The term philosophy means the love of wisdom; the discipline is one which
addresses the most basic problems confronting human beings. Issues such
as the meaning of life, the possibility of human freedom, the existence
of God, and the nature of knowledge constitute the heart of philosophical
endeavor. Majors deal with questions and assumptions that underlie other
The discipline of philosophy provides you not only with a historical understanding
of human culture, but also with training in the art of thinking. Philosophy
leads students to develop the ability to comprehend, analyze, and reason
about abstract ideas, and this ability carries over to everyday life and
future careers. Philosophy majors do very well in admission to law and
medical schools. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the study of philosophy
can have a considerable impact on the students personal life. Socrates
stated that a sense of wonder marks the philosopher, and becoming a philosophy
major may help students develop just such a sense in their own lives. There
are two options in the philosophy major: a general option, and a pregraduate
school option, designed for students who pursue graduate studies. There
is also a Philosophy and Law Advisory Pattern designed for students majoring
in philosophy who wish to attend law school after the baccalaureate and
a Certificate in Critical Thinking.
Honors in Philosophy
The philosophy department offers its outstanding students the opportunity
to prepare and write a thesis on a topic germane to their interests. An
adviser is available to explain the details of Honors in Philosophy.
A minor in philosophy can deepen your appreciation of the history of human
culture, improve your reasoning and analytic skills, and provide you the
opportunity to address fundamental issues of human concern. The minor is
relatively unstructured to allow you, in consultation with the department
adviser, to select courses that complement your major and fit your personal
Minor in Ethics
Many students enter professions in business, health care, government, teaching,
and law where they will be required to make decisions that involve ethical
issues. Most professional organizations have recognized the importance
of ethics to professional practice in todays diverse and complex world.
No longer can employees expect simply to do their required tasks, follow
the rules, and thereby avoid all difficult ethical decision-making. Students
who take the proposed Minor in Ethics will be better prepared to acquire
and perform the kinds of job the modern world has to offer.
Students of philosophy obtain an excellent foundation for such careers
as teaching, medicine, counseling, law, business, and government. Philosophical
training provides background for any position that requires the ability
to think and plan systematically and clearly, since it teaches one to think
critically, make clear distinctions, and to consider problems from various
points of view. Philosophy majors find themselves eligible for many business
or government occupations not customarily associated with philosophy. Since
philosophy benefits any person who must consider problems in the abstract
and then reason correctly about them, it is a basis for advanced study
in nearly any graduate or professional program.
The Center for Applied and Professional EthicsCAPE
CAPE provides the university and professional communitiies with resoureces
for the study of morality and applied social and professional ethics. CAPE
also provides public forums where important and controversial issues can
be discussed and debated.
Certificate in Teaching Critical Thinking
The primary objective of the certificate is the development of expertise
in the commuincation of critical thinking techniques. The certificate is
designed to enhance employment opportunities and strengthen graduate school
applications. Skill in critical thinking helps people make more reliable
decisions and moblize field-specific knowledge they already possess.