People are always asking philosophical questions, but are unaware of it. "What should I be doing with my life?" "What is the ethical thing to do in this situation?" "Is it reasonable to believe in God?" "Do computers really think?" "What is the proper role of government in family life?"
The study of philosophy will help you to formulate questions like these clearly, examine assumptions logically, propose reasoned answers and defend your position coherently. These are valuable skills in any walk of life. You will learn about and critique what some of the greatest minds in the past have said about such questions, and you will come to realize that Philosophy is the broadest and most comprehensive of all the fields of study. Majoring in philosophy is one of the best ways to learn essential critical thinking skills, flexibility in thought and the ability to analyze, understand and master the complex reasoning skills necessary in the 21st century.
Other fields of knowledge describe the world, and in doing so they make assumptions about the world itself, about knowledge and about inference. Philosophers question assumptions of all kinds and are interested not only in how things are but in how they ought to be. As a result, knowledge of philosophy is more the knowledge of a method -- analyzing, clarifying, questioning, and reasoning -- than the knowledge of specific facts. Mastery of this method will enable you to study anything else more effectively.
Prof. Burchard Receives National Recognition!
Congratulations to Prof. Melissa Burchard who has just been selected as an NEH Scholar to attend a summer institute entitled “Moral Psychology and Education: Putting Humanities to Work”. Melissa is excited about having the opportunity to develop two research projects involving childhood trauma and its effect on moral development. For more about this opportunity and how she plans to use it, see Press Release.
Brian Butler selected for 2nd term as Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities
Brian Butler, professor of philosophy at UNC Asheville, has been selected for a second term as the university’s Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities. The Howerton Distinguished Professor works to enhance the interdisciplinary study of the humanities across UNC Asheville’s curriculum through pedagogy and scholarship and has an endowed fund for organizing and supporting lectures, conferences and events that bring visiting scholars and experts to campus. Read more about the Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities here.
Recently Published by Suny Press
Prof. Duane Davis' edited volume (co-edited with William S. Hamrick), titled, Merleau-Ponty and the Art of Perception just came out from SUNY Press. It reflects on how art and perception are intertwined in Merleau-Ponty's writings by bringing together contributions from a diverse range of fields; a solid accomplishment both in philosophy and the literature on Merleau-Ponty!
The Philosophy Department and Philosophy Club each have a Facebook page. All students are welcome to join either one or both. The links follow: