Philosophy requires critical thinking, careful reading, clear writing, and imaginative problem solving – skills that you will use and treasure throughout college and for the rest of your life. These skills are the ultimate transferable skills, ones that deepen your understanding of your major field and aid you in whatever career you choose. In Philosophy, you develop these skills while studying all the fascinating issues they won’t let you talk about in high school: Does God exist? Do animals have rights? Is abortion morally permitted? What is morality? Is the mind just the brain? What makes a person the same person even as they change over time? Is there a life after death? How do we trick ourselves into holding false beliefs? How would an understanding of logic (a sub-discipline within philosophy) change how I think about things? And many more.
At UL Lafayette, all Liberal Arts majors are required to have a minor, and the Philosophy Minor is a popular choice. The requirements for your minor are established by the department in which you major, so be sure to consult with your advisor when selecting a minor. Typically, the requirement is 18 hours in a field other than your major.
It is difficult to underestimate the impact philosophy has had in every field of study – from psychology to political science to physics. As Albert Einstein noted in a letter, “… this line of thought has had great influence on my efforts, specifically [physicist and philosopher Ernst] Mach and, even more, [18th century philosopher David] Hume, whose Treatise of Human Nature I studied with passion and admiration shortly before discovering the [special] theory of relativity. Very possibly, I wouldn't have come to the solution without those philosophical studies.”
The study of logic and critical thinking is fundamental to the study of philosophy, and it is Philosophy that offers courses in Symbolic Logic (PHIL 361), Critical Thinking (PHIL 202), and How to Think About Weird Things (PHIL 201).
Because of frequent moral lapses in the business world, many employers seek employees, especially for executive positions, with a background in ethics such as that provided by PHIL 316 Professional Ethics, PHIL 314 Ethics and PHIL 111 Contemporary Moral Dilemmas.
If you have an interest in law or government related fields, you will be interested in the variety of ethics courses listed above as well as PHIL 319 Philosophy of Law and our course in Politics and Ethics.
If you enjoy history, you will find that a knowledge of historical philosophical movements greatly enhances your understanding of historical events. Philosophy courses such as PHIL 321 Plato, Aristotle and the Ancients, PHIL 322 History of Modern Philosophy, PHIL 327 Existentialism and Phenomenology, PHIL 329 Topics in the History of Philosophy and PHIL 428 Seminar in the History of Philosophy will be of particular interest.
If you have interests in psychology or the sciences, you will be interested in the philosophical theories about the nature of the mind as well as the nature of science. Courses such as PHIL 340 Philosophy of Mind and PHIL 342 Philosophy of Science discuss such theories.
Philosophical issues constantly arise in popular culture, and philosophy courses such as PHIL 373 Topics in Philosophy and Culture, with subtitles such as Harry Potter and Philosophy, Philosophy and Science Fiction, and South Park and Philosophy offer entertaining ways to explore philosophical issues.
We also offer courses in Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, Skepticism, and a variety of other topics.
Get some Philosophy in your life – Minor in Philosophy!
"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates