Welcome to the Department of Philosophy


Philosophy is the systematic and critical inquiry into thinking and the nature of existence. As a discipline, philosophy is applied to a great variety of topics, such as the nature of knowledge, the mind, and truth, determining what is moral, investigating what makes something beautiful, and inquiring after the existence of God or Ultimate Reality.

As a practice, philosophy teaches analytical and critical thinking, develops oral and written communication skills, and contributes to interdisciplinary understanding. Philosophy attempts to answer perennial questions about values, human existence, and the nature of reality. Skills developed in this inquiry help philosophy students excel in careers in law, medicine, management, education, government, writing, computer science, psychology, sociology, and ministry among many others.

Upcoming Courses: Fall 2019

  1. PHIL 4930 - Modern Islamic Philosophy


    This course will introduce students to the key issues driving Muslim philosophical and theological discussions from the 18th century through the present day. Major themes include a response to European colonization of Muslim communities throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, nationalism and post-colonialism, modern science, as well as state and non-state violence. While we will focus on the early-modern and modern periods, this course will also examine how many of these themes represent continued threads from the pre-modern and medieval periods.

    Taught by Patrick D’Silva    


  2. PHIL 3500 - Buddhist Philosophy


    This course offers a general survey of key Buddhist philosophical concepts of both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, such as dukha, nirvana, anatman and voidness. The relationship between Pali Sutta's and the Theravada tradition will be discussed as well as the relationship between Mahayana and the Prajna Paramita Suttas. Key schools of Mahayana, such as Cittamattra and Madhyamaka will also be introduced.

    Taught by Colin Lewis     

    Thursdays: 10:50-1:30



  3. PHIL 3720 - Philosophy Through Film


    This course explores the relation between philosophical issues and film to show how philosophical concepts are embodied in film and filmmaking. 

    Taught by Sonja Tanner     

    Tuesdays and Thursdays:  10:50-1:30

  4. PHIL 3240 - Political Violence: Peace, War, and Terrorism


    This course provides a critical examination of the philosophic commitments that underlie and affect war, conflict resolution, and peace; evaluation of various questions involved in conducting war and resolving disputes; consideration of the feasibility of pacifism. 

    Taught by Jennifer Kling     

    Fridays: 9:25-12:05

  5. PHIL 4400 - Science Wars


    This course provides a close examination of issues in the history, philosophy and sociology of science. Attention will be given to contemporary debates on such topics as the methodology of science, the growth of scientific knowledge, the logic of scientific discovery and the value-neutrality of science.

    Taught by Raphael Sassower

    Wednesdays: 10:50-1:30