Philosophers ask difficult questions about issues that are central to human existence: What is a meaningful life? What is the relationship between mind and body? How can one distinguish between right and wrong actions? Are there reasons to think that God exists? By studying philosophy, you’ll meet and converse with some of the greatest minds of history. You’ll learn to think critically, read carefully, and analyze arguments-- in short, you’ll acquire the skills to make a living. But, more importantly, you’ll learn what makes life worth living.
Overview of Courses
Our program will give you a broad training in the central areas of philosophy. In the systematic sequence, you’ll take courses in logic, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology, and in the historical sequence, you will study the great thinkers in ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. Here’s a sample of what you can expect to learn and do:
- Ethics This course is an historical and issue-based investigation of traditional ethical theories and texts. We focus on teleological and deontological theories, as well as virtue ethics. We also examine questions in applied ethics such as abortion, capital punishment, and freedom of speech. Readings include classical sources as well as contemporary voices that represent a variety of social backgrounds.
- Minds and Machines Have you ever wondered about the nature of the mind, mental events, and consciousness? In this course we explore these topics and examine the traditional mind-body problem, i.e., the relationship of the mind to the physical body, particularly the brain. We also address more contemporary issues in artificial intelligence, behaviorism, and functionalism.
- Being and God We examine in this course the nature of being and the existence of God from the standpoint of Catholic philosophical tradition. We study topics such as the structure of finite being, the transcendentals, analogy and univocity of being, metaphysical causality, and the problem of creation.
Requirements for a major in philosophy:
Nine hours in the Systematic Sequence, selected from the areas of:
- Logic & Language
- Mind & Knowledge
- Reality & God
- Ethics & Value
Nine hours in the Historical Sequence:
- three hours of Ancient Philosophy
- three hours of Medieval Philosophy
- three hours of Modern Philosophy
An Authors Seminar
These required courses are offered every year. The normal requirements in credit hours for a major in philosophy are 33 to 36 hours. Philosophy electives for the major are offered on a continuous and rotational basis.
Philosophy Course Information
Find out more about the philosophy major: