School of Liberal Arts
Chair: Associate Professor Sandra Raponi
Professors: Heffernan, Ledoux and Wians
Associate Professor: Bannon
Assistant Professor: Fuller
Philosophy explores some of life’s most persistent and important questions concerning morality, justice, truth, knowledge, human freedom, happiness, human nature, society, religion, the good life, beauty, and our relationship to the natural world. Some of our courses consider how influential philosophers have addressed these questions over time and across different societies. Our courses also address contemporary issues and questions that are relevant to other fields of study and to a variety of professions. For example, we offer courses on biomedical ethics, justice in healthcare, environmental ethics, philosophy of law, political theory, global justice, human rights, philosophy of science, ethics and technology, professional ethics, and aesthetics.
Philosophy courses strengthen one’s ability to analytically and critically analyze arguments and theories, identify common ground between opposing views, write with clarity and precision, and think about problems in creative and innovative ways. Because of this, studying philosophy can help prepare you for many different career paths, including careers in law, politics, business, journalism, bioethics, environmental policy, the tech industry, and education. Philosophy majors and minors often excel in advanced standardized tests such as the GRE, LSAT and GMAT and they have improved chances of getting into top post-graduate programs and law schools.
Our courses are designed to appeal to a variety of student interests and concerns regardless of one’s major or intended career. Non-majors gain a richer education and preparation for work and life.
Learning Goals in Philosophy
- Content/Disciplinary Knowledge
1a. Explain key terms, concepts, and ideas in the discipline of philosophy
1b. Describe major figures and historical developments in the tradition and/or methods used in the discipline of philosophy
- Critical Thinking
2a. Construct arguments that are well reasoned, fallacy-free, with conclusions properly following from premises
2b. Evaluate arguments and ideas (including recognizing forms of fallacious, invalid, and unsound reasoning)
2c. Interpret complex texts in a systematic and critical manner
3a. Write in a reasoned, persuasive, and argumentatively effective manner
3b. Employ the verbal skills needed for both individual presentations and participation in group discussions.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor