Philosophy a brief guide for undergraduates
How, for instance, is psychology related to brain biology, and biology to chemistry!
This field has close ties to both epistemology and metaphysics. Philosophy of mind, with its emphasis on understanding the human person, is valuable. Characteristically, there is much room for creativity and for choice of approach; and philosophy is unique in the way it nurtures this creativity and freedom within broad but definite standards of clarity, reasoning, and evaluation. Philosophy of science, for instance, is needed to supplement the understanding of the natural and social sciences which one derives from scientific work itself. Philosophy of science is usually divided into philosophy of the natural sciences and philosophy of the social sciences. The philosophy of religion treats these topics and many related subjects, such as the relation between faith and reason, the nature of religious language, the relation of religion and morality, and the question of how a God who is wholly good could allow the existence of evil. Courses in subfields vary greatly in their methods and in breadth of topic, however, and students proceeding directly from such courses to those at the next level should first assess how much general philosophical background they have obtained. First, philosophy can yield immediate benefits for students planning post-graduate work. The History of Philosophy studies both major philosophers and entire periods in the development of philosophy, such as the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, Nineteenth Century, and Twentieth- Century periods. Philosophers regularly build on both the successes and the failures of their predecessors. Metaphysics seeks basic criteria for determining what sorts of things are real. Philosophy of Art Aesthetics.
Both ethics particularly business ethics and philosophy of mind may benefit business people in conducting many of their day-to-day activities. What kind of knowledge, if any, is fundamental? Philosophy of religion has the most obvious relevance for pre-seminary students, but they should also find a number of other courses, including ethics, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy, of special value.
As all this suggests, there are people trained in philosophy in just about every field.
The Department teaches courses in bio-medical ethics, business ethics, and environmental ethics that investigate ethical problems relevant to many professional fields of study and work.
Originality is also encouraged, and students are generally urged to use their imagination and develop their own ideas.
Undergraduate philosophy journals
What kind of knowledge, if any, is fundamental? Philosophy courses differ greatly from one another, depending on the instructor, the topics, and other factors. A normal course of study for a thirty-hour major would include some work in each of the traditional core areas: epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy, logic, and metaphysics. Students might compare and contrast two philosophers, noting where the two agree or disagree, and perhaps indicating and justifying a preference for one of the views. Introductory to intermediate courses in logic and ethics are highly relevant. It treats a broad spectrum of questions about language: the nature of meaning, the relations between words and things, the various theories of language, learning, and the distinction between literal and figurative uses of language. It helps one to analyze concepts, definitions, arguments, and problems. It concerns the nature of art, including both the performing arts and painting, sculpture, and literature. The philosophy of mind addresses not only the possible relations of the mental to the physical for instance, to brain processes , but the many concepts having an essential mental element: belief, desire, emotion, feeling, sensation, passion, will, personality, and others. A major or minor in philosophy can easily be integrated with requirements for nearly any entry-level job; but philosophical training, particularly in its development of many transferable skills, is especially significant for its long-term benefits in career advancement. The Philosophy of Law explores such topics of what law is, what kinds of laws there are, how law is or should be related to morality, and what sorts of principles should govern punishment and criminal justice in general. One might thus be asked not only what Kant said about capital punishment and why, but whether his case was sound. The History of Philosophy studies both major philosophers and entire periods in the development of philosophy, such as the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, Nineteenth Century, and Twentieth- Century periods. Hamilton, 9th District, Indiana, March 25,
These introductions are most often built around important philosophical problems. It should also be clear that the study of philosophy has intrinsic rewards as an unlimited quest for understanding of important, challenging problems.
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