In the western world, philosophers from Plato to Whitehead have attempted to do systematically and consistently what every reflective person does fragmentarily and haphazardly: to reflect on beliefs about the physical world, moral and religious commitments, aesthetic experiences, relations of the individual to the community, and other phases of human experience. In doing so, philosophers have hoped to deepen their insights into the meaning of human existence and to explore the possibilities for individuals to participate creatively in the reconstruction of their values to meet the new conditions of the contemporary world. In this process, philosophers also have undertaken the task to examine critically what is elsewhere taken for granted. They have developed analytical techniques, such as various systems of logic, studies of the nature and limits of the human understanding, and linguistic analysis.
Collegiate courses in philosophy are invitations to modern undergraduates to participate in this intellectual heritage and to develop analytical techniques essential to it. Upon completion of the philosophy major, students will be able to
- make appropriate use of scholarly literature relevant to the topic in defense of a thesis,
- sympathetically articulate the views of scholarly literature which present arguments that run contrary to a thesis,
- construct a cogent argument in defense of a thesis,
- write in a clear and well organized manner in defense of a thesis,
- speak in a clear and well organized manner in defense of a thesis.
For more information, including a full list of courses, consult the College Catalog.