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The Philosophy major trains students in analytical reasoning and teaches them how to solve problems and communicate logically and convincingly, both in speech and in writing. By studying classic texts and contemporary problems, students learn how to construct powerful arguments and to write persuasively, while thinking about some of the deepest questions in human life, such as: What makes for a meaningful life? How is free will possible for physical beings bounded by physical laws? What is the nature of consciousness and can it be explained? Is the existence of a benevolent and all-powerful God compatible with the existence of natural and human evil? What is the nature of right and wrong, and are they dependent upon human beliefs or conventions?
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Our alumni have gone on to diverse careers including: lab manager at a neurolinguistics laboratory at NYU, teaching English in Ecuador, claims assessor at an insurance company in Columbus, floater at the William Morris talent agency in Los Angeles, sports director and teen advisor at a YMCA in Ohio, researcher in a state-run think tank in Malaysia. Several are enrolled in or preparing to begin law school (at Capital University, Ohio State and Yale, among others).
The word philosophy comes from Greek words meaning “the love of wisdom.” The ancient Greek philosophers distinguished themselves from the sophists, who claimed to have wisdom, by insisting that philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom. This pursuit begins with questioning—questioning one’s own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. It involves challenging the most basic shared beliefs of one’s society.
Philosophy students acquire a set of reasoning and communication skills that equip them for a huge range of possible futures. They consistently score higher than any other major on the GRE and the LSAT, because of their training in critical thinking and analysis of arguments. They write persuasively and problem solve inventively on all sorts of subjects. Philosophy provides the skills that people need to thrive in jobs that will not be replaced by robots, and the perspective they need to choose work and activities that help to create meaning in their lives.
Examination of major problems, such as the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, morality, and the relation of philosophy to science and religion.
Examine at least three of the great philosophical traditions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Analyze the nature of Religion and the Foundations of Religious Belief.
We will consider some of the difficult but important questions about science that often go unexplored in science classes and by scientists. To start, how should science be distinguished from other areas of knowledge and from disciplines like astrology that fail to generate knowledge?