From the very beginning, philosophers have recognized that one of the essential things about our humanity is that we create and live in political communities (the word “politics” comes from the ancient Greek city state, the polis). Clearly developing a critical understanding of the foundations of politics and justice is more important than ever, and the political theory concentration will help you deepen your understanding of fundamental issues in political philosophy and theory from its earliest thinkers to contemporary theories. Political theory will prepare you for future engagement in the study of, and work in, the broader political landscape.
Political theory is one of four concentrations offered for philosophy majors.
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: