Related Program: Religious Studies
Program Director: Karen Bray Professor of Religious Studies
Every person has fundamental beliefs at the foundation of his or her understanding of the world. (This first statement, like any other philosophical statement, is one with which many philosophers would disagree.) One of the challenges of the contemporary world is to understand how people who have radically different beliefs can live alongside one another. Philosophy, which can be understood as the critical exposition and analysis of fundamental beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of existence and experience, can help to develop this understanding. Philosophical analysis proceeds in a variety of ways. For example, some philosophers raise questions about experience and about the object of experience. Other philosophers seek to understand the development and use of language. However it is done, philosophical study can help one to formulate questions more carefully so as to clarify the presuppositions and implications of one’s beliefs and those of other individuals. Many Religious Studies courses will complement studies in Philosophy. For information about specific courses offered, please see our Academic Catalogue.