Philosophy may sound dauntingly remote from our daily concerns, but its basic questions "What can I know? What may I hope? What must I do?" actually pose themselves throughout any thinking person's journey. And the skills it teaches — close reading, careful thinking, and the critique of ideas — apply to most areas of human endeavor. A background in philosophy is thus excellent training for many careers, and matchless preparation for life itself.

Almost 2500 years ago, Plato grounded Western philosophy in the study of “the good, the true, and the beautiful.” While ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics have remained fundamental to the field for millennia, philosophy today encompasses subjects the ancient Greeks scarcely dreamed of.

Thus, while the department’s programs are firmly grounded in philosophy’s past, offering courses in the traditional disciplines, there is an equally strong commitment to studies vital to the present day, including environmental, biomedical, and business ethics, feminist theory, conflict resolution, the interface of religion and science, and numerous other topics of contemporary concern.

And though philosophy and religious studies differ somewhat in their methods and aims, they share a common quest for uncommon knowledge. Consequently, the department, with a faculty well-qualified in each field, offers concentrations in both areas.

Why study philosophy?  

WCU Philosophy Students Present at Yale Conference

Kia, Ashley, Lexi

Kia Shahideh, Ashley Pogash, Alexis Zimmerman

Students from the philosophy program recently traveled to Yale University to present their work at the Fourth Yale Graduate Conference in Religion and Ecology: "Reimagining Ways of Being: Religion and Spirituality in Ecological Activism," Feb 7 2020, Yale Divinity School  

Watch the WCU Philosophy Department Video

Department video screenshot

 

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