Philosophy struggles with the questions which thoughtful human beings have been asking for thousands of years: What does it mean to be human? How should we live? How can we justify our deepest beliefs and attitudes? Stated simply, philosophy aims at clear, consistent and comprehensive answers to these and other important questions. It suggests a way of thinking and acting based on a set of carefully worked out attitudes and convictions. In short, philosophy helps you develop a coherent world view consistent with your fundamental beliefs.

Studying philosophy will help you understand the world and our place in it. And because philosophy emphasizes careful reasoning about complex issues, it will help you develop skills which are important in all areas of life: problem-solving, communication, writing, persuasive powers and research skills.

In the context of the Christian liberal arts college, philosophy is the search for all truth in the light of God’s truth. It is dedicated to the aim of loving God with the mind as well as with the heart. It seeks to gain a clearer understanding of the implications of Christian faith for every aspect of thinking and living. The philosophy faculty believe that the working out of a Christian philosophy of life is the fundamental objective for a student at a Christian liberal arts college. Therefore, the philosophy faculty invite students to join them in the search for truth and in their efforts to provide mature leadership for the Christian community.

Philosophy department homepage

Major requirements

Philosophy electives: 12 credits
PHI 202QR - Logic
(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)(NWCore option underQuantitative Reasoning) An introduction to formal logic. The aim is to enable the student to becomeskilled in the examination of everyday language for validity, soundness, andcogency, to acquire a basic knowledge of classical sentential logic, and tomaster proof techniques in propositional logic and the first-order predicatecalculus. Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT510 or above), or a passing score on the MAT090 placement exam.
PHI 333 - Philosophy and Christianity
An exploration of some set of topics that lie at the intersection of philosophy and the Christian faith.Prerequisite: at least one philosophy course.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
PHI 450WI - Senior Thesis
(2 credits; non-yearly, consult department)(Writing intensive)Students will write a senior thesis in philosophy under the direction of oneof the philosophy faculty.Prerequisites: philosophy major or minor, senior class standing.
Choose one course:
PHI 200BR - Ethics
(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)(IGE option under Belief and Reason) An investigation of some of the main philosophical questions about ethics, such as the following: Does morality depend on religion? Is morality relative to culture? Why should I be moral? How do we go about answering moral questions? Is there a "theory" of morality? If so, what does that theory look like?
PHI 214BR - Contemporary Moral Issues
(4 credits)(IGE option under Belief and Reason) A philosophical exploration of several contemporary moral issues. Possible topics include abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, cloning and stem-cell research, war and terrorism, capital punishment, global poverty, factory farming and experimenting on animals, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, etc.
Choose two courses:
PHI 225BR - Ancient Greek Philosophy
(4 credits; non-yearly, consult department)(IGE option under Belief andReason) An introduction to the ancient Greek philosophical tradition,ranging from the Presocratics to the Hellenists but focusing on Plato andAristotle.
PHI 226BR - Medieval Philosophy
(4 credits, non-yearly, consult department)(IGE option under Belief andReason) An introduction to medieval philosophy, focusing on major figuressuch as Augustine, Boethius, Anselm and Aquinas.
PHI 227BR - Modern Philosophy
(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)(IGE option under Belief and Reason) An introduction to the central figures in the philosophical milieu of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, focusing on thinkers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Mill, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.
PHI 229 - Twentieth-Century Philosophy
An introduction to some of the dominant philosophers and philosophical movements of the 20th century. (4 credits; non-yearly, consult department)

Total credits required: 34


Majors are required to take at least 8 credits of 300-level (and above) in elective courses.