Interim Dean: Brooke Bui, PhD
Academic Chair: Brittany Adams, PhD
Faculty: Roy Bauer
The student of philosophy seeks to uncover the assumptions underlying our understanding of the world and to subject those assumptions to careful scrutiny using the tools of logic. Thus, in doing philosophy, one asks such fundamental questions as, “Can I really know anything about the world?” “What is my relationship to government and to society?” “Have I a free will?” “What is the relationship between the language I use and the world?” In pursuing such questions systematically, one may approach the Socratic ideal of living the “examined life”: a life in which one attempts to arrive at those beliefs best supported by reason.
Each of the courses in the philosophy curriculum starts out with substantial instruction in reasoning skills. In the subsequent examinations of specific issues, students gradually develop their capacity to join in the examination with logical rigor. Students develop this capacity both in frequent class discussions and in writing assignments. Philosophy courses may be used to meet general education and transfer requirements in critical thinking and humanities.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the philosophy program, students will be able to
- Identify, analyze, and evaluate the epistemological assertions, metaphysical assumptions, and shared understandings that undergird particular cultural understandings as reflected in works of philosophy.
- Demonstrate willingness and ability to analyze ideas, events, and cultural texts from diverse origins.
- Demonstrate the ability to construct a critical argument synthesizing multiple perspectives and points of view.
The precision of thought and expression that philosophy requires makes excellent preparation for a variety of careers. Those who do well in philosophy can expect to think more clearly and logically and to approach problems or issues more systematically. Philosophy students are encouraged to develop a clear, precise, and direct writing style. Increasingly, the ability to write in this fashion is valued by employers.
Philosophy majors are among the most successful law students, owing to philosophy’s emphasis on analysis, argumentation, and evaluation. Analytical skills developed in philosophy are also useful in a variety of fields, such as computer programming, business, policy analysis, government, and teaching. The major also provides a sound foundation for transfer students intending upper-division study in philosophy.
ProgramsAssociate in ArtsAssociate in Arts for Transfer