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Philosophy & Humanities

College of Arts & Sciences

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Welcome to the Department of Philosophy and Humanities.  Our department is a dynamic group of faculty committed to excellence in undergraduate education. Through our courses and programs we cultivate in our students an appreciation for the life of the mind and the importance of thinking through difficult conceptual problems carefully and rigorously.

The study of philosophy is provocative, enlightening, and meaningful. It helps us understand that things are not always what they seem, it helps us learn about ourselves and the world, and it teaches us how to grapple intelligently with fundamental questions. For this reason philosophy is a central component of any liberal arts education. The methods of philosophy emphasize careful reasoning and the ability to critically evaluate arguments. These techniques are relevant to any field of study or endeavor, and the skills one develops in philosophy are highly sought after by employers who value creative and analytical thinking and the ability to communicate effectively in writing. The study of philosophy is also excellent preparation for professional and graduate studies.

The Department offers a traditional philosophy major, as well as a philosophy major with religious studies concentration. A third concentration in Justice, Ethics, and Law will be available in 2018.  We also host minors in philosophy, religious studies, and humanities. We offer courses in core areas such as ethics and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and the history of philosophy, as well as specialty courses such as philosophy of law, philosophy of science, existentialism, bioethics, philosophy of art, philosophies of feminism, environmental philosophy, and philosophy of religion. Students in the religious studies program may also choose from an array of religious studies courses both in our department and in departments such as History, Sociology and Anthropology, and Literature and Language.

In addition to being dedicated teachers, faculty in our department are also productive scholars, publishing articles and books in their respective sub-disciplines. This expertise informs teaching, both in the classroom setting and in the supervision of individual student research projects. We emphasize undergraduate research and encourage our students to be active in intellectual life both within and outside of the university.

Thank you for visiting our website. If you would like more information about our department, please contact any of our faculty and staff, who will be happy to assist you.

Leslie MacAvoy
Associate Professor and Chair

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