Students are introduced to philosophy through a study of logic or through a course in which substantive problems are raised by an examination of selected writings of some important philosophers.

Students may continue their study through a variety of courses in the history of philosophy, in the systematic study of traditional problem areas within philosophy, and in the philosophical examination of other disciplines.

  • The historical courses enable students to become familiar with the thinking of the most influential philosophers in our tradition and with the historical contexts in which they worked.
  • The systematic courses encourage students to confront contemporary statements of central philosophical questions and to investigate some of the more promising answers to them.
  • The courses engaged in the philosophical examination of other areas encourage students to bring methods of philosophical analysis to bear on the methods and presuppositions of other areas of inquiry.

Opportunities for non-philosophy majors

Courses in philosophy develop skills in reading and thinking analytically and critically and in cogent argumentation. In addition, they provide students with invaluable insights into many of the major intellectual issues confronting Western civilization.

Many students find that such work in two or three philosophy courses significantly enhances the intellectual quality of their efforts in their own fields. We urge students to discuss the matter with any member of the philosophy department and with their own major advisors.

Philosophy department faculty members will gladly discuss with majors and potential majors the specific ways in which their work can best prepare them for careers in academe, business, government, law, and medicine, among others.

Note that, with the consent of the instructor, students may take an intermediate course in philosophy without having taken an introductory course. (Intermediate courses are numbered 200 through 440. Courses numbered above 440 are advanced courses.)

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