Who or what am I? What really exists? What can we know? How do we know? When should I be convinced of something? Is there really a moral right and wrong? If so, what is it? How should I live my life?
The Philosophy Program provides a focused set of courses encouraging students to grapple rationally with these and other abiding questions of human existence. Housed by the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, the program offers a minor in Philosophy and supports the General Education curriculum by regularly offering a number of courses that satisfy Humanities Knowledge requirements. Our curriculum seeks 1) to develop an appreciation and understanding of the ideas and methods of philosophy and its history; 2) to sharpen the skills of clear analytical thinking, speaking, and writing; and ultimately 3) to cultivate the habit of thinking critically about ourselves and the surrounding world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why study philosophy?
Of course, you might just be interested in philosophy for its own sake. Beyond that, philosophy’s subject matter typically overlaps with and complements a wide range of majors, including psychology, history, the political and social sciences, literature, and the arts. If you have interests in any of these areas, you’ll find that a minor in philosophy helps you to deepen your understanding.
But let’s be clear—philosophy is not just ‘head in the clouds’ stuff! Far from it. Studying philosophy helps to develop a very valuable set of reasoning and evaluative skills. These skills are transferable to a wide range of practical and professional situations. For instance, these skills are crucial for anyone interested in graduate study in the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, medicine, or business. Even more concretely, the portable reasoning skills acquired from philosophy can help you to become the sort of precise, quick-thinking, and creative employee valued by many in today’s world of business and technology.
Expected Student Outcomes
- Students will be able to recognize, analyze, and logically evaluate arguments encountered in sources ranging from philosophical and academic texts to the popular media.
- Students will be able to construct and present clear, well-reasoned defenses of theses both verbally and in writing.
- Students will be able to recognize and assess the relevance of philosophical ideas and methods in the historical interplay of philosophy and culture.
- Students will be able to apply philosophical methods to conduct ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological analyses.
How can I learn more about the minor in Philosophy?
Contact Dr. John O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org .