The pursuit of philosophy contributes to understanding ourselves and the world around us in at least three different ways. First, it affords an opportunity to acquire an appreciation of the Western intellectual tradition (through the exploration of classical, medieval, and modern thought). Pursuing this opportunity will give students specific content knowledge about the various historical periods of Western philosophy and Western culture in general, and about contemporary philosophical thought. Second, it provides the symbolic methods necessary for investigating principles of reasoning and patterns of argument (through an analysis of the relationship between language, logic, and the world). Pursuing this opportunity will develop competencies in critical thinking. Third, it stimulates an appreciation of human values and interpersonal relations (through the consideration of alternative conceptions of ethical, social, and political values). Such study is critical for communication with others, particularly those who may not share one’s own worldview. The study of philosophy, therefore, should contribute toward the development of each student's analytical problem-solving capability and general ability to deal effectively with issues involving human values. With its concentration on analysis, clarity, and argument, the study of philosophy is particularly well suited for the development of critical thinking. Almost all philosophy courses address spoken and written communication through class discussion and written assignments.
Courses offered in philosophy include: Introduction to Philosophy, Aesthetics and the Arts, The Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, Free Will and Determinism, Medieval Philosophy, Symbolic Logic, Ethical Theory, Epistemology, The Philosophy of Language, Classical Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Contemporary Linguistic Philosophy, Kant, Hegel, Carnap and Quine, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Whitehead, Merleau-Ponty, Kierkegaard, Foucault, and others.
For program requirements, click here for the General Catalog.
Academic Learning Compacts