Philosophy at Carroll College


Program Details

Philosophy investigates the fundamental features of human existence, including questions about ethics and value, justice and politics, knowledge and science, and culture and beauty. Philosophy majors or minors study classic and contemporary texts and develop strong analytical and argumentative skills.

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About the Program

Your course of study includes a strong foundation in both the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy. Our faculty are experts in their fields; they give you individualized attention and they maintain a sincere interest in your success. They teach you to communicate effectively in speech and writing, creatively respond to complex issues, and to form, defend, and critique arguments. Like you, they share your sincere commitments to ethics and truth.

At Carroll College, you will build meaningful friendships along your intellectual journey... and have fun along the way! The philosophy department hosts many lectures and special events that you can help to organize, and Philosophy Circle meets several times a year, drawing members of the campus community together around a compelling and relevant topic.

The Carroll Difference

The Carroll College philosophy program offers a comprehensive and enriching educational experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning. Our philosophy courses incorporate hands-on activities, such as philosophical debates, simulations, and case studies. For example, students may engage in mock trials to explore ethical dilemmas or participate in Socratic dialogues to enhance critical thinking skills. Student assignments can vary between traditional essay assignments, or video presentations; some courses have assigned podcasts of their students, arranged in-course conferences, or required the filming of short movies. There are some opportunities for students to engage with philosophy beyond traditional coursework, such as a local public philosophy non-profit, and individual professors have accompanied students to philosophical conferences to present papers. Our past students have also participated in philosophy internships locally. Furthermore, we organize philosophy discussions where students can present their research, engage in scholarly debates, and network with peers and faculty members. These opportunities foster a sense of community and inspire students to deepen their commitment to philosophy.

Philosophy attracts a diverse range of students, but here as some general characteristics and interests commonly observed: Analytical thinkers who enjoy delving into abstract concepts, examining arguments, and evaluating different perspectives. Curious and open-minded persons, eager to explore different philosophical traditions, theories, and perspectives, even if they initially hold differing opinions. Persons with a love for engaging in intellectual discussions and debates, who enjoy the process of refining their own thoughts through dialogue. Strong reading and writing skills. Diverse interdisciplinary interests and an appreciation of the connections between philosophy and other areas of study. Finally, a strong interest in exploring questions related to justice, morality, human rights, and the nature of good and evil.

Life After Graduation

Philosophy is a versatile degree that can prepare you well for a wide range of careers. Some of the more common professions open to graduates with a bachelor's degree in philosophy include business, journalism, technology programming and information systems, public service, the clergy and religious life, public administration, healthcare, education, and public relations.

Many Carroll graduates go on to pursue graduate study, earning advanced degrees in philosophy, law and other fields at schools such as Christian Brothers University, Loyola Marymount University, University of Montana, and University of Iowa. See what our Philosophy alumni are doing today.

What Carroll graduates have to say about philosophy

The search for truth, the quest to fathom life’s meaning and God’s role in it, the exploration of ethics, the investigation into the history of human thought and the pursuit of why we subscribe to our core beliefs - these are the journeys Carroll College philosophy majors make every day in their coursework and academic inquiry.

Before taking this class I believed philosophy consisted of narrow minded people giving answers to questions that had nothing to do with everyday life. I thought that Plato and Aristotle’s writings were abstract to the point of incomprehensibility in the way that they were written, so I might as well not even read them, and that modern philosophers followed in the tradition of mundane writings. Although I would not label myself a philosopher, I have learned their ideas apply to our lives even generations later. To be a philosopher one must 'love' wisdom and seek understanding.

Philosophy is about looking at life and questioning everything about it. I have learned in this course to think about the whys in life and not just passively go through life just as Sophie learned to do in Sophie’s World. In philosophy, love, friendship and wisdom all come together as one can help point out some reasons why the world is as it is.

More people should be interested in philosophy because I think it helps to answer questions such as why a friendship turned out the way it did. Philosophy certainly does get you thinking about the way the world works and what we should be thinking about versus what we actually concern our lives with.

Most people seek to be wise, yet they neglect to realize being wise also means being virtuous and having well structured friendships.

It is extremely important that we study philosophy and not only understand it but institute it in our daily lives so none of our short lives are wasted.

There is a serious lack of deep examination in many people’s lives today… Without thoughtful analysis, we will wonder through life half asleep, much like Ivan Ilych.

Philosophy keeps us grounded in a way, but at the same time lifts up to the heavens.

Philosophy allows people to open their minds and discover what is truly important in life. Therefore, it is accurate to state that people who do not involve themselves in philosophical thought cannot be truly happy. Philosophy is necessary to live a 'good' life.

Philosophy is the enlightenment of our human condition.

Philosophy calls us to literally unshackle our souls and climb to a greater truth.