Philosophy

PROGRAM OVERVIEW The study of philosophy attempts to develop a student’s understanding of the presuppositions underlying the main areas of human inquiry, an awareness of the range of reasonable answers to the ultimate questions individuals ask themselves, and a habit of critical reflection concerning the student’s own convictions about belief and conduct. The major is designed to permit broad interdepartmental studies and interdisciplinary synthesis. It provides a desirable background for graduate study and work in human relations, law, literature, the social sciences and theology.

In addition to the possibilities that the study of philosophy itself offers, we have much to offer as a department. Our size affords us the luxury of really getting to know our students. We take seriously Drake’s commitment to collaborative learning between faculty and students. As faculty, we value time we spend with students beyond the classroom, engaging in conversation, mentoring students, and building community.

FACULTY The Department of Philosophy and Religion has six full-time faculty, four of whom teach philosophy courses. Leah Kalmanson teaches courses in continental philosophy, postmodern philosophy, eastern philosophy and aesthetics. Tim Knepper teaches courses in philosophy of religion, comparative philosophy, ancient philosophy and philosophy of language. Jennifer McCrickerd offers courses in ethics, political thought, epistemology and American philosophy. Martin Roth teaches courses in philosophy of science, neuroscience and the law, philosophy of psychology and epistemology.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION While no specific high school courses are required, successful students have a sense of wonder, an educated curiosity and a willingness to look at the world as if for the first time.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR 33 credit hours

REQUIREMENTS FOR MINOR 18 credit hours

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.

CAREER OPTIONS Many philosophy graduates go on to graduate and law school. Students with a philosophy major possess people skills, the ability to reason creatively and critically, and the ability to adapt to new situations. These qualities are highly valued in business, government and education.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES The Delphian Society is an organization for discussions in philosophy and religion.

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