What is Philosophy?
What is there, what do we know, and how are we to live? Philosophy is the systematic investigation of perennial human questions about the nature of reality, the limits of knowledge, and the foundations of value.
Courses in philosophy develop a variety of skills that contribute to professional success, engaged citizenship, and a well-rounded life. These include analytical thinking, abstract reasoning, and creative problem-solving, abilities useful in every career. Philosophy also fosters the ability to build and critique an argument (a skill valued highly by law schools); clarity in written and oral communication; and increased awareness of diverse solutions to social, political, and ethical problems. If you want to learn how to think rather than what to think, philosophy is the field of study for you!
Who Are We?/Why PNW?
We also offer students pursuing a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies the opportunity to combine a focus in philosophy with study in another academic discipline, such as world history, English literature, business, or a foreign language.
The PNW Philosophy Program is special in that it offers courses in many fields as well as multiple degrees, while also providing exemplary training in axiology (value theory) and the history of philosophy.
What Is It Like To Be a PNW Philosophy Student?
The PNW Philosophy Program is an intimate and vibrant intellectual community with a high faculty to student ratio. Our classes are typically smaller than those in other disciplines, and are often discussion-based.
Students in the PNW Philosophy Program have the opportunity to work closely with our internationally recognized faculty, who are leaders in their intellectual fields. Students also have the chance to attend Philosophy Colloquia, presentations in the Philosophy Matters talk series, and informal Philosophy Parties hosted by PNW professors, as well as to participate in one of our student-run Philosophy Clubs.
Featured Philosophy Courses
PHIL 32400 – Ethics for the Professions
PHIL 32400 “Ethics for the Professions” is the Philosophy Program’s flagship course, serving hundreds of PNW undergraduates across the university every year. The course introduces students to a variety of ethical theories and develops the critical thinking skills necessary to make and communicate ethically defensible professional decisions in a wide array of fields, including engineering, nursing, management, and business.
PHIL 29300/POL 34600 – Law and Society
For students interested in a plan of study with a pre-law emphasis, PHIL 29300/POL 34600 “Law and Society” is an excellent cross-disciplinary introduction to the character and development of law and legal institutions. This course investigates the interrelationship of law, morality, and custom; the prospects of legal and social change; and the nature of the legal profession.
PHIL 40800 – Philosophy of Love and Friendship
PHIL 40800 “Philosophy of Love and Friendship” is a survey, from antiquity to the present, of major theorists in the Western intellectual tradition who explore the complexity of intimate human relationships. Drawing on original writings from Plato to Foucault, this course explores topics such as: the ethical basis of love and friendship, the transition from eros to agape, and the metaphysics of sexuality and embodiment.
Daniel Nichols earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2015. He is currently a graduate student in the PhD Program of Bowling Green State University’s Department of Philosophy. His studies emphasize issues at the intersection of ethics and metaphysics with a special focus on personal identity.
Charles Gaspardarek earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science in 2013. He continued his education at Valparaiso University, earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Accounting and Finance and a Doctor of Law (JD) in 2017.
Matthew Bowen earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy through the Honors College in 2015. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Career Paths (most common)
About Our Faculty
PNW’s Philosophy faculty is a collective of active scholars who work in a variety of philosophical disciplines. Our professors are internationally recognized for their monographs and scholarly publications in the fields of professional and engineering ethics, ethical theory, political philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, phenomenology, modern philosophy, and philosophical counseling.
PNW’s Philosophy faculty are also recognized participants and leaders in national and international scholarly organizations, including the American Philosophical Association, Sartre Studies International, the Institute for Critical Thinking, the American Society for Aesthetics, and the Fulbright Commission.
To learn more about what our professors doing, orchestrate an independent study in one of their areas of professional specialization, or extend an invitation for a public presentation on current research projects, please contact Professor Sam Ziniach.