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Philosophy deals with a wide range of questions and issues generated by various aspects of human experience, by the beliefs and theories people hold, and by the practical problems human beings confront. Philosophy includes both questions and theories related to art, religion, morality, society, and natural and social sciences. By the breadth of its concerns, the study of philosophy provides a unique opportunity for students to examine their beliefs in many areas through critical reflection.

Through readings, discussion, and writing, philosophy students can encounter and examine questions concerning the nature and validity of religious beliefs, moral judgements, and scientific theories, as well as questions of values and social policy in such areas as law, medicine, and technology. In all these areas, analysis of issues and evaluation of arguments provide an opportunity to understand diverse claims to knowledge and areas of controversy.

The program includes courses that may help strengthen the student’s work in other areas and provide an understanding of the methods and traditions of philosophical and religious thought. A major in philosophy may also help a student to acquire a broad background in the humanities and to sharpen his or her critical abilities in preparation for graduate or professional careers in many areas. Indeed, former philosophy majors can be found in the most diverse of professional careers. For students majoring in a different discipline, the department offers a minor program, which can be a valuable supplement to most fields.