Programs Offered: Major, Minor
In philosophy, we grapple with foundational questions and study how others have grappled with them. What is justice? What makes the difference between a valid argument and an invalid one? How are mind and body related? How do mere sounds and squiggles come to be meaningful words? What is morality, what is its source, and what does it ask of us? How can we best organize and govern ourselves politically? Working through challenging questions like these, we learn to think and write clearly, to analyze problems methodically, and to assess possible solutions critically.
Our faculty members have a wide range of teaching and research interests, including existentialism, philosophy of mind, feminist philosophy, theories of knowledge, logic, philosophy of art, political philosophy, and philosophy of language. Our curriculum encourages students to explore all of these areas rigorously, insightfully, and imaginatively, developing as they go a fuller capacity to think analytically, speak effectively, and write clearly.
Our majors enjoy diverse career options on graduation. To give just a few examples, among our alumni from recent years are a State Department diplomat, medical doctors, the communications director for a national political organization, business owners, attorneys, professors, software engineers, a reporter for National Public Radio, and an Oregon Supreme Court justice. It's for good reason philosophy has been called "the ultimate 'transferable work skill'" (The London Times).