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Philosophers examine fundamental beliefs by asking certain kinds of questions, such as:

  • What do we know, what can we know, and how do we know?
  • What is the nature of reality?
  • Is a mind the same thing as, or distinct from, the brain?
  • How do we determine the right way to act?
  • How do we live a good life?
  • What are our responsibilities to other people?
  • On what basis do we judge an object to be beautiful?

By developing the capacity to see the world from diverse perspectives, philosophy can deepen your sense of the meaning and variety of human experience and broaden the range of things you can understand and enjoy. Philosophy expands a person's ability to see beyond the world as it is and to develop a vision of how things might be.

You'll have the opportunity to read works by some of the greatest thinkers, reflect on new and old ideas, and understand the origin and development of fundamental concepts. By helping you become an independent, critical, and creative thinker, philosophy will enable you to be successful in any career you choose.

Honors Program in Philosophy

Philosophy majors with superior academic ability have the opportunity to enroll in a Departmental Honors program. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for all of your studies, and a GPA of at least 3.5 in your philosophy courses. 

Students who enroll for Departmental Honors will complete (in their senior year) EITHER

  • A two-course sequence of independent reading PHL 480 (3 credits each semester for 6 total credits),
  • OR an additional 400-level seminar and one 3-credit independent reading section of PHL 480 (for 7 total credits),
AND submit a final paper which is the culmination of their independent study (all departmental honors students).

Study Abroad in Europe

Recently, the Philosophy Department has begun offering a summer course in European philosophy that takes place in a European location and includes foreign language study. The program has been offered twice in Berlin, Germany, in conjunction with the Technische Universität Berlin, but may be offered in other European locations in future summers.

Academic Advising

The Department of Philosophy welcomes inquiries concerning majors, minors, thematic sequences, and courses offered in the department. All majors are assigned a faculty advisor, who is available to advise about courses and curriculum so that students can pursue a quality program of study personalized to their individual needs.

  • Inquiries about the Philosophy major, minors, or thematic sequences can be addressed to Michael Hicks, the Lead Departmental Advisor.
  • Questions regarding graduate study opportunities in philosophy may be addressed to Pascal Massie, the Director of Graduate Studies.

Routine questions and requests for petition forms, etc., may be addressed to the Philosophy Department:

212 Hall Auditorium

Department of Philosophy

212 Hall Auditorium
Oxford, OH 45056