This program presents Philosophy as an integral life activity growing out of a deep and passionate concern with life and its meaning. In its academic mode, Philosophy has been noted for cultivating those dispositions and aptitudes requisite for critical thinking and sound judgment. In this function it provides the strongest preparation for rational living.
The traumatic changes that mark our age and affect all people involve philosophical issues. Among the more compelling are questions of freedom, justice, personal authenticity, and morality. The Philosophy program prepares students to enter as intelligent participants in contemporary discussions about such issues. It does so through a series of historical and systematic courses that explore the conceptual foundations of our tradition and engage students in great debates about the ultimate questions of existence that perennially confront those who would live examined lives. By critically assessing foundational concepts and systematically evaluating philosophical arguments students acquire that mental freedom and develop those thinking skills that enable them to be intellectually responsible agents in directing their own lives and contributing to the life of society.
Our department is small, and the atmosphere is friendly. We enjoy what we do and our students receive quality advising and close personal attention. Quite often the discussions begun in class continue on down the hall with other faculty and students joining in the debate. We are careful to cultivate and maintain this casual environment of open discussion and we are quite proud of it. While each of us has different interests and specializations, what draws us together as a department is the fun we have exploring new ideas, and sharing this pleasure with our students.