Major program: We divide our courses into three levels (introductory, intermediate, and advanced) and three broad subject areas (historical, value, and mind and reality). Introductory class are suitable for all students, including prospective majors. Intermediate classes tend to have prerequisites or in other ways may be unsuitable for first-year students. Advanced classes are typically aimed at majors in philosopy and other relevant disciplines.
Historical courses focus primarily on classical philosophical texts, whether within a period, across periods or traditions, or by a single philosopher. Courses in the value area primarily address ethical, political, aesthetic, cultural, or religious practices and norms. Mind and reality courses look at issues related to language, mind, reasoning, knowledge, and the nature of reality. The three subject areas are by no means mutually exclusive. Often courses will fall into more than one area but are intended to facilitate the department's desire that serious students of philosophy be exposed to a range of issues and apparoaches.
Sample Courses: Humans, Animals, and Nature; Moral Psychology: Care of the Soul; Philosophy as a Way of Life; Christianity and Philosophy; Existentialism, Platonism, Pragmatism; Philosophy of Mind
Number of Professors: 11
Philosophy Major, Class of '10
Why Philosophy? "I was drawn to the exacting methodology that unites the radically disparate questions philosophers ask. One of the most important problems in philosophy in the last hundred years (and debate is ongoing!) concerns an issue that might seem quite trivial - the semantics of the English word 'the' - but on the other hand, philosophers engage the deepest questions about beauty, goodness and truth. No claim is spared the crucible of philosophical argument, which in its finest manifestations beautifully combines clarity and creativity, precision and imagination, subtlety and rigor."