Philosophy is a critical, self-critical, comprehensive inquiry about knowledge, reasoning, reality, norms, and values. It deals with corresponding problems arising in science, morality, art, literature, religion, and the social and natural worlds. Accordingly, engaging in philosophy can both address curiosity about matters of lasting significance and help us develop skills for dealing intelligently and sensitively with life.
The Department of Philosophy offers undergraduate major and minor programs with a broad spectrum of courses reflecting the diversity of western and non-western thought. Majors select two specializations and minors select one specialization from among the following: history of western philosophy; African, African-American, and Asian philosophy; logic and philosophy of science; continental philosophy; theoretical and practical ethics; and philosophy of religion and religious studies. The department offers its majors the opportunity to write an undergraduate thesis, supervised by a member of the department. In addition, the department is responsible for interdisciplinary minors in religious studies, peace studies, and African-American studies and is an active participant in the University Honors Program.
The department strives above all for excellence in teaching and for the cultivation of an active and supportive milieu for undergraduate study and for professional growth. It supports the scholarly research and professional activities of the faculty.