The Philosophy program through its emphasis on critique (its role as a Socratic gadfly) and on the examination of the fundamental issues of human life, meaning and action, links the arts, the sciences, and the humanities. It occupies an integral and essential place in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the University. The Philosophy program illustrates through specific courses how philosophical ideas have influenced other disciplines and how it has been illuminated by the intellectual visions expressed through those disciplines. Serious contact with the discipline of philosophy sharpens critical thinking, clarifies values, and helps to produce articulate, intellectually prepared, and adaptable individuals ready to lead contemporary society in a socially responsible manner.
The Philosophy Department has structured its course offerings so that they appeal to majors and non-majors alike: courses intersect with issues and problems treated in other disciplines, from the natural sciences through engineering to the social sciences and the other humanities. The Department especially emphasizes the interrelationships between different areas of knowledge and also between different areas of existence, both individual and social. It aims to counteract the fragmentation of knowledge that is a mark of modernity. Consequently, the Philosophy courses are designed to appeal to the broadest range of students and to continue philosophy’s traditional role as an indispensable integrator in the University curriculum.
The Department of Philosophy offers a major in Philosophy which leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The Department also offers a minor in Philosophy.