student studyingThe philosophy B.A program is designed to provide its students with a solid grounding in European and American philosophy, including its history. Philosophy is a rational critical discipline, and the philosophy major throughout the four years of the program sharpens her/his thinking, writing and speaking skills with reference to the enduring questions of philosophy.

The study of values is an integral part of Mansfield's philosophy program, involving a concentration of courses in such areas as ethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of law, and Eastern philosophy; these courses all relate directly to the human search for values--to our attempt to finding or founding values in the world.

It is not enough for our society to produce individuals who know only how to do things; whether to do them is sometimes even more important. In our national situation it is crucial that our societal wisdom not be totally outpaced by our technological abilities. The discipline of philosophy has always attempted to impart to its students that critical self reflection that is the first step to wisdom. 

M.U.'s BA philosophy program is designed with a maximum of flexibility. We are aware of the importance of jobs and careers in everyone's life. Thus, we have constructed the philosophy major program so as to allow students ample opportunity for a second major, or to obtain skills in job related programs.

The philosophy major consists of eleven courses in philosophy. Of these Introduction to Philosophy (PHL 2201) and Formal Logic(PHL 3230) are specified at the 2000 level. At the 4000 level the student is required to take a two semester sequence: Classical Greek Philosophy (PHL 4420) and Topics in Modern Philosophy (PHL 4422). Of the seven remaining courses to be taken, at least three must be 3000 or 4000 level courses, and the remaining four can be at any level. ONE course must be chosen following: 3390, 3470, or 4423. Additionally, all candidates for a BA at Mansfield are required to either complete a Minor area of concentration or demonstrate proficiency at the intermediate level in a foreign language.

Since a student must take 120 hours to graduate from Mansfield and the philosophy major specifies only 33 of these, it is easy to see that even after the 48 hours of general education are added in (and 9 hours of philosophy can be used to fulfill this requirement), a philosophy major has no difficulty in combining his or her interest in philosophy with studies in other areas.

The traditional philosophy major is not designed for everyone. The courses are rigorous. There is a great deal of difficult thinking and writing involved. For the last twenty-five years we have found that there are always a few students at Mansfield who find Philosophy satisfying and fascinating and are capable of doing good philosophical work. Currently the department has 21 declared Majors. The department strongly supports our students with close advising, detailed assistance in career planning or in applying to graduate or professional schools, and supervision of the Philosophy Club. If you feel you might be interested in this small, high quality program, simply call one of our faculty members.

Course Descriptions