Department Description: Courses in Philosophy cover life’s fundamental questions, such as what do we know, and how do we know it? What is the source and function of moral behavior? What is the nature of logic and correct reasoning? Students of Philosophy learn how history’s most profound thinkers have attempted to answer these questions; students also learn the thinking and reasoning skills that will allow them to answer these questions for themselves.
Department Learning Outcomes:
- Demonstrate an ability to recognize and critically evaluate issues that arise when people think about the nature of truth, life, the universe, morality, mind, God, and other issues of philosophical interest.
- Become more aware and reflective individuals capable of independently assessing commonly held clichéd social assumptions and articulating informed and well-reasoned evaluations.
- Become self motivated thinkers possessing the ability to rationally determine their beliefs and values for themselves.
Special Department Information: Because courses in Philosophy often require students to express themselves in writing, it is suggested that students complete ENGL 1410 Composition I prior to taking a Philosophy course.
Transfer Opportunities: The analytical skills honed in Philosophy courses enhance a student’s chance for success in any major. Students looking beyond a major, or considering a future specialization in philosophy, should know that Philosophy majors consistently register higher LSAT, GRE, and GMAT scores than students from other disciplines. The University of Virginia Law School found that Philosophy majors averaged 15 points higher on the Law School entrance exam than students from other majors. Courses in Philosophy greatly benefit anyone interested in law school, seminary, medicine, journalism, or attaining any graduate degree.
Career Opportunities: While there are few jobs with the title “Philosopher,” Philosophy’s focus on thinking skills provides students with a valuable asset in the rapidly changing job market. Not all philosophers become professors. Consider this partial list of philosophers (majored in Philosophy): Woody Allen, William Bennett, Bill Clinton, David Duchovny, Umberto Eco, John Elway, Harrison Ford, Vaclav Havel, Bruce Lee, Steve Martin, Pope John Paul II, Susan Sontag, George Soros, and Alex Trebeck. Some employers look for skills, but all employers value thinking.
Career Titles: Lawyer, Journalist, Professor
As a faculty member at Central Lakes College (CLC) since 2009, I have taught the following fascinating courses in Philosophy: World Religions, Philosophy and Popular Culture, Immortality and the Afterlife, Critical Thinking, Logic, Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, and Contemporary Moral Problems. I received my B.A. from St. Cloud State University (SCSU) 2005, and my M.A. at SCSU in 2010. I taught briefly in the English Dept. at SCSU before taking a job as a paralegal in the Brainerd Lakes Area. In 2009 I was (gently) initiated into the CLC campus life, shortly after was (not so gently) initiated into parenthood when my partner and I had our first child. In 2012 I was honored to receive the CLC Faculty Member of the Year Award, as voted upon by the CLC student body. While at CLC I have continued to be active in campus life; I participate in various CLC faculty committees and serve(d) as the advisor for the CLC Equality Coalition student club. I thoroughly enjoy philosophizing, no matter the subject, on such questions as: Should I lie to an inquiring murderer? Is Walt from the TV series “Breaking Bad” a truly authentic individual? Is ignorance bliss? Does God exist? Does evil exist? Is there a best way to live? Do we have free will? Is it all just a matter of opinion? Does a tree falling in a forest make a sound? Is there a soul or an afterlife? My students have joked about the way my eyes light up when a good argument starts. It is exciting for me to watch students develop as critical thinkers, and it gives me hope to know that there are a few more thoughtful people going out into the world.