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Philosophy Overview

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 therefore 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 law, public policy, journalism, business, religion, the health professions, education, and the human services.

Philosophers ask deep and important questions about a wide variety of topics, ranging from the nature of justice to question of free will, to the question of whether it is possible for human beings to have knowledge of God. Not only do philosophers ask questions like these, they seek out and debate answers to them, together in dialogue with colleagues from across the disciplines. This means that philosophical investigation necessarily involves not only the history of philosophical ideas, but the careful and critical examination of relevant facts and their interconnections, highly developed argumentation skills, and the ability to engage in cooperative dialogue for the common purpose of inquiry.

The academic benefits of philosophy are sharpened critical and analytical thinking skills, enhanced imaginative capacity, greater clarity and precision in communication, and heightened intellectual discipline. Philosophical training also greatly enhances one’s ability to enter into cooperative and informed argumentation and debate with others. These make the study of philosophy a perfect complement to almost any major, and a worthwhile and rewarding field of academic study in its own right.

In addition to the academic benefits, philosophy is invaluable in providing those who study it with the cognitive tools necessary for making competent, reflective and balanced judgments. Those with philosophical training are uniquely empowered to develop a consistent and coherent view of the world and of their place in it. In addition to these the personal benefits of philosophical study also include a more open mind, an enhanced sense of the moral worth of oneself and others, greater intellectual curiosity and enjoyment, and greater facility in careful thinking about problems whose difficulty mirrors that of real life problems.

Students wishing to enroll in the Philosophy B.A. or Minor programs must be students in good academic standing at the College.

The Philosophy program at Marygrove College offers students an intellectually and methodologically diverse approach to the discipline. The department has special strengths in the history of philosophy, Continental philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, value theory, and argumentation and critical thinking.

The instructional hallmark of all philosophy courses at Marygrove College is an emphasis on all of the following: critical thinking skills, close reading, clear writing, and interactive debate about philosophical topics.

In addition to the B.A. and Minor programs, the Philosophy program supports the General Education program of the College with a number of courses (see below) that provide students with a foundation in philosophical methods that can serve them throughout their academic career. Many of the department’s courses also support the College’s Urban Leadership Mission and Vision by incorporating course materials and assignments that apply philosophical methods of analysis and inquiry in urban contexts. See the course listings for more detail.

Philosophy courses are offered throughout the week in both day and evening sections. There are no special admissions procedures for the major or the minor. Any student wishing to join the program must simply be a student in good academic standing at Marygrove College. Those interested in joining the B.A. or Minor programs in Philosophy are encouraged to contact the Program Coordinator.