Philosophy, the love of wisdom and learning, is basic to any balanced education.
To study philosophy is to seek truth without compromise. Philosophers ask deep and important questions about a wide variety of topics, and seek answers to those questions in community with colleagues. Philosophical investigation involves the careful and critical examination of facts, thoroughgoing inquiry into the reasons we have for what we think, and careful attention to how we think, both as individuals and in groups.
The academic benefits of philosophy are sharpened critical and analytical thinking skills, enhanced imaginative capacity, and heightened intellectual discipline. Personal benefits of philosophical study include a more open mind, an enhanced sense of the moral worth of oneself and others, and greater facility in careful thinking about problems whose difficulty mirrors that of real life problems.
Philosophy leads you to make competent judgments, form sound opinions and develop a coherent view of the world and of your place in it. The philosophical skill set includes clear and critical thinking, logical analysis, careful attention to language, and creative problem solving. Thus philosophy makes an excellent foundation for interdisciplinary studies.
The Philosophy program supports the general education objectives of the college and of academic majors in a wide variety of disciplines by offering courses that enable students to cultivate and sharpen their critical thinking abilities, their analytical abilities, and their abilities to assess and to make informed evaluative judgments. Students who desire to develop these abilities beyond their initial philosophy class are encouraged to enroll in the Philosophy Minor program. Students who wish to specialize in these skills, or who simply find enjoyment in the intellectual challenge that philosophy presents are encouraged to consider majoring in philosophy.
The Philosophy program offers courses that cover a wide range of topics, including courses in the history of philosophy, courses in logic and critical thinking, courses in the study of normative ethics and political theory, and courses devoted to the application of philosophical tools and concepts to concrete social problems. Additionally, the department also encourages and supports students who wish to pursue a philosophical study of particular interests by offering directed readings and independent study opportunities.
Philosophy provides an excellent foundation for any profession. This is because the study of philosophy enhances one’s analytical abilities, one’s intellectual independence, one’s ability to openly and honestly engage the ideas of others, one’s abilities to write and to think critically and carefully about complex problems that defy easy solution, and one’s abilities to express oneself with clarity and precision. All of these are among those abilities most generally desired by employers of all types. Those who study philosophy find themselves very well prepared to excel and to become leaders in whatever profession they might choose. Though the study of philosophy is of general benefit no matter what one’s calling, it is particularly beneficial to those considering careers in education, business, the health professions, journalism, law, public policy, religion, and the human services.