. A paradox exists within the theory because the ideal observer is characterized as being dispassionate.

If the ideal observer is dispassionate and cares about nothing, then what would its reason be for choosing or recommending one course of action over another? Rankin's paper explores this problem and offers a revision of the theory that addresses the paradox.

Rankin is a native of Clarksville. She was one of six undergraduate students to participate in the colloquium.

For more information, contact the APSU Department of Philosophy and History, (931) 221-7919. -- Barry Williams