Major Areas of Study: PHILOSOPHY
Students can expect to get a basic grounding in the history of philosophy, as well as more focused contemporary applications, especially in theoretical and applied ethics. The department prides itself on the individual attention given to students. Students have considerable freedom to choose senior seminar topics, and they work closely with instructors developing this project during the senior year.
Since philosophy probes the basic assumptions of all academic disciplines, some philosophy majors undertake exciting interdisciplinary work. Particularly relevant examples of pairing philosophy and other disciplines at Muskingum include the Conservation and Environmental Sciences, American Studies, and Neuroscience. There is virtually no limit to the kind of interdisciplinary study a philosophy major may choose to pursue.
For example, a philosophy major might:
- Combine ethical theory or political philosophy to study the ethical responsibilities of corporations. A recent graduate of Muskingum wrote a compelling thesis on the ethics of advertising, drawing on faculty from both business and philosophy.
- Engage in a philosophical study of environmental ethics to be used to explore the ethical implications of ecosystems, animals, and living things.
- A major in journalism could use the philosophical study of ethics to evaluate the moral choices that journalists must make. Such a major could also use social and political philosophy to study the underlying meaning of democracy in contemporary America--including the role of the media, the public, pundits and so forth.
- Students interested in psychology could explore the philosophy of mind to think about the nature of mind, consciousness, or personality in light of recent findings in artificial intelligence and neuroscience.
- The Philosophy Department sponsors a Philosophy Club that provides informal exploration of philosophical topics. Some of the central aims of the club are: to promote campus-wide events such as movies, outside speakers, and public debates focused on philosophical topics; to promote interdisciplinary interaction on campus by providing opportunities for interested Muskingum faculty members and students to share work of philosophical relevance; and to provide students with the chance to develop philosophical ideas and concepts beyond what is feasible in the classroom.
- Students have opportunities to attend philosophy conferences with faculty.
- Students have opportunities to work with faculty to prepare papers for undergraduate philosophy conferences or journals.