Bachelor of Arts: Philosophy
Philosophy attempts to understand the nature of reality and how we can know about it. It enriches the understanding of human nature and human culture and sharpens the capacity to think clearly and precisely. You will become familiar with traditional philosophic issues and some of the attempts to solve them. In addition, you will develop the capacity to organize large bodies of material while enhancing your ability to detect fallacious arguments and specious reasoning.
Philosophy raises fundamental questions about ourselves and the world, which result in a sharpened perception of the value of our lives and an increased ability to analyze. Such critical ability enables students to better understand the world around them; to evaluate the values and social forms by which we live; to ask which values should have priority and why; to make judgments about how various social structures realize, or fail to realize, these values.
Majoring in philosophy helps students prepare for future careers by teaching them valuable intellectual skills, including how to think rigorously, express ideas clearly and logically, understand and evaluate conflicting points of view and reason in a careful way.
Philosophy is particularly useful for a student who wishes to pursue graduate study or prepare for professional studies in law or theology. A philosophy specialization articulates well with a variety of other programs. For example, when it is a part of pre-seminary study, it can be coupled with a specialization in theology or theological languages, English, communications, or church history. Philosophy also is an outstanding degree track for those wishing to pursue pre-professional programs such as pre-law and pre-seminary.
General Course Overview
Courses include logic, ethics, philosophy of religion, social and political philosophy, the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and various thematic courses. The program culminates in an independent study course that requires the preparation of a major paper and public presentation on a selected philosophical topic. The philosophy minor requires 18 hours, but does not include an independent study.
Concordia offers a typical selection of philosophy courses that approach the material from both an historical and a thematic approach. An examination of the list of courses regularly offered demonstrates both the breadth and depth the department attempts to provide. A special feature is the “Topics” course, in which the focus changes for each offering.
You will take classes that advance critical thinking skills, discuss ethics and analyze different philosophical beliefs. Practical uses of philosophy include the nature of knowledge and relationships to reality and critical theories, which are used on a daily basis. Philosophy is highly interdisciplinary, relating to theology, history, political science, women’s and gender studies and more.
The Klinck Memorial Library is home to more than 160,000 books and audio/visual materials, 140 print periodical subscriptions, 480,000 ERIC microfiche documents and over 50 electronic databases with remote access. A special collection of musical scores, long-playing vinyl albums, and CDs is also available for use by library patrons. There are over 40 public computers and wireless Internet access is provided.
Career opportunities for philosophy majors include academics, law, business, public administration, journalism, health care and more. Some students become teachers of philosophy; others recognize it as excellent preparation for law school. Philosophy provides a valuable foundation for careers in communication, public administration and policy making by teaching the student how to identify and examine the underlying questions of values and methodology implied in every practical decision.