Philosophy teaches not what to think, but how to think.
Whereas studying other subjects typically involves learning answers to questions, studying philosophy involves questioning received answers. Philosophy wrestles with the enduring questions of life, including:
Can we know anything about the external world?
How do minds relate to the physical world?
Do we have free will?
What is it to live a good life?
What makes actions right or wrong, good or bad?
Does God exist?
While these sorts of questions are very difficult to resolve, studying philosophy fosters the skills needed to tackle them: to think critically, to construct and evaluate chains of reasoning, and to entertain many perspectives on any given subject—all of which are skills highly transferable to other fields.
The Philosophy minor at Fairmont State University is NOT about:
- Advice for daily living
- A body of truisms or sayings
Instead, students will explore the foundations of our worldview, including:
- Evidence, knowledge, and skepticism
- Truth and rationality
- Reality, possibility, and the basic constituents of the universe
- Meaning and language
- Minds and the physical world
- Human nature and free will
- Ethics and the good life
- Objectivity and subjectivity
- Religion, and God, transcendental reality
- Art and beauty
- The self and its persistence through time
- Logic and good reasoning
Philosophy minors will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various systems of thought, and the reasons for adopting or rejecting them.