- What can we know?
- What must we do?
- What can we hope for?
In order to answer these and other questions, our philosophy program examines and explores the ways in which we know (or claim to know) things. The study of philosophy takes curiosity, imagination and the ability both to “see the big picture” and to think about the big questions. In our philosophy courses, therefore, students practice their analytical skills and hone their ability to abstract clear meaning from a text.
This program serves students well for careers in law, government service and graduate school in any of the social sciences or humanities.
Featured CoursesPHIL 150 Critical Reasoning and Oral ArgumentationThe course is designed to improve the capacity for reasoning and to gain the strategies necessary for assessing the variances in messages in everyday interactions. The course also assists students to construct convincing arguments and critically evaluate the claims and premises in written and oral communication. The course fits into the larger first year curriculum by giving a set of methodological tools with which to critique complex arguments, assess the sufficiency and relevance of social scientific evidence, and prepare creative and well-reasoned arguments in a variety of written and oral communicative contexts.3 creditsPrerequisites: None PHIL 211 Ancient PhilosophyIntroduces the students to the beginning of philosophical reflection through the writings of Plato and Aristotle, paying particular attention to the problems that have engaged philosophers from the start. The primary objective of the course is to generate in the student an appreciation of why the questions philosophers perennially raise are problematic for the human being. 3 creditsGeneral Education: Values and Beliefs PHIL 237 Women and PhilosophyPresents a theoretical framework for examining the significance of gendered perspectives on history, culture, and contemporary society and examines the philosophical voice of woman in the classical, medieval, and modern accounts of human nature.3 credits PHIL 245 Ethics IIntroduces the student to social ethics and the concepts of person and community by examining the moral traditions that inform our understanding of the individual. The course traces the focus of ethics from a concern about what kind of person to be to the more modern and narrow concern in how to act in both the public and private domains, acknowledging the ways in which our cultural and historical practices help shape our vision. Formerly PHI 212 The Moral Dimension: Persons and Community.3 creditsGeneral Education Curriculum: Values and Beliefs AreaCore Area III: Ethics and Moral Reasoning PHIL 341 Moral PsychologyAddresses the relation between obligation and motivation. The traditional analysis raises two questions: What kind of answer is it appropriate to give an agent when she asks why she should do what she is obliged to do? And, how does this answer make the action psychologically possible? 3 credits
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