Inspired by Socrates' insight that the unexamined life is not worth living, philosophy seeks answers to fundamental questions such as: What is ultimately real? What is the nature and extent of our knowledge? What is the source and nature of our moral obligations? What form of government is the best? Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder? Our undergraduate program is designed to aid students in examining these questions, and in developing and defending their own answers in the arena of reasoned controversy.
Our majors advance to graduate study in many fields in addition to philosophy: law, medicine, business, education, journalism, and the sciences. Our graduate program prepares students for distinguished professional careers in philosophy, and has been consistently ranked among the top two programs nationally. Philosophy both requires and fosters norms of civil, inclusive discourse. For more on our department's commitment to those norms, see here.