003 Spotts World Culture Building
Philosophy Department Website
Richard Findler, Bernard Freydberg, Katherine Cooklin, Bradley Wilson
“Much of the success I’ve had as a first-year law student is attributable to the analytic and argumentative skills I’ve developed as a student in the Slippery Rock University Philosophy Department.”
Class of ‘01
“I wanted more than just a degree and a job; I wanted to understand the world and my place in it in a more meaningful way. Members of the department have continued to advise me and be gracious to me and my family over the years.”
Dr. James Highland
Class of ‘92
University of Hartford
“A great place to study philosophy. Every SRU instructor was committed to student goals, including putting in overtime…” “numerous examples of kindness and generosity on a daily basis.”
Diane Bowser ’95
Clarion University (Venango Campus), PA
Philosophy teaches students to inquire in a systematic way into fundamental questions connected with one’s relationships to oneself, others, society, and the world. It helps students pull their studies together into a unified project and to think about broader perspectives and implications, which are often lost sight of in specialized study. In particular, philosophy helps students to develop the following critical thinking essential to academic pursuits and intelligent living.
- Analytical thinking: logical skills involving the ability to break down complex ideas and problems into their elements and to perform reasoning tasks efficiently and correctly.
- Evaluative thinking: skills of making intelligent ethical, social, esthetic, and religious value judgments related to fundamental issues in contemporary society and their implications for students’ personal and professional lives.
- Synthetic thinking: skills of pulling together a variety of views and perspectives and resolving intellectual and practical conflicts related to the many alternative ideas and voluminous information in both the theoretical and applied spheres.
Philosophy prepares students for advanced studies in its own and in related fields and for many careers which require a high level of logical and linguistic refinement, ethical awareness and the capacity to form interpretive judgments within complex and dynamic social and intellectual environments on a global scale. Because of the strong emphasis on logical reasoning, philosophy majors are coping particularly well with rapid technological change. New roles have opened in health care, government, education, business, environmental fields, technology and scientific research for those with professional training in ethics. Traditionally, philosophical education has been valuable for further study in:
- the humanities, especially in fields which involve language, literature and the arts;
- the sciences, especially in relation to their theoretical foundations and their social impact;
- comparative cultures;
- law and policy studies; and
- business and the helping professions.
Many students combine philosophy with another field. Slippery Rock University’s liberal studies program relies extensively on courses in philosophy to afford an important foundation for an undergraduate education.
Students have the opportunity to participate in frequent trips to conferences, join the Philosophy Club and achieve membership in the Philosophy Honorary.
Philosophy Fact Sheet