Philosophy (PL)

Professors: E. Spurgin (chair), S. Kaye, D. Taylor, T. Nlandu; Associate Professors: S. Fitzpatrick, D. Durmus; Visiting Assistant Professor: N. Jun

Philosophy encompasses the systematic study of some of the most fundamental questions regarding existence, nature, knowledge, reality, politics, and morality. It allows us to develop an outlook on life that is broad and reflective, and to engage the world rationally and critically. A basic understanding of philosophy and philosophical methods provides a framework for various other disciplines. At Jesuit universities, philosophy has always had a special place; indeed, the Jesuit order was founded by a group of philosophy students led by St. Ignatius of Loyola, who completed an M.A. in philosophy. A strong background in philosophy is a mark of those educated in Jesuit institutions.

The University Core requirement in philosophy consists of two courses: a Knowledge and Reality course, and a Values and Society course. Students may take any course offered in each category. Knowledge and Reality courses explore fundamental questions of nature, existence, and understanding. Values and Society courses explore fundamental questions of humans’ relationships to one another and to the world.

A philosophy major prepares students for graduate work leading to college-level teaching, or for professional schools in areas such as law, medicine, religion, and social service. A philosophy major also is a strong background for any broad program of humanistic studies. A minor in philosophy can complement other areas of study that raise questions about values or methodology, including law, business, education, and the sciences.