Chair: Professor Peter Tumulty
Professors: Ronald Begley, John Izzi
Associate Professor: R. Michael Olson, Katherine E. Kirby
Assistant Professors: Crystal L’Hôte, Lara Ostaric
Philosophy has always been considered as the endeavor to escape from ignorance and to investigate the significance of nature, of self and of reality as a meaningful 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 philosophy is viewed as an essential component of a truly liberal education.
All students at Saint Michael’s College are required to take one basic course 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. This course introduces students to some basic philosophical issues with the help of Plato’s dialogues and other philosophical texts. After completing the Introduction to Philosophy course and a 100-level course in Religious Studies, every student has a choice to fulfill the Liberal Studies Curriculum requirement in “Study of Christian Traditions and Thought” by taking any 200-level a course in Philosophy or in Religious Studies.
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.