Introduction to the Major in Philosophy
The Philosophy program is dedicated to providing students with a fundamental competency in the understanding of major philosophical schools, ideas and concepts that develop students’ analytical and critical thinking preparing them to:
- Practice coherent argumentation
- Identify philosophical problems, puzzles, paradoxes or issues
- Formulate and elaborate solutions
- Enter graduate studies
As ‘love of wisdom’, philosophy provides a deeper understanding of issues, ranging from everyday life to highly conceptual, universal, or existential problems. It leads to a more thoughtful and comprehensive consideration of ourselves, society and the world at large, with an ‘examined’ approach to life as citizens and professionals. Critical skills, analysis/synthesis, problem solving, and decision making, are all part of the philosophy training on a variety of issues ranging from the public sphere, to personal life, the sciences and moral dilemmas.
What You Will Study
The Philosophy program has strong components that allow students to build up knowledge and understanding of both theory and practice at four levels. Introductory courses develop a rigorous approach to a broad knowledge base, critical capacities and argumentation skills. At the next level, basic theories, issues and relevant arguments are examined in the fields of moral, social and political philosophy. Classes involve analysis of concepts, formulation of responses to well-defined or abstract problems, and exercise of significant judgment. At the next two levels, students achieve an understanding of central theories in the fields of logic, metaphysics, aesthetics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, as well as the ability to use and criticize specialized philosophical terminology.
The courses hone skills in analysis, synthesis and interpretation of philosophical texts. Creative thinking – self-critically and independently – is expected. Priority is given to research, papers, reports, proposals and presentations. The transfer and application of diagnostic and critical skills, and the exercise of judgment in various situations are encouraged. Students are expected to manage a complex body of information and to use libraries and on-line resources effectively.