Rene Descartes
Rene Descartes

Welcome to Philosophy

Philosophy asks questions about the nature of reality, the limits and possibilities of knowledge, how to lead a good life (both individually and socially), and the meaning and value of human freedom. These are complex questions that call for reflection and examination. The philosopher goes beyond the question of how the world is and asks questions about whether, why, and how the way the world is matters. By studying knowledge, existence, and value, philosophy students also learn how to think, how to provide reasons for a point of view, and how to grapple with objections and diverse perspectives.

Because philosophers asks whether reality and our understanding of it can be or ought to be different from how it currently is, philosophers throughout history have had great influence on how we think about and act within the world. Students of philosophy will have the opportunity to reflect on enduring questions concerning the human condition, to study the origin and historical transformation of questions and concepts, and to learn the methods deployed to investigate them.

The department of Philosophy at Miami University has ten full-time faculty members with a diverse array of research interests, and offers a broad range of courses and research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. We are committed to a pluralistic outlook and offer courses in both the Analytic and Continental traditions, and in the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of law, feminist theory, and the philosophy of science, with the history of philosophy emphasized as the common ground of all these. For undergraduates, the department offers a major and two minors (in History of Philosophy and in Ethics), as well as three Thematic Sequences. For graduate students, we offer a two-year M.A. with funding available for most students.