Philosophy is a discipline with ancient roots and endless applications in our rapidly evolving world. As a philosophy major at Rollins, you’ll explore the ideas of history’s greatest thinkers—from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Nietzsche—and engage enduring questions about existence, knowledge, truth, and ethics.
Along the way, you’ll learn to apply logic, challenge assumptions, and examine what’s beneath the surface. You’ll develop the ability to reason effectively, communicate persuasively, and think critically, creatively, and ethically. And while reflecting on big questions, you’ll gain self-awareness and empathy that enrich your entire life.
Philosophy is an ideal springboard for graduate programs and professional schools as well as a wide range of careers in everything from law and public policy to business and banking.
Why Study Philosophy at Rollins
Whether reading Aristotle in ancient Greek or publishing research on the father of existentialism, you’ll benefit from close connections with your professors.
What sets Rollins apart from other philosophy programs is an emphasis on language. You’ll experience the nuance of texts in the original Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac.
Renowned Debate Program
As a member of our national champion debate team, you’ll not only compete around the world but also hone your rhetorical prowess and presentation skills, gaining valuable training for law school and other graduate programs.
Interested in Studying Philosophy at Rollins?
Sign up to receive more information about living and learning at Rollins.
“Rollins’ philosophy classes taught me to critically evaluate discussions around key intellectual and social issues in our world. These skills are invaluable for my intended career path in law and political philosophy. Moreover, the dedication of the professors to their students’ success simply cannot be overstated.”
Rollins Philosophy Careers
Rollins philosophy grads are making tomorrow happen at some of the world’s most innovative companies.
Kate Barnekow ’15
Clinical Fellow, Animal Law & Policy Group, Harvard Law School
Julia Boguslawski ’01 ’03MBA
Chief Marketing Officer, American Gaming Systems
Nick Dolce ’05
Supervising Attorney, Department of Children and Families
Chad E. Harris ’00
Assistant General Counsel, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
Jonathan Titone ’99
Global Market Consultant, Northern Trust Corporation
Mitch Verboncoeur ’14
Associate Attorney, McKool Smith
Real World Experience
From community engagement courses to internships and research, philosophy students hone their skills in the real world.
You’ll begin your major by engaging with the ideas of great thinkers, from Plato to Nietzsche. The program continues with a strong focus on ethics and a range of electives based on your interests.
PHI 223 Introduction to Formal Logic
Learn the principles and symbols that undergird formal logic and build skills like deductive reasoning that will be essential for the rest of your career.
PHI 215 Social and Political Philosophy
What are the moral grounds for freedom? Who defines the rights of individuals? What is the nature of property? Explore how classical and contemporary thinkers have answered these essential questions.
PHI 290 Medical Ethics
Grapple with moral problems of health-care and medical technology, such as abortion, euthanasia, treatment of newborns with disabilities, genetic screening, and human experiments.
PHI 348 Philosophy of Mind
Connect the dots between philosophy and psychology, and investigate the relationship between mind and body, the nature of consciousness, and how we perceive the world.
PHI 242 Zombies, Serial Killers, and Madmen
Can we hold irrational people responsible for their actions? What should we do with those who commit horrible crimes? Inspired by pop culture, you’ll investigate eerie phenomena to answer questions like these.
PHI 311 Philosophy of Science
While unpacking the assumptions, methods, and concepts of natural sciences, you’ll question ideas of truth and progress. You’ll also explore how the scientific account of the world relates to daily life.
A Day in the Life of a Rollins Philosophy Major
“To me, philosophy cultivates critical-thinking skills, exposes learners to different ways of knowing, and has the potential to fundamentally shift your worldview to critique systems of oppression and legitimate voices of those most marginalized. In my opinion, these skills are absolutely essential to the transformative change for which our global community aches.”
Beyond the Classroom
Debate Team Hone everything from reasoning to rhetorical skills as a member of Rollins’ top-ranked debate team, which boasts numerous first-place finishes at the state, national, and international levels. In addition to participating in competitions all over the globe, the debate team also hosts international teams for an annual event, The Great Debate.
Philosophy and Religion Club This popular forum brings you together with faculty, visiting experts, and other students for dialectical conversation. A speaker introduces a theme, provides background, and then opens a lively discussion.
Study Abroad From Israel and Italy to Greece and Ghana, Rollins philosophy majors can explore the world and refine their cultural fluency and communication skills through dozens of faculty-led field studies and semester-long study abroad programs.
All of our philosophy faculty hold terminal degrees in the field and boast expertise in a broad spectrum of specializations. Our expert professors are also dedicated mentors who elevate learning through personalized attention inside and outside the classroom.
Department of Philosophy & Religion
Tom Cook, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Research interests: 17th-century philosophy, especially Spinoza; philosophy of mind; and moral psychology
Margaret McLaren, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Research interests: Human rights and globalization, feminist theory and gender issues, and 20th-century French philosophy
L. Ryan Musgrave, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy; Program Coordinator, Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies
Research interests: Philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, feminist theory, American philosophy, and philosophy of education
Eric Smaw, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy; Co-Director, Pre-Law Advising
Research interests: Philosophy of law, political philosophy, ethics, and human rights