Philosophy is the oldest form of systematic, scholarly inquiry. It is the study of the most basic moral, legal, aesthetic, religious, and metaphysical ideas by which we pursue understanding and develop principles of conduct. Philosophers seek to establish standards of evidence, provide rational methods of conflict resolution, establish criteria for just social orders, and create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments.
The study of philosophy broadens and intensifies liberal education while enhancing interpretive abilities in many fields. The curriculum encourages a broad liberal arts background, including courses in foreign languages, and a plan for graduate school and teaching careers in philosophy. The broad relevance of philosophy to other fields permits most students to work toward goals such as professional training in law, medicine, business, or theology. There are three concentrations available to Philosophy majors: General Philosophy; Global Philosophies and Religions; and Philosophy, Science and Technology. It is not unusual for Philosophy majors to second-major in other disciplines, and these concentrations combine easily with other majors at CSU.
Student Learning Outcomes
Outcome 1: Critical Thinking
Students will recognize, construct, and evaluate arguments and alternative positions by correctly applying logical standards and methodology, demonstrating the ability to identify underlying assumptions, ambiguous or contested terms, and potential objections to a thesis.
Outcome 2: Content Knowledge
Students will demonstrate knowledge of major questions, arguments, problems, and figures from a variety of philosophical areas and traditions.
Outcome 3: Reading and Research
Students will develop the interpretive, analytical, and conceptual skills to read with understanding a variety of philosophical texts. Students will be able to assess the quality and relevance of a variety of sources (books, journal articles, etc.) and use these sources in their own research and writing.
Outcome 4: Communication
Students will clearly articulate ideas and arguments in writing and oral communication. Students will demonstrate competence in interpretive, analytical, and argumentative writing. They will effectively present their own ideas and research in oral communication and writing. Students will engage in open, thoughtful, and respectful dialogue.
Outcome 5: Values and Attitudes
Students will demonstrate cognitive flexibility by applying alternative possibilities and conceptual frameworks to their own and others’ ideas and values. They will demonstrate intellectual curiosity in their pursuits of truth and meaning. They will engage in reflective inquiry and aim to achieve a greater understanding of their subject matter.
A major in philosophy prepares students for a wide variety of professional aspirations, including graduate study in philosophy or other disciplines; training in law, computer technology, social work, health care, the ministry, business; and general intellectual flexibility in a changing world. The high level of skill that philosophy majors acquire in communication, writing, and analytical and critical thinking enables them to secure jobs in a variety of private and public sector professions and to become leaders in their fields.
Depending on the major concentration that a student pursues, available career opportunities include, but are not limited to: public policy analyst, business manager, public administrator, computer programmer, intelligence officer, legislator, teacher, foreign diplomat, social worker, community developer, philanthropic organizer, physician, lawyer, researcher, writer, theologian, human resources manager, publisher, and ethics consultant, in a variety of fields, e.g., in medicine, business, law, public administration, non-profit administration, engineering, and the sciences.