The Department of Philosophy provides an opportunity for every student to continue, in more structured, critical terms, the spontaneous inquiry into basic questions man has raised from the beginning of time-questions about himself, about God, about the world in which he lives, and the way in which he ought to live.
The word “philosophy” itself, love of wisdom, indicates that the search is not concerned with superficial explanations, but probes beyond appearances for fundamental principles and causes.
Hence courses are offered not only to satisfy a major but also to provide an opportunity for students who are interested in a closer examination of one or more areas of philosophical inquiry as a worthwhile supplement and broadening factor to their specialized field of study.
Patrick Downey, PhD, Professor, Chair
Wayne H. Harter, PhD, Associate Professor
Steven Cortright, MA, Professor
Deepak Sawhney, PhD, Associate Professor
The Philosophy Department seeks to cultivate a unique virtue in its students and faculty. This intellectual virtue we have called the Philosophical Habit of Mind. It consists, at least, of the following abilities:
- An ability to situate oneself in the Western philosophical tradition of ethical and metaphysical questions and reasoning.
- An ability to account to oneself and to others for the bases of one’s actions.
- An ability to reckon with the consequences of one’s own and other’s practical reasoning in various contexts, both personal and political.
- An ability to raise metaphysical questions in various concrete, lived, literary and political contexts.
- An ability to distinguish and relate the architectonic questions of metaphysics from and to the specialized questions of the sciences and other disciplines.
- An ability to discern the interconnection between various modes of ethical and political reflection and distinct metaphysical positions.
- An ability to pose to oneself the questions raised by the claims of the Christian faith on one’s own ethical and metaphysical reasoning.
- An ability to read new or contemporary works in the ongoing tradition of dialectical philosophy with all these abilities at one’s disposal.
John F. Henning Institute
The Department of Philosophy hosts the John F. Henning Institute, a center for the study of Catholic social thought, with special emphasis on the question of human work and its centrality to the common good. Students are invited to take part in the institute’s program of academic conferences and lectures, publications and seminars.
Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor
CoursesPhilosophy - Lower DivisionPhilosophy - Upper Division