Major and Minor
Faculty and professional interests
William Young, chair
Epistemology, modern philosophy, Asian philosophy
Lance Factor (on leave 2013-14)
Philosophy of science, American philosophy
Philosophy of music, philosophy in literature, Greek philosophy
Aesthetics, ethics, philosophy of film
As a source of synthetic vision, philosophy offers alternatives for integrating a student’s diversified experiences. As a source of critical analysis, it equips the student with a variety of methodological skills. As a source of self-knowledge, it provides the student with ample occasions for personal examination of presuppositions, values, goals, and beliefs. Philosophy encourages independent thinking and creative argument.
As a critic of institutions, methods, and fields of study, philosophy reaches out to all of the other disciplines. Thus there is the philosophy of law, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of art, etc. The department welcomes students with an in-depth acquaintance with other fields to participate in the dialectic of argument that characterizes philosophy.
Any qualified student may do an honors project during the senior year.
The departmental curriculum contributes to the College's Key Competency Requirements as follows:
- Writing Key Competency - PHIL 399 serves as a writing-intensive course for majors
- Speaking Key Competency - PHIL 399 serves as a speaking-intensive course for majors
- Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology - In the Philosophy department, the informed use of technology includes not only the skills needed to make use of information sharing devices, such as on-line libraries, journals, databases, and discussion groups but also a critical engagement with the issues of privacy and property.
Departmental Learning Goals
Students completing a Philosophy major will be able to:
- (Explication) Clearly state and articulate pivotal philosophic ideas within contemporary issues or the history of philosophy
- (Evaluation) Present original arguments or criticism (both in writing and orally), which demonstrate a proficiency in (a) the methods of reasoning and (b) the integration of primary and secondary sources
- (Reflection) Examine and discuss the grounds of their convictions and opinions, and demonstrate an undogmatic and wide-ranging understanding of the relationships between their beliefs and those of others