A Major in Philosophy is not primarily a vocational or technical program, as concentrations in business or engineering might be. Instead, it offers a wide range of opportunities for intellectual growth and self-development to students with a variety of interests. For those seeking an understanding of themselves, our cultural heritage, and the important issues concerning life, knowledge, and values, a Philosophy Major can serve as the core of a strong liberal education.
The requirements for the Major provide flexibility allowing students to tailor their course of study. A well-designed program is appropriate not only for students whose primary interest is the study of philosophy, but for various pre-professional students (for example, those planning on law school or medical school). Philosophy is also very popular as a second Major, because philosophical study tends to reinforce a deep understanding of the issues of interest to other disciplines. Among the many other disciplines about which we offer courses are Asian studies, biology, business and professional ethics, cognitive science, environmental studies, feminist theory, history, linguistics, literature, mathematical logic, medical ethics, physics, political theory, psychology, and social science.
The Undergraduate Advisors are available by appointment to meet with students to discuss their academic programs. These advisors can discuss the various ways in which students may wish to tailor their course of study so as to enhance their individual goals. Regardless of how one's individual course of study is tailored, completion of our program in Philosophy will provide a broad based understanding of the central problems and positions in philosophy, in each of the central areas of philosophy, including ethics and value theory, metaphysics and epistemology, the history of philosophy, and logic and formal methods.
There are currently 18 full time faculty members in the Department. The Philosophy faculty offers a variety of areas of specialization and expertise in the field.