Philosophy involves reflection upon and understanding of all phases of human activity. Philosophy especially directs itself to the nature of knowledge and the most basic concepts of human understanding and value: morality, society, art and aesthetic experience, as well as science, politics, and religion. Philosophy is thus closely involved with other disciplines because, as human activities and quests for knowledge, they and their findings provide the material for philosophical inquiry. The courses offered by the department are designed to help students develop their own capacities to reflect intelligently on questions of fundamental and lasting significance. The philosophy major is intended to meet the needs of four types of students:
- those who wish to use philosophy as the organizing core of a liberal education;
- those who desire to study philosophy in preparation for graduate work in some other field, such as law, government, or theology;
- those who plan to major jointly in philosophy and one of the social and natural sciences or humanities; and
- those who have a professional interest in philosophy and intend to do graduate work in the subject.