Traditionally, philosophy is considered the reasoned pursuit of wisdom regarding such "really big" questions as What makes something "real" or "good" or "true"? Is there more to a person than a body? Do human beings have free will? Does life have a meaning? etc. Consistent with the mission of the college, the goal of the department is to offer students the opportunity to consider philosophy as part of their own reasoned pursuit of wisdom and to provide interested students (particularly philosophy majors and minors) with guided, reflective access to the vast store of literature devoted to such questions.
All philosophy courses focus on acquaintance with some of the "big questions"; acquaintance with some of the philosophical positions regarding them; and serious opportunities to discuss these questions and associated positions openly and reasonably within the context of one's life, personally, professionally, or as a member of one's community. The department offers courses designed for all students, including philosophy majors and minors, interested in deeper explorations of philosophy.
Students with graduate philosophy ambitions are strongly advised to declare a major in philosophy and discuss their graduate study intentions with the chair before the second semester registration period of their freshman year. Transfer students are advised to do this immediately upon admission to Dominican University.
In a recent survey, we asked our graduates why they majored in philosophy. They told us it was because they wanted the intellectual challenge and because it helped them search for meaning and truth, and to think about things differently. They also like the logical and critical-thinking skills that come with it. Almost all graduates said they would take philosophy as their major again.
Philosophy graduates find work in many fields. These include:
- Religious ministry
- Public administration
- Social service
- Health services
- Library and Information Science