"Will not the knowledge of the chief good, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what is right? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is..." (Aristotle).
Philosophy literally means the "love of wisdom." As a discipline of the mind, it calls us to think critically about the most fundamental questions of life. What does it mean to be human? How are humans related to the rest of reality? What constitutes reality? Is the universe friendly or indifferent to human purpose? To what extent are we free or not free? What purposes ought we to pursue? What are the possibilities and limitations of human power and understanding? By what criteria can such questions be addressed? What constitutes knowledge? Are there different ways of knowing? What role do assumptions play in what we think is true?
By challenging students to think carefully about questions like these, the philosophy program provides an excellent foundation for graduate school as well as a pathway not only to making a life but also to making a living in careers such as law, teaching, business, the ministry, journalism, and art.
The philosophy program offers both a major and minor, stressing the whole sweep of the history of philosophy rather than any particular philosophy. It also offers courses important to students majoring in other disciplines, courses such as Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy of Law.
A student majoring in philosophy may graduate with honors in philosophy by maintaining a high grade point average, and in the senior year completing an independent research project.
The UW-Platteville is very proud of the professional and experienced philosophy faculty, all with doctorates, and a broad background in the history of philosophy and special competencies and interests that complement one another. The faculty members specialize in social philosophy and the philosophy of education, in ethics and nineteenth century thought, and in the philosophy of the self, and social ethics. As teachers, all have high student ratings.
"It is easy for philosophers to be rich, if they wish, but they are not interested in this" (Aristotle).
The philosophy faculty has exclusive use of a seminar room containing a table and chairs: therefore, rather than taking place in a formal classroom, philosophy classes are often held in a manner which promotes personal encounter and discussion among the faculty and students. Also, Karrmann Library has a broad range of books for use in philosophical studies.
The study of philosophy is of value to a student as a person, no matter what specific career that student may have in mind. Philosophy is an excellent foundation for graduate preparation for a career in the following:
After attaining a bachelors degree, many students go on to graduate school. There is no career or profession whose foundations are untouched by philosophy. Philosophy graduates from UW-Platteville are now employed in a great variety of ways as there is always a demand for able and thoughtful persons!