Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions concerning the nature of what is and what ought to be. It pursues questions such as: What is a good life? What is the nature of reality? What makes human beings "human?" What distinguishes knowledge from mere opinion? What is the meaning of human life?
The department hosts two majors that allow students to pursue these and aligned questions.
PHIL is a traditional philosophy major that exposes students to the rich history of philosophy and provides a broad education in areas like ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, and epistemology. PHIL is a core, liberal arts major that awakens students to the wonder of the world and the complexity of some of life's most probing questions.
PPL (Philosophy, Politics, Law) is also a liberal arts major. It adds an interdisciplinary component, and focuses upon questions that arise in the areas of politics and law. Its chief concerns are normative: what is justice and what kind of society does justice require? How well do existing cultural trends and political institutions fare when measured against standards of justice? PPL aims to prepare students to be critical, engaged citizens in a dynamic, changing world.