- engage in rigorous, critical thinking;
- read, understand, and reflect on primary philosophical texts;
- restate clearly, in writing and in speech, a philosophical position or observation, and subject a philosophical position or observation to criticism;
- develop an argument for a given philosophical idea or perspective, and engage in civil and intelligent philosophical dialogue with classmates and the professor;
- relate a given philosophical position or observation to their own experiences, and relate a given philosophical view to other views in the Western tradition or in other philosophical traditions;
- subject a given philosopher’s presuppositions to critical scrutiny, and subject their own philosophical presuppositions to critical scrutiny.
The department agrees that, in order to learn philosophy, students must:
- read and wrestle with primary philosophical texts
- write philosophical essays of their own
The Philosophy Department also agrees that introductory courses should introduce Philosophy not as a narrow and specialized investigation but as a broader mode of inquiry that touches on our deep human concerns. This goal can be met, as in the past, by considering the history of philosophy, or it can be met through some other approach, but all intro courses will, in one way or another, endeavor to show the importance Philosophy holds for human life.