One of the things most characteristic of being human is our capacity for reflection, especially self-reflection, i.e., our ability to reflect on our own ability to reflect, a thinking about our own thinking. To engage in philosophical reflection, then, is to reflect on the fundamental nature and meaning of our very existence. The study of philosophy is thus at once both deeply personal (as the question of the meaning of my own existence) and communal (as the question of our shared historical human identity and responsibility). The study of philosophy always entails a dual focus - first, on the methods and processes of thinking, and second on the determinate histories or traditions of philosophical reflection. It means learning, then, to think for oneself about fundamental issues, while at the same time learning about how others have ventured such reflection. By critically interacting with examples of sustained philosophical reflection on the most fundamental problems of human existence, students can gain greater control of their own reasoning processes as they partake in this fundamental questioning on their own, and can come to have more important critical insights into their world - social and otherwise - and more imaginative and thoughtful responses to life's challenges.
Minor Requirements: Philosophy.
A minor in philosophy consists of 15 hours distributed as follows (students interested in the major should see Religion, Philosophy, and Social Change):
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