Philosophy is concerned with the "big questions" about the nature of the world and human existence: What can be known, and what is unknowable? Can we be sure that there is a world beyond our minds? Is the past a guide to the future? Is there anything more to us as persons than our bodies and brains? Does God exist? Do we have free will, or are we merely puppets controlled by our genes and the environment in which we grew up? What principles should we use to guide our moral choices? Do moral ends ever justify questionable means? And what makes an act moral anyway?
Philosophical questions touch on issues in many academic disciplines and professions. What unifies philosophy is not its subject matter but its method. Central to this method is the careful analysis of concepts and the formulation and evaluation of arguments. For a philosopher, it is never enough just to “have an opinion” on a philosophical question; one’s opinion must be supported by rational argument.
Careers for Philosophy Majors
Few philosophy majors become professional philosophers, but almost all find rewarding jobs in business, government, healthcare, education, or the non-profit sector. Some students find a job right out of college, while others apply to graduate and professional schools. We encourage students to do internships to build skills and explore options.
Philosophy and Combined Majors
Many students choose philosophy in conjunction with another major. If your primary major is outside of philosophy, we will assign you an advisor in philosophy to make sure you satisfy major requirements and to help you choose courses that complement work in your other major.