David P. Hunt, Chair
Philosophy is the study of thinking clearly about ideas. It does not normally lead to any one career in particular, but prepares you for any job where ideas are important. Philosophy deals with everyday problems: Should I go into teaching, law, or business? Should I be a Democrat, a Republican, something else, or nothing? These practical questions prompt major philosophical concerns: Who am I? What is important? What is real?
The study of philosophy brings many benefits. It stimulates self-examination (“The unexamined life,” Socrates said, “is not worth living.”); it provides insights into various cultures, including your own; it explores the inter-connectedness of different kinds of knowledge; it encourages clear thinking; and it offers a view of the big picture that is helpful in all aspects of life.
The department offers two programs in philosophy. The traditional major and minor introduce students to classical philosophical issues while fostering critical skills. The program in applied philosophy offers a solid grounding in philosophy together with a concentration in another discipline, allowing students to use their philosophical training to develop a deeper appreciation of the foundations, controversies, and larger significance of an area of interest outside philosophy.