The Washington State University Catalog

Department of Philosophy

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Department of Philosophy
Johnson Tower 801

Associate Professor and Department Chair, D. L. Shier; Professors, J. K. Campbell, M. W. Myers; Assistant Professors, A. Bunch, W. Kabasenche, M. Stichter; Professors Emeriti, D. M. Holbrook, H. S. Silverstein.

The Department of Philosophy offers courses in which students discuss fundamental intellectual questions and both classical and contemporary attempts to address them. What makes for a morally right act or a just society? What sorts of things can we really claim to know? What is mind, and what is its relation to matter? Are we really capable of free choice or is our every act determined by past events? These are the kinds of questions that are addressed by philosophers.

Philosophy students acquire knowledge of ethics, logic, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and other areas which provide excellent intellectual foundations for careers in law, government service, education, ministry, and many other fields.

The study of philosophy enables students to explore critically a variety of systems of beliefs and values, to identify and challenge the foundations of their own beliefs and values, and to develop sound habits of critical thinking and communication ­ skills that are central to success in all professions.

We expect our undergraduate students to 1) develop the critical thinking skills necessary for evaluating intellectual material from any discipline; 2) learn basic methods of symbolic logic (propositional logic or higher); 3) learn standard research procedures and methods for philosophy; 4) develop their abilities to write and speak effectively about philosophy and other subjects; 5) come to understand theories, concepts, and issues of moral philosophy; and 6) gain both broad knowledge of philosophy and knowledge within specialized fields of philosophy.

The department offers programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (in either the Traditional Option or the Pre-Law Option), the Master of Arts in Philosophy, and the Graduate Certificate in Bioethics.

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