About the Department

Ancient Greek philosopher bust in stone.

The Philosophy Department provides opportunities to explore diverse philosophic points of view, to develop abilities to reflect critically and constructively on a wide variety of important questions, and to cultivate abilities to communicate well through constructive engagement with others’ ideas and ways of thinking. Students are encouraged to develop their own intelligence and capacities for careful thought in addressing texts and topics both historical and contemporary.

Study in philosophy engages questions about how one should live, our place in the universe, the nature of thought, and ways of knowing. Philosophic inquiry involves carefully structured, thoughtful engagement with others and with texts. Courses are designed to enhance students’ abilities to pursue informed, adequate responses to philosophic questions about various topics of both historical and contemporary concern.

The Philosophy curriculum provides a major and minor for students interested in a variety of careers who seek the breadth, depth, and reasoned rigor of philosophic thinking. The Department offers for all students introductory courses to explore the character of Philosophy, and complements studies in other fields such as law, medicine, politics, science, religion, art, and education. Students in Philosophy successfully have pursued further graduate study in various fields, have entered the world of work in many kinds of organizations, and have addressed social issues through law and other means.