Department Chair: Associate Professor Steven Coutinho
Associate Professors: Doviak, Morgan, Robinson
Philosophy aims at a comprehensive and coherent view of the world by critically examining our most basic beliefs about the nature of reality, knowledge, persons, and values. It involves scrutiny of the concepts that define who we are and give direction to our lives as well as exploration of the assumptions and methodologies fundamental to other disciplines. The student of philosophy develops skills in clarifying concepts, analyzing arguments, and assessing positions. The understanding and skills gained through the study of philosophy are valuable to all individuals and are highly prized by every profession, including law, medicine, government, and business. For those primarily interested in political philosophy, an interdisciplinary Philosophy/Political Thought major is available (see Philosophy/Political Thought, A.B. ). For those primarily interested in science and medicine, there is an elective concentration in The Philosophy of Science and Medicine. For those primarily interested in law and morality, there is an elective concentration in Ethics, Law, and Justice.
Philosophy course offerings are classified under several categories: Introductory, Logic, History of Philosophy, Asian Philosophies, Ethics and Social Theory, Contemporary Areas and Movements, Seminars, and Individualized Instruction. The Introductory courses provide a broad-based exposure to issues that have stimulated philosophical inquiry. Logic courses furnish the student with the reasoning skills necessary to critically analyze and logically formulate arguments. Courses in the History of Philosophy examine the ideas that have helped to shape the course of Western civilization. Asian Philosophies courses include both surveys and in-depth study of philosophical views originating in China, India, and Japan. Courses in Ethics and Social Theory include theoretical approaches and applied issues in moral, social, and political philosophy. Contemporary Areas and Movements courses include those covering major philosophical fields and post-nineteenth century philosophy. CUE Seminar courses are offered once or twice yearly; Individualized Instruction includes independent study and internship opportunities.
An honors program is available to qualified students. To be considered for acceptance into the honors program students must have a grade point average of 3.30 or better in courses counting toward the major. Students wishing to complete honors work in Philosophy should declare their interest in writing to the department chair before the end of the spring semester of the junior year. Requirements for departmental honors in Philosophy include writing a substantial paper and defending it orally. If the completed project does not meet the standards for honors, the student will still receive credit for the semester with a grade determined by the professor.
Courses in philosophy are numbered as follows:
100 through 199 - open to all students; designed as a first philosophy course
200 through 299 - normally open only to students beyond the first year of college
300 through 399 - previous course work in philosophy required
Students are strongly advised to complete several courses at the 200-level before taking any 300-level course or Seminar.
CoursesPhilosophy Introductory CoursesLogicHistory of PhilosophyContemporary Areas and MovementsAsian PhilosophiesEthics and Social TheoryCUE SeminarIndividualized Instruction