Department of Philosophy

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy

Philosophy majors address the fundamental questions by developing foundational cognitive skills. They learn to question the things most people take for granted and they learn how to go about pursuing the answers to those questions.

The great virtue of philosophy is that it teaches not what to think, but how to think. Because of this, a philosophical education is a valuable foundation for just about any career and just about any sort of life.

In unphilosophical minds any rare or unexpected thing excites wonder while in philosophical minds the familiar excites wonder also.

- George Santayana

Who Majors in Philosophy?

Philosophy is a first choice for students who want to develop an ability to think clearly and reason well, and who want to find answers to life's most important questions, such as:

  • Do people really have free will?
  • Can computers think?
  • What is an ethical life?
  • What moral obligations do I have to other people? To nonhuman animals? To the environment?
  • What does identity consist in? What makes a person the same person over time? How should we understand race, gender, and other aspects of identity?
  • Is it possible to know anything with absolute certainty?
  • Does the universe have a purpose? Does life?
  • Is there a God? Does it make a difference if there is or isn't a God?
  • What makes one's life a good life?

If you enjoy deeply engaging discussions about God, reality, ethics, politics and religion, then the philosophy major (or minor) is for you.

Hear From Students

Why did you choose to major in Philosophy at CSU, Chico?

Hear From Alumni

Philosophy alumni panel, April 20, 2022