Chair Mark Gedney, David Aiken, Lauren Swayne Barthold, Ian DeWeese-Boyd.
MISSION: The department acquaints students with the great ideas, arguments, and figures from various philosophical traditions. Students gain proficiency in the intellectual skills necessary for critical and systematic thinking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to explore the relation of Christian faith to philosophical inquiry.
Major offerings are divided into historical and topical courses. The former focus on the development of philosophical theories, controversies and movements. The latter center on systematic questions in epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics and the philosophy of religion.
Majors receive a comprehensive foundation in the discipline and are encouraged to double major in a variety of fields. Minors are introduced to the major branches of philosophy. Majors and minors explore and critique the philosophical assumptions of their other major field of inquiry.
The department provides the foundation for further study in philosophy and other disciplines and professions, including preparation for graduate studies at major universities and professional schools in theology, law, government, diplomacy and business.
Study at the University of Edinburgh
The Philosophy Department has been a strong proponent of our majors participating in global education programs, and many of our majors spend some time studying abroad. Though we support a wide range of options in global education, qualified philosophy majors have a unique opportunity to study for a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Applications for this program are coordinated through the Philosophy Department and the Office of Global Education.
Honors in Philosophy
A student who researches and writes an honors thesis will be eligible to graduate with honors in philosophy. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, a candidate will complete independent research in the senior year culminating in an honors thesis. This research shall commence in PHI 493 in the fall semester and culminate in PHI 471 in the spring semester. For honors, the thesis shall be successfully defended orally before the department faculty near the end of the spring semester. A minimum GPA for honors candidates is 3.5 within the major and 3.0 overall.