What does it mean to be a philosopher, literally, a “lover of wisdom”? It begins, so Socrates tells us, with wonder or amazement at the marvels the world around us, but this is not the end of the story for the philosopher who not only wonders about fundamental things but wants to investigate and understand them. Early Christian thinkers spoke of this rigorous wondering as “faith seeking understanding.” By studying philosophy, you will cultivate an intellectually rigorous wondering—not only as an expression of your natural desire to understand but as a central part of your Christian commitment.
Philosophy is a program within the Political Science, History and Philosophy Department. All philosophy majors must choose one of four concentrations.
CHOOSE A CONCENTRATION
The distinctive backgrounds and expertise of Gordon’s Political Science, History and Philosophy Department faculty will provide you with wide-ranging exposure to the major movements in the history of philosophy. You’ll study figures like Socrates, St. Augustine and Kierkegaard, and issues like the problem of suffering and what it means to live a good life. You will also engage with a community of Christian scholars who will introduce you to a life-long dialogue on crucial contemporary questions. This grounding in the foundational issues and figures will prepare you to complete your major with a concentrated area of study that reflects your specific interests and career goals.
The study of the fundamental elements of philosophy will improve your ability to think and write clearly, uncover hidden assumptions, explain complexity, make connections and evaluate and construct strong arguments. These critical thinking and writing skills are essential preparation for any further study or vocation. In conjunction with your area of concentration, your philosophy degree will prepare you for graduate work or employment in areas such as:
Every philosophy major will complete their program with an internship or final research project appropriate for their concentration. For students who wish to pursue honors in philosophy, recommended for any student thinking of pursuing graduate studies, the capstone course will focus on developing and writing an honor’s thesis that will be defended before the department and prepared for publication in an appropriate scholarly journal.
If you are interested in cross-disciplinary issues, build on your philosophy studies and explore these interests through the Kenneth L. Pike Honors Program. As Pike Scholars, Gordon philosophy students have pursued interdisciplinary study in topics such as environmental ethics, religion and society, and combinations of politics, philosophy and economics. Attend and submit your papers to undergraduate research conferences; join the Philosophy Club; learn about fascinating topics through the Center for Faith and Inquiry's visiting scholars’ lectures, which are often philosophical in nature. And our proximity to Boston affords you the opportunity to take advantage of lectures and resources there.
Gordon’s Political Science, History and Philosophy Department has a special relationship with the following global education programs: