School of Liberal Arts
Chair: Professor Arthur O. Ledoux
Professors: Cowart, Heffernan, and Wians
Associate Professors: Bannon and Raponi
Assistant Professor: Fuller
Why study philosophy? Philosophy courses strengthen students’ thinking, writing, and analytic abilities, while exposing them to some of life’s most persistent and important questions. Philosophy majors and minors improve their chances of getting into top graduate programs and law schools, while non-majors gain a richer education and preparation for work and life. Courses in philosophy at Merrimack are designed to appeal to a variety of student interests and concerns regardless of one’s major or intended career.
For our majors and minors, the Philosophy Department offers a rigorous program of study that prepares students for post-graduate work in philosophy, law, and related fields-and beyond. Breadth and depth of understanding is the aim of the program’s required courses. A balance is struck between issues courses (e.g., Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics) and history of philosophy courses that enliven and enlighten the issues by revealing the setting in which they arose and developed.
The variety of electives (such as Women, Ethics and Society, Asian Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Existentialism, and Environmental Ethics) together with the directed study program allow the student ample opportunity both to pursue in greater depth an area of particular interest and to give the program a personal flavor.
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