Department of Philosophy

Professor: McIntyre (Chair), McGowan, Menkiti
Associate Professor: Wearing
Assistant Professor: de Bres, Gartner, Marshall

One of the marks of philosophy, and one of its strengths, is that it identifies and examines assumptions that we make in our ordinary lives or that are made in other areas of study. Many would also accept a definition of philosophy as the attempt to answer, or at least to better understand, very basic questions about the universe and our place in it. A striking thing about these assumptions and questions is that many of us live as if we were clear about them even though we have never even asked about them. We accept one belief and dismiss another without asking what it takes for a belief to be worthy of acceptance. We decide whether an act is right or wrong without even asking what the difference is between right and wrong. A famous passage by the philosopher David Hume, written when he was about 25, expresses the impulse to philosophize: “I am uneasy to think I approve of one object, and disapprove of another; call one thing beautiful, and another deformed; decide concerning truth and falsehood, reason and folly, without knowing upon what principles I proceed.” The clarity, depth and rigor encouraged in philosophy courses are useful not only in philosophy, but also in any other area of study, and it is a major that is welcomed by graduate programs in many fields, as well as by employers and professional schools.

Philosophy Department Information

The philosophy department divides its courses and seminars into three subfields: (A) the history of philosophy: PHIL 201, PHIL 221, PHIL 222, PHIL 224, PHIL 230, PHIL 239, PHIL 300, PHIL 301, PHIL 310, PHIL 323 (when the topic is appropriate), PHIL 349 (when the topic is appropriate); (B) value theory: PHIL 106, PHIL 108, PHIL 202, PHIL 203, PHIL 204, PHIL 206, PHIL 210 [2010-11], PHIL 211, PHIL 212, PHIL 213, PHIL 233, PHIL 235, PHIL 236, PHIL 246, PHIL 249, PHIL 310, PHIL 323 (when the topic is appropriate), PHIL 326, PHIL 340, PHIL 342, PHIL 349 (when the topic is appropriate); (C) metaphysics and theory of knowledge: PHIL 103, PHIL 109, PHIL 207, PHIL 208, PHIL 209 [2010-11], PHIL 211, PHIL 215, PHIL 216, PHIL 217, PHIL 218, PHIL 233, PHIL 239, PHIL 243, PHIL 245, PHIL 300 (when the topic is appropriate), PHIL 301, PHIL 313, PHIL 317, PHIL 323 (when the topic is appropriate), PHIL 325, PHIL 345, PHIL 349 (when the topic is appropriate).




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