Philosophy

Division of Humanities

The goal of the Philosophy Program is to teach students to think, write, and speak clearly and logically, and be able to analyze and compare values. These skills are invaluable in everyday life as well as in any occupation that demands leadership and administrative ability. The philosophy major or minor is therefore a very useful preparation for a wide variety of careers. Because philosophy deals with so many questions that overlap with other disciplines, the major or minor in philosophy also works very well when taken jointly with majors or minors in other programs.

Philosophy students read and debate the writings of great philosophers in the past as well as those of contemporary thinkers. Some typical philosophical questions are: What is the difference between believing something to be true and knowing it to be true? Are we free moral agents, or are all our actions necessitated or predetermined? What is the relation between consciousness or thought and the kinds of things that go on in a brain or computer? What makes an argument valid or a decision rational? Courses in philosophy commonly involve a good deal of class discussion and numerous small writing assignments in which students develop their ability to analyze texts, argue for a position, and write clearly.

A common sequence for a philosophy major to follow includes taking one 100-level course in the first year, PHI 210 and PHI 220 in the sophomore year, and three courses numbered 300 or above in both the junior and senior year.

Students intending to do graduate studies in philosophy are encouraged to take one or more courses beyond the basic skills level in a foreign language and in mathematics.

Faculty

Eva Cadavid (chair), Vanessa Bentley, David Hall, Andrew Roche

Student Representatives

Katie Davidson, Wyatt Receveur

Philosophy Courses

Course Descriptions