Philosophy - Minor
Curiosity matters! Philosophers and those who are philosophically minded have long asked key questions, evaluated possibilities and arrived at those answers that have shaped and reshaped who we are, how we do things, and how we understand the world in which we live. The study of philosophy is not the study of antiquated views. It is not the study and use of a single method. The study of philosophy transforms intellectual curiosity into a potent, flexible set of skills by inculcating the ability to identify unstated assumptions, to take a critical attitude towards the information that others accept, and to evaluate and articulate the reasons that compel us to do and believe things. Philosophy is what college is all about: delving deeply into subjects that matter to you, while cultivating skills that will carry you the rest of your life.
Educational economists, such as G. Duncan, remind us that jobs that pay well are increasingly requiring employees to be able to solve unexpected problems as team members. In a world that is typified by unpredictable and complex professions, professionals who can cross intellectual boundaries and make connections between previously discrete domains of knowledge are primed to resolve unexpected problems; they are primed to succeed. While there is no single path to success, there is a set of skills that can help solve unexpected problems. Creativity researchers have identified two key factors: breadth of learning and an aptitude for broad conceptual thinking. You cannot combine what you don’t know and you cannot combine if you have not cultivated an ability to move freely among conceptual categories. Philosophy is among the best intellectual activities for cultivating creative, critical thinking.
Students may earn a minor in Philosophy by taking 15 credit hours, of which 6 may be earned at the 100-200 level. This allows students maximum flexibility in choosing among our diverse set of courses. Students pursuing the minor are free to sample from the great breadth of philosophical topics (from philosophy of science to philosophy of art) or to dive deep on particular topics of interest (such as ethics, logic and metaphysics, or the history of philosophical thought).