Philosophy uses reason to reflect upon the most basic and profound questions that human beings can ask.

Does life have a meaning? Is there a God? What is truth? How ought one to live one's life?

Philosophy teaches us how to think and write about these and other basic questions in a reasoned and critical fashion. Because philosophy deals with the fundamental issues that underlie all of our investigations into nature and ourselves, the study of philosophy serves students who are interested in the foundations of the sciences, arts, and social institutions.

The study of philosophy is an excellent preparation for graduate and professional school. Philosophy concentrators are more successful in being admitted to schools of law and medicine than students from almost any other field.

Members of the UM-Dearborn philosophy faculty are committed to excellence in both teaching and scholarly research. They are available both for formal advising and informal discussion. We at UM-Dearborn try to create a relaxed and friendly environment, a community of teachers and students dedicated to philosophical inquiry and discussion. Please call on us whenever we can help.

Degree Requirements

Pursuing the philosophy major, whether by means of Alternative I or II, involves taking both lower and upper division courses.  The philosophy faculty advises all majors to take the required lower division courses first, since these courses will give you the foundations for doing well in the upper division courses.  In terms of the upper division courses, we advise you to take the required history sequence as soon as you can after fulfilling your lower division requirements.  These courses will introduce you to the ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers as well as to those of the European philosophers from the 17th and 18th century.  The ideas of these thinkers are part of the current discussion of a variety of philosophical issues and so reference to these ideas will often come up in other upper division courses you take.

Once you have chosen philosophy as a major, one of the members of the philosophy faculty will be assigned to work with you.  However, any member of the philosophy faculty is happy to meet with students majoring or minoring in philosophy as well as those students interested in considering philosophy for a major or minor.  All faculty members in philosophy are available to answer any questions you might have with regard to the philosophy program.

Minor in Philosophy

A philosophy minor consists of any four upper-division philosophy courses.

Student Organizations

Philosophy students may also be interested in other clubs and organizations in Literature, Philosophy and the Arts, throughout CASL, and across campus.

  • Philosophy Club

    The Philosophy Club is a student run organization that sponsors talks and discussions on a variety of philosophical issues.

  • Program Goals
    • Develop the ability to think critically and clearly, and to demonstrate this ability through the analysis and writing of well-reasoned argumentative essays.
    • Become familiar with some of the major figures, ideas, and arguments in the Western philosophical tradition.
    • Engage in formulating your own ideas and developing the skills necessary to articulate these ideas.
    • Develop the ability to consider opposing views and to assess the logic inherent in these views.
    • See that philosophical theories underlie political systems, scientific theories, controversies in law, and indeed in theories about every aspect of reality.
    • Develop a sense of intellectual integrity and a commitment to truth, as distinct from what is merely fashionable, popular, or politically convenient.
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