Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." The disciplines of philosophy and religion examine our lives by investigating the most basic concepts and categories of our self-understanding: true and false, right and wrong, real and imaginary, sacred and profane.
Courses in the history of philosophy introduce students to the ideas of great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Nietzsche. Undergraduates learn by doing--by engaging in argumentative dialogue with these philosophers. Nonmajors acquire valuable skills of analysis and argumentation while learning to ask fundamental question about identity, meaning, and value. Thematic courses range from ethics and social philosophy to the mind-body problem.
Courses in religion explore the world's faith traditions and the role of religion in culture. Topics courses range from "Cults in America" to "Women in Judaism and Islam."
The department offers majors and minors in both philosophy and religious studies. Advisers encourage students to acquire background in a special interest by taking courses in other disciplines. A philosopher of science, for example, needs to study biology, just as a student interested in aesthetics must learn about art, music, and literature.