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Philosophy

The philosophy major at St. Kate's will teach you how to think well — to distinguish a well-reasoned argument from a fallacious one, to defend and articulate your own perspective, to analyze texts of ancient and contemporary writers, and to write with clarity and precision.

Majoring in philosophy prepares you for careers that require critical thinking, precise analysis, and clear written and oral communication.

Interdisciplinary and interactive

Philosophy reflects upon matters of history, psychology, literature, theology, law, politics and science. Our courses focus on student and faculty discussion, not lecture. You'll learn how exciting ideas can be. You'll also learn to question situations, beliefs and issues you encounter in everyday life.

Choose your focus

St. Kate's offers two concentrations in philosophy: history and ideas of philosophy, which focuses on how intellectual ideas and concepts developed through time; and ethics, which looks at how values develop and are defined. (Ethics is the only concentration available to students in St. Kate's Evening, Weekend and Online program.)

Undergraduate research

Philosophy majors must work on a senior thesis in the senior seminar course, which covers research methodology, textual analysis, construction of philosophic arguments and the practice of philosophy in the contemporary world. Students present the paper at a department colloquium attended by faculty and other philosophy majors.

"In classes, we work together to uncover and poke at crucial assumptions."

— Jeff Johnson, assistant professor

Role models and mentors

Our faculty have a wide variety of intellectual interests. For example, Professor William Myers' publications have focused on ethics and political theory applied to problems of human evil. Associate Professor Anne Maloney is interested in existentialism, philosophy and literature, philosophy of women, and philosophy and film.

The faculty are also active in professional organizations and invited to speak at national conferences. Assistant Professor Jeff Johnson, past president of the Minnesota Philosophical Society, presented "What Makes Food Authentic?" at the joint meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, Association for the Study of Food and Society, and Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.