Philosophy - Minor | UW-Superior

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Philosophy - Minor

The literal meaning of philosophy is "love of wisdom." Its practice includes investigating a wide range of fundamental questions about human identity, purpose and values; the nature of knowledge and reality; individuality community, and political power; and more. Thomas Nagel describes it well in the book What Does it All Mean? when he says: "We couldn't get along in life without taking the ideas of time, number knowledge, language, right and wrong for granted most of the time; but in philosophy we investigate those things themselves." Some of the questions we ask in our philosophy classes include: How can human beings have knowledge of reality? Should everyone follow the same moral laws? Do we need God to tell us how to behave? What is the purpose or meaning of human life? What does it mean to "know yourself"? What are the limits of human freedom? Are human rights universally applicable?

The study of philosophy helps us to identify the ruling ideas of our age, calling them into question and freeing the individual mind from narrow preconceptions. It teaches students to engage in dialogue across centuries and cultures, to think critically and argue convincingly. Philosophy studies develop one's analytical intelligence, as well as oral and written communication skills. Research has demonstrated that the study of philosophy is valuable to personal development, preparation for graduate school, and a successful career in a broad range of fields including: law, medicine, journalism, education, business, government, and social work.

Degrees and Majors/Minors

Minor: Philosophy

Let's talk Philosophy

  • Students benefit from small classes that allow time for questions and discussion.
  • A special topics course is offered each year for students pursuing the minor in philosophy.
  • Independent study courses are available for interested students to work with a professor one-on-one.
  • The Wisconsin Philosophical Association's annual student conference provides an opportunity for students to present their work to students across the state.
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