What You Will Learn as a Philosophy Major

Beginning from the Socratic dictum that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” our curriculum explicitly articulates questions of meaning and value. You will engage with questions regarding the nature of truth, the meaning of life, the value of knowledge, and our responsibilities to others.

Rollins student works with a preschool child.

Global Citizenship

Our programs educate you for global citizenship through both theory and practice. We cultivate a greater understanding of global citizenship through courses such as Gender and Globalization, Argumentation and Media Manipulation, Human Rights and Education, International Law, Politics and Poverty, and Sacred Food and Social Justice. And we have offered Field Studies to more than a dozen countries, including India, Israel, Japan, Ghana, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, the Netherlands, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, etc.

Rollins professor leads a classroom discussion.

Responsible Leadership

Our faculty especially prioritizes mentoring students; we believe that the extended conversations and sharing of experience that occurs through mentoring relationships is unsurpassed as a means of cultivating responsible leadership, insofar as reflective conversation on experience is a crucial dimension of learning. Further opportunities for cultivating leadership can be seen in the department’s extensive participation in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program.

We also recognize the importance of moral and intellectual responsibility through critical thinking, as a crucial element in furthering the “responsible” dimension of “responsible leadership.” And we offer a wide range of courses in ethics, including Business Ethics, Medical Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Greeks and the Good Life, Buddhist Ethics, Gender Rights and Relativism, etc.

Rollins students engage in a hands-on project together.

Productive Careers

We will challenge you to develop for yourself a sense of what “productive” means, hopefully allowing this to contribute to your ability to connect “productive careers” to “meaningful lives.” In more conventional terms, considering the shifting exigencies of a constantly changing marketplace, the most valuable skills you can come away with as a graduate are the abilities to think critically, creatively, and ethically.

Rollins professor works with preschool children.

Meaningful Lives

Philosophy and Religious Studies are unique in explicitly articulating questions regarding meaningful lives and values. You will learn to value pursuits in terms of their intrinsic worth, rather than just in terms of their extrinsic value; and our disciplines are distinctive in teaching you to balance these two dimensions. Our courses involve the study of philosophical and religious traditions that represent an extended engagement with the question of what makes life meaningful. We believe that engaging with such traditions directly contribute to building character and will further develop your capacity for empathy.