Philosophy

“The unexamined life is not worth living” is Plato’s famous answer to the importance of studying philosophy. Philosophy spans across time and subject. Philosophers ask all manner of curious questions: What exists? How can we know? What is beauty? How should we act? And yet, we question those answers. What are you curious about?

Philosophy holds a special place, second only to theology, in the Catholic intellectual tradition because of its commitment to exploring the ultimate meaning of life, the place of the human person in relation to all other reality, and the responsibility that each person has toward others. A foundation in philosophy helps people approach their career, or any aspect of their life, in a more reflective way. It can serve students well as a chosen major or as an additional field of study.

Why study Philosophy at TMU?

There’s a world of human thought just waiting to be explored, and those philosophical insights could change the way students see themselves and their career paths. The philosophy program at Thomas More University is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of human nature, reasoning, freedom, and the philosophical foundation of Christian beliefs. This kind of educational background could lead students to pursue a professional degree or to choose a social, political, legal, or religious position, with some positions requiring advanced degrees.

Each philosophy student at Thomas More has the full attention of three experienced philosophers, who will let students choose coursework to satisfy their own interests and curiosities. The curriculum is flexible, yet historically grounded. Alone or in combination with other majors, a philosophy degree can provide an invaluable basis for careers in law, medicine, politics, humanities, and other professions.

What will I be doing?

The study of philosophy is central to the Thomas More mission, so it is included in the core curriculum for every student to experience regardless of major. One set of courses, metaphysics and epistemology looks at the distinctive characteristics of the human person and the nature of reality and knowledge. A second set of courses, values and ethics, explores moral freedom. All students choose one course from each set based on personal interests and career plans.

Students majoring in philosophy study past great thinkers. They construct arguments about important questions and situations that challenge mankind. Students will learn to think for themselves and support their claims. Students can specialize in ethics, epistemology, or take a broad range of courses from across the subfields of philosophy which includes the following:

  • Logic
  • Epistemology (the foundations of knowledge)
  • History of Philosophy
  • Ethics/Aesthetics
  • Metaphysics (the study of being)

Majors also explore a year-long senior project under the guidance of department faculty. Minoring in philosophy is also encouraged.

Who will I be learning from?

The faculty at Thomas More University holds decades of experience teaching philosophy, and they understand the power of ideas and the depth of philosophy’s reach into human civilization. They experience how philosophy applies to and aids in reasoning with challenges of today’s world, whether they come from science, business, politics, or just the human condition. Faculties’ interests lie in aesthetics, including the philosophy of film and of music; in philosophy of science, biomedical ethics, and questions about death and dying; in questions about the nature of God and of knowledge of living a good life and being a productive citizen.

Where do alumni work or pursue advanced degrees?

Program alumni work as lawyers, educators, health professionals, scientists, computer professionals, and financial advisors. The philosophy program is excellent preparation for graduate school, religious life, as well as going directly into the work field.

What careers will be open to me?

Historically, a philosophy degree was excellent preparation to study the law. Today, it reaches beyond law, preparing students for careers which require thinking critically and clearly, for writing and speaking well, and for learning to understand on one’s own. Paired with a minor or second major, philosophers are thoughtful, careful professionals who can work in a variety of fields including health care, business, government, and higher education.

What experiential learning opportunities will I have?

Depending on the student’s interests, experiential learning opportunities will be uniquely designed just for them. If the student’s interests lean towards health care, the student may be paired with an alumnus who works at a local hospital; if the student finds music compelling, TMU will find someone who can help them match theory and practice; and if the student is interested politics, TMU can show them what it would be like to work in the law or consult for government.

What special requirements exist for admission?

No special requirements are necessary to start philosophy. The Thomas More University curriculum is flexible and manageable so that even someone who comes late to the major or wants to pursue other studies simultaneously can still complete all requirements.

What scholarships or aid are specific to this program?

A competitive scholarship is available for one philosophy student each year.