Chair: Professor Peter Tumulty
Professors: Ronald Begley, John Izzi
Assistant Professors: Alicia Jaramillo, Katherine E. Kirby, Crystal L’Hôte, R. Michael Olson, Lara Ostaric
Philosophy has always been considered as the endeavor to escape from ignorance and to investigate the meaning of nature, of self and of reality as a whole. Of course, philosophy is not alone in wanting to escape from ignorance; other disciplines, natural, social and literary, share that desire. But philosophy attempts to take a more comprehensive view, and for over two millennia philosophers have sought the type of understanding that leads to wisdom. Their ideas have become the very roots of the great social, political, educational, economic, literary, and scientific movements of every age. Thus, philosophy includes as one of its tasks a consideration of the presuppositions of other academic disciplines as well as the presuppositions of our fundamental social practices. This is one reason why it is viewed as an essential component of a truly liberal education.
All students at Saint Michael’s College are required to take two basic courses in philosophy to enable them to meet with these fundamental questions and to see how thinkers of the past and present have responded to them. The first course, Introduction to Philosophy (PH 103), introduces students to some basic philosophical issues with the help of Plato’s dialogues and other philosophical texts. After completing PH 103, the student can choose the second course from Philosophy of Human Being (PH 201), Ethics (PH 203), Philosophy of Society (PH 205) or Philosophy of Religion (PH 207).
For those students who wish to deepen their knowledge of the subject, electives are offered to acquaint them with the history, development, methods, and content of nearly the entire range of philosophy.