Department of Philosophy
Philosophy questions authority, and holds that the unexamined life is not worth living. It attracts highly-intelligent, thoughtful students interested in asking serious questions about life, the world, and themselves. We teach students how to think carefully and critically about the choices offered to them in life, so that they can realize their full potential. Philosophy encourages individualism, independent thought, intellectual curiosity, and personal responsibility.
Students often ask “What can I do with a philosophy degree? What career choices are open to me?” The answers will surprise you. (For instance, did you know that philosophy majors have higher mid-career salaries than business majors?) Find out what you can do with a degree in philosophy.
Topics covered in philosophy courses:
- Ethics and the Good Life: What is happiness and how do we achieve it? What is the "good life?" Is it the pursuit of money and consumer goods, as many people in our society seem to think - or is it something greater?
- Philosophies of Love and Sex: Why is modern culture sex-obsessed - and why are so many sexually dissatisfied? Can there be true love without sex? Why is sexual orientation central to our personal identity?
- Environmental Philosophy: Do we have moral obligations to nature, and to future generations? What are the beneficial, as opposed to exploitative, uses of technology? Do animals have rights?
- Metaphysics: Can we prove that God exists? Are our actions free, or are they determined by factors beyond our control? Is the mind the same thing as the brain, or is it something far more mysterious? Is there life after death?
- Social and Political Philosophy: What does it mean to speak of a "just society?" Does justice entail equality, or are some social inequalities both necessary and beneficial? What are rights, and how do we know that we have them?
- Theory of Knowledge: Is reality a construction of our minds? Can we know how things really are, or only how they appear to us? What is truth? Is there such a thing as absolute truth, or is everything relative?
- Philosophy of Art and Beauty: What is art and why do human beings feel the need to create it? Is the nature of beauty timeless, or relative to cultures or historical periods?
Find out more about the B.A. in Philosophy. And for some more information about what sets our program apart, read the message from the Department Chair. We also invite you to visit us in person in the southeast wing of Winnick House, second floor, suite 205.
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