Major: Philosophy
Related Program: 
Religious Studies
Program Director: 
Michael P. Muth Associate Professor of Philosophy
Course Catalogue pages

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.  


Michael MuthMichael P. Muth Associate Professor of Philosophy. B.A. (Philosophy) University of the South 1989; Ph.D. (Philosophy) Duke University 2001. My primary research focus is medieval metaphysics and ethics, especially the work of Bonaventure. This research has led to further interest in the contemporary revival of virtue ethics and the reclamation of medieval metaphysics and ethics in some contemporary philosophers and theologians (such as Alasdair Macintyre, C.S. Lewis, and the “Radical Orthodoxy” group). Tate 220.