Philosophy is the attempt to think carefully, clearly, and critically about the nature of the world, the significance of life, and the goals that people should pursue both as individuals and as a society. As these pursuits involve inquiring into the reasons and justifications for various beliefs and attitudes, philosophy also deals with the nature of knowledge and the standards for rational justification.
The SIUE Philosophy department provides the opportunity to study both broadly and deeply in philosophy with professors from a wide range of specializations and a variety of philosophical methodologies. To insure breadth, majors are required to take courses from at least five of the following areas: History of Western Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Value Theory, Cultural Pluralism, Religion, and Special Fields. To insure depth, majors are required to take a Philosophy Seminar involving focused cooperative study of a given topic as well as a Senior Assignment course involving directed independent research on a chosen topic. The program emphasizes the development of critical thinking, careful interpretation, and compelling writing skills throughout.
A strong liberal arts background provides an excellent foundation from which to launch exciting careers in a variety of fields. In addition to opening the door to the pursuit of a graduate degree in philosophy, a major in philosophy is also highly desirable in any career that places a premium on independent thinking and effective communication. So in addition to preparing one for an academic career, a major in philosophy is excellent preparation for careers in such fields as law, journalism, politics, and business.
For more information, please read the corresponding portions of this website, or contact Dr. Matthew Cashen, Mentor Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Philosophy.