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Philosophy & Humanities

College of Arts & Sciences




major in thinking

The Department of Philosophy & Humanities offers both a traditional philosophy major and a philosophy major with emphasis in religious studies.  Students may pursue either a B.A. or B.S. degree. Minors are also offered in philosophy, religious studies, and humanities.

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Philosophy is quite unlike any other field. It is unique both in its methods and in the nature and breadth of its subject matter. Philosophy pursues questions in every dimension of human life, and its techniques apply to problems in any field of study or endeavor. No brief definition expresses the richness and variety of philosophy. It may be described in many ways. It is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for understanding, a study of principles of conduct. It seeks to establish standards of evidence, to provide rational methods of resolving conflicts, and to create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments. Philosophy develops the capacity to see the world from the perspective of other individuals and other cultures; it enhances one's ability to perceive the relationships among the various fields of study; and it deepens one's sense of the meaning and variety of human experience.
[Taken from "The Field of Philosophy," prepared by the American Philosophical Association's committee on the status and future of the profession, 1981.]

 Read more about the benefits of studying philosophy ...



What can I do with a philosophy degree?

  • Famous philosophy majors, including Wes Anderson, Stephen Breyer, Ethan Coen, and Angela Davis.
  • Famous philosophy majors, including Philip K. Dick, Harrison Ford, Philip Glass, and Phil Jackson
  • Famous philosophy majors, including Bruce Lee, Steve Martin, Gene Siskel, and David Souter.

news News
  • Dr. David Harker will have a new book published in November by Cambridge University Press, entitled Creating Scientific Controversies: Uncertainty and Bias in Science and Society.
  • The Philosophy Department's own Zachary Peck is this year's winner of the Undergraduate Honors Thesis Prize in the Humanities for his thesis, "Das Gestell and Human Autonomy: On Andrew Feenberg's Interpretation of Martin Heidegger."
  • The Outstanding Philosophy Student award for 2014-2015 was awarded to graduating senior Thomas DeHart (Dec. 2014).
  • Kasey Jones, Philosophy minor, won first prize at the Southern Appalachian Undergraduate Philosophy Conference for her paper, An Examination of the Etymology of ὕβρις and Its Implications within the Context of Plato's Symposium, held at University of North Carolina Asheville (April 11, 2015).
  • The Niall Shanks Memorial Honors Philosophy Thesis Scholarship for 2015 was awarded to Kevin Carlson.
events Events
  • Dr. Elwood Watson, of the ETSU History Department, will speak on the Black Lives Matter movement and its implications at the Philosophy Club meeting this Friday, October 9th at 3pm at the Willow Tree Coffee House.  Students from all majors are welcome to attend.
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