Philosophy asks fundamental questions about reality, knowledge, and values: What is the ultimate nature of reality? Is ultimate reality knowable? What do we mean by ‘knowledge’ or ‘truth,’ and what are the conditions for knowing anything? Is there an ultimate Good for human beings, and if so, how do we come to know it? How should we live our lives?
The overarching goal of the philosophy program at Rosemont College is to provide students with insight into the human condition by exploring these and other philosophical questions and to help them develop a consistent world-view. This primary aim is achieved through historical surveys of ideas and thinkers, critical analyses of basic philosophical issues, and in-depth study of a single author or topic. Through practice in philosophical methods of inquiry and research, students develop many transferable skills in critical and creative thinking that can be utilized in a variety of careers and jobs, demonstrating the flexibility and capacity for growth that employers find valuable. The program prepares students for careers in diverse professions including law, social services, education, government, for-profit and non-profit business, journalism, and publishing. Philosophy is an ideal second major or minor for English, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Psychology, and Political Science.
A degree in philosophy is valuable on several fronts. First, the skills associated with philosophical reflection - critical thinking, argument analysis, abstract reasoning, the ability to see connections between things where others don’t - are in ever-growing demand in the workplace. Many employers in business, government, social work, and other areas have recognized the value of such skills in their workforce. This is a trend which has been occurring for some time, on both sides of the Atlantic. See the following article from the The Guardian, as well as a more recent snapshot of the earning potential of philosophy majors from The Atlantic.
In addition, the skills associated with philosophical training are indispensable for students considering law school, medical school, or advanced studies in any number of fields. Not only are these skills crucial to meeting the rigorous demands of the graduate environment, but it has been shown repeatedly that philosophy majors do particularly well on standardized entrance examinations for post-baccalaureate academic pursuits.
But it is not necessarily these obvious practical benefits that are the sole reasons for considering a major in philosophy. Perhaps most importantly, the study of philosophy is an experience which enriches the life and mind of the student; it engages one directly in a process of intellectual growth, in which the horizons of thought and understanding are expanded. To gain a wider perspective on the world and on the nature of human existence, to develop an appreciation for the range of values and activities central to a meaningful life, to discover the rewards of knowledge for its own sake - these are among the many fruits of philosophical reflection for which there can be no adequate substitute.
Read how a well-known author views the importance of studying philosophy in the following interview from The Atlantic.
For additional information, explore the American Philosophical Association’s online resources for undergraduates considering a philosophy major.
As a member of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, Rosemont College offers its philosophy majors the opportunity for direct engagement with the Philadelphia area’s vibrant philosophical community. Students can attend colloquia and public issues forums, participate in discussion groups, and present papers at the annual undergraduate conference. Visit the GPPC at http://www.thegppc.org/