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The Department of Philosophy at Kent State University offers an undergraduate program of study in philosophy, as well as a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Arts. An undergraduate student can major in philosophy, minor in philosophy, or take philosophy courses to fulfill Kent Core requirements. The Department of Philosophy is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, but a student in any college can minor (or double major) in philosophy. The department invites all Kent State University students to consider our course offerings as a complement or supplement to any program of study.
Philosophy courses offer students training in vital workplace and life skills by:
- Enhancing analytic and critical reading, writing and thinking skills;
- Encouraging them to consider and analyze various sides of an issue, rather than automatically adopting or rejecting a given position;
- Teaching them how to construct strong arguments and to express them verbally and in writing;
- Fostering creative thinking and the ability to see alternative solutions to problems;
- Developing effective communication skills;
- Building a foundation for lifelong learning and inquiry;
- Promoting global literacy; and
- Introducing them to a discipline whose history stretches back well over 2,000 years, and which considers basic, timeless questions.
What a Student Should Expect From Philosophy Courses
We expect each student to actively participate in every philosophy course, large or small. A student in a philosophy course will be asked to think, not just to listen, and to express his or her own ideas and views as opposed to merely repeating or agreeing with a correct answer. Students will also be required to formulate reasons and arguments in support of their views and to explore the consequences of those views.
Philosophical training helps students develop intellectual discipline and enables them to appreciate the ideas of mainstream thinkers as well as those of authors who challenge assumptions and commonly held viewpoints.
Course Offerings and Faculty
The Department of Philosophy’s course offerings stress both diversity and depth, offering classes that explore a wide range of topics in all of the historical eras and main subfields of philosophy. Courses are taught by faculty who differ not only in scholarly concentrations, but also in teaching methods, values, and styles of interaction in both instruction and advising. Students are encouraged to sample a wide range of both course offerings and instructors.
The Department of Philosophy participates in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, including Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Classics, Health Care Ethics, Pre-Law, Religion Studies, and Women’s Studies.
Philosophy faculty have three professional aims: excellence in teaching, rigor and quality in professional research activities, and generosity and service to students, the university, and the broader community. Full-time faculty have doctoral degrees from the Universities of California (Riverside), Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Washington; from Emory, Purdue, Vanderbilt, and Wayne State Universities; and from CUNY and SUNY (Stony Brook). Faculty participate in and take on leadership roles within the American Philosophical Association, Ohio Philosophical Association, American Academy of Religion, American Society for Value Inquiry, International Society for Chinese Philosophy, North American Nietzsche Society, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, and Society for Women in Philosophy.