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 Philosophy program prepares students to enter as intelligent participants in contemporary discussions about issues of freedom, justice, personal authenticity, and morality. 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.
A Philosophy major is a thoroughly practical major for a changing world because it allows you to develop the ability to take new perspectives, to think within a variety of frameworks, and to challenge assumptions that often go unquestioned. Philosophy majors are thus well-equipped to face a changing set of career demands and challenges.
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.
"The Philosophy Department at Misericordia is almost a hidden gem that I was fortunate enough to discover during my sophomore year.
The faculty in the philosophy department were not only there to meet me with incredible support, but what’s more is that it was authentic.
The opportunity I was given to discover my potential, to be myself, and to be met with nothing but support was, I think, a uniquely Misericordia experience.
~ Michael Dubinski '18
"The one-on-one communication with the philosophy department faculty that was always so readily available to me not only allowed me to excel in my classes, but encouraged me to explore and discuss philosophical topics that interested me and aligned with my studies in the biological sciences.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy has prepared me for earning my second undergraduate degree in only one additional year, and most importantly, it has provided me with a solid foundation to further my education in the graduate studies of philosophy of science and bioethics."
~ Bethany Flanders ’16
Minors: Biology, Ethics
"The professors in the philosophy department are knowledgeable and passionate, dedicated to bringing philosophy into the community, and invested in the students’ success. The philosophy department is willing to work with other departments to allow students to double major, encouraging a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately benefits the students. As a double major in philosophy and mathematics, I was able to witness this firsthand. Students from other fields bring different perspectives to philosophical discussions while those majoring in philosophy are able to bring crucial skills, like being able to break down complex problems, to their respective areas.
During my time at MU, I was able to excel in my classes, but more importantly I had the chance to help start Blades of Athena, join Phi Sigma Tau, and make friends. The conversation is always open to everyone, giving people the opportunity and support to learn and express their own opinions. The philosophy department makes that possible.
The experiences, skills, and knowledge I learned at MU were the stepping stone for me to pursue philosophy further, in which now I am a graduate student in the PhD program at SUNY Buffalo."
~ Angela Menditto ’14
B.A. Philosophy and Mathematics
"Trying to summarize what I loved best about the studying Philosophy at Misericorida is really hard. The teachers are really what made the experience and set our department apart from other schools. I still keep in regular contact with all of them, and visit whenever I can.
Furthermore, we created a student organization called the Blades of Athena, with the goal of applying philosophy to real life. Philosophy as a whole is often critiqued for being too ivory tower, or too apart from the reality of daily life. The Blades is all about bringing the best things about philosophy to people in their everyday lives.
As far as preparing for my future, I went on to study law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. I am focused on international law and in the international law arena it is vital to know and understand philosophy.~ Jason Reeves ’13
"Being a philosophy major has fundamentally transformed my life for what I believe to be the better. I always wonder how many people can say their college major impacted them in such a powerful way. Of course part of this impact is due to the incredible faculty that work to teach these philosophic concepts to students, but a large part of this is the nature of philosophy itself.
Philosophy provides a passion for learning that does not limit your future, but on the contrary exponentially expands it. With a passion for learning, an individual can excel at any career or life path they choose to put their mind to. I would encourage any incoming college students to consider philosophy as a major, and learn to put themselves in control of their future."
~ Jacob Schweiger ’16
"I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to critically examine my beliefs about morality, justice, and the meaning of life during my undergraduate studies at Misericordia under the patient, knowledgeable and friendly guidance of Drs. Mark Painter and Matt Swanson.
My minor in philosophy enhanced my critical thinking skills – skills I use every day as a physical therapist. Furthermore, the numerous engaging and challenging (but always friendly!) debates between myself and my Misericordia philosophy peers and professors instilled in me a deep love of the Socratic method. It was this passion for knowledge and lifelong learning that inspired me to pursue a PhD in physiology and enter academia.
I owe the Philosophy Department at Misericordia University a huge debt of gratitude and will always be grateful for the opportunity to study with such a talented group of faculty."
~ Andrew T. Yannaccone, PT, PhD (’02)
Assistant Professor of Instruction in Physical Therapy