Philosophy is …
Philosophy is the love of wisdom, the passionate pursuit of understanding the deepest truths that humans can hope to discover. Philosophy is the discipline that explores the most fundamental and enduring questions and
attempts to give answers to those questions with rational support. These questions include Who or what is the human being? What can we know, and how do we know? What is reality or truth? What are the first principles on which we ground
and develop the sciences, arts, and religion? What is the nature and meaning of the divine? Why is society necessary for living and for living well, and what is the best arrangement and balance of individual and society? On what grounds can
we, or should we, make ethical decisions? And What does it even mean to ask such questions, and why is it important to do so?
Students of philosophy engage in reflection on such questions and critically examine the contributions that
great thinkers of the past and present have made toward answering them. Through this exploration, philosophy invites students to recognize and respect the multiple perspectives and approaches to these fundamental questions and offers them the tools
for putting different perspectives in dialogue with each other in the pursuit of truth.
Through its emphasis on formulating and evaluating arguments, philosophy cultivates rigorous critical thinking, independent thought, and thinking creatively. It provides students the opportunity to think critically and responsibly about their own beliefs, to have a sense of humility about what they do or do not know and what they have yet to learn, and to develop habits of reflection that they will employ
throughout their lives. The study of philosophy, therefore, is not only at the core of a good education; it is at the heart of any humane and free society.
Courses in Philosophy
Courses introduce students to philosophical thinking. By reading some of the greatest thinkers in the history of Western philosophy, students learn about the topics that have engaged philosophers through the ages, as well as learning how to begin to think critically about these topics. Reading others’
reflections on the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, personal identity, and human nature, students will have the opportunity to participate in the wonder that animates philosophers, and to begin to appreciate that learning is not simply a tool to be
employed in the conduct of practical affairs, but is at the core of what it is to be a human being.
Visit the Bellarmine catalog for a list of particular courses offered.
Through the study of Philosophy students will:
- Recognize what are some of the most fundamental and enduring questions at the core of human existence and thought
- Understand how to investigate fundamental eternal questions
- Understand how the exploration of these eternal questions has provided the theoretical underpinnings and foundational principles of the natural and social sciences, the arts, and religion
- Critically analyze and evaluate arguments
- Develop effective written and oral communication
- Engage questions of ethics
- Understand how to use ethical reasoning to make informed decisions and guide actions
Post-graduate Opportunities for Philosophy Majors
The common assumption is that a Philosophy major only prepares you to become a professor of Philosophy.
The majority of Philosophy majors, however, pursue a career after graduation in something other than Philosophy, and quite successfully. A high percentage of Bellarmine graduates who major in Philosophy go on to law school.
Philosophy majors and the LSAT: https://www.apaonline.org/resource/resmgr/Data_on_Profession/Philosophy_performance_on_LS.pdf
But many go on to a career in Business, Education, even Medicine. Philosophy majors consistently outperform all other majors on the GRE Verbal and Analytic sections. And, though it is little known, Philosophy majors who decide to apply to medical school (with the necessary pre-med prerequisites) have a high acceptance rate!
The reasons for the versatility and benefit of the Philosophy major to professional careers is that the study of philosophy enhances analytical, critical, and interpretive skills. A major in Philosophy, therefore, provides the foundation not only for graduate studies and degrees in philosophy, but for virtually any discipline that requires critical, evaluative, or diagnostic skills.
Joshua Golding, Ph.D, Chair (email)
Steven Berg, Ph.D (email)
Katherine Johnson, Ph.D (email)
David Scott, J.D., Ph.D (email)
Evanthia Speliotis, Ph.D (email)
Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you on our Study Abroad and International Programs site.
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