The study of philosophy is an indispensable part of a liberal education. In its critical function, philosophy teaches students to analyze arguments and to assess the value of various claims of knowledge. In its systematic function, it develops an integral view of the world, with a special focus on the human person and with final reference to God as the highest cause. In its ethical function, philosophy presents an account of the rational principles which ought to guide one's moral life. Accordingly, the Philosophy program endeavors to sharpen students' critical skills, integrate their knowledge of reality, and assist them in living a more rational and more worthy life.
Students who major in philosophy take four history of philosophy courses, a logic course, and four electives. This is usually a three-year program, but students who become majors at the end of their sophomore year will be able to complete their requirements. After graduation, many philosophy majors attend law school or graduate school; others pursue employment in a variety of capacities, such as positions in business, government, ministry, education, and the arts.
Philosophy majors take nine (9) courses. All five (5) of the following:
- PH 211 - Ancient Philosophy: Know Thyself
- PH 212 - Medieval Philosophy: Faith and Reason
- PH 213 - Modern Philosophy: Knowledge and the New Science
- PH 214 - Contemporary Philosophy: Language and Existence
- PH 321 - Formal Logic
And any four (4) additional
And any four (4) additional Philosophy courses, no more than two of which may be at the 100-level.
Philosophy majors must pass a two-part comprehensive exam in their senior year. The first part is a computerized multiple-choice exam; the second part is an oral exam with three philosophy professors
Students who major in Philosophy should be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the major figures, texts, and movements in the history of western philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary)
- Read, understand, and contextualize key texts in the western philosophical tradition
- Understand and explain, both orally and in writing, a wide range of important questions, concepts, and theories within the fields of ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion
- Identify and evaluate, using the formal tools of logic and the informal tools of critical thinking, arguments found in philosophical texts and in everyday discourse
- Construct and defend, both orally and in writing, logically valid arguments for substantive philosophical positions
- Understand and articulate key ideas in the Catholic intellectual tradition
- Appreciate and articulate the value of philosophy in enriching a human life devoted to the pursuit of truth, wisdom, and virtue