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 disciplines.

Philosophy Major

The discipline of philosophy provides you not only with an 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 student's 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 pre- graduate 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.

Philosophy Minor

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 interests.

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 today's 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.

Career Outlook

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 Ethics-CAPE

CAPE provides the university and professional communitiies with resources 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 communication 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.