Purpose and Focus
Most disciplines have their origins in philosophy, and philosophy still underlies them all. Nevertheless, certain questions are enduringly philosophical — peculiarly fundamental questions concerning the ultimate nature of values, knowledge, and reality. Philosophy thus investigates general topics of human interest: morality and the good life, law and the political life, God and the sacred, good and bad reasoning, evidence and discovery, art and the beautiful. Studying philosophy requires learning how to listen and how to discuss; it involves sifting through ideas and articulating thoughts in ways that others can follow. It is little wonder, therefore, that not only is a degree in philosophy valuable in itself, but it is also widely recognized as an excellent preparation for careers in academics, law, medicine, and even business.
One primary objective of a philosophical education is to instill an appreciation for Socrates’ adage, “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” Other objectives of our particular program are:
- To acquire facility in the theory and practice of argumentation, reasoning, and critical thinking;
- To enhance abilities to speak and write;
- To be able to appreciate, interpret, and evaluate the classics of Western philosophy from antiquity to the present;
- To be knowledgeable about the central problems in the main branches of philosophical theory, such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of science;
- To be prepared for graduate study in philosophy or another academic field;
- To have a basis for going to law school, medical school, divinity school, or another professional school.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
All philosophy majors must achieve a 2.70 GPA in philosophy courses. All philosophy minors must achieve a 2.50 GPA in philosophy courses.
For academic advising, students should contact the College of Liberal Arts Wilson Advising Center. Majors and minors are assigned or may select a faculty advisor who should be consulted for more specialized academic advising.