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Philosophy is at the heart of a liberal education, both as a way of thinking, and as the discipline that addresses our ultimate concerns.
The mission of the Philosophy Program at SOU is to increase students' sense of wonder, to teach creative and critical thinking, and to stimulate engagement with the deepest and most enduring questions: right and wrong; the meaning of life and death; how we should live; the nature of reality; ethics and personal and social values; knowledge and truth.
We seek to reinforce students' ethical reflection on their values and actions and their ability to communicate with others about and beyond ethical differences. In the process, we pass along an acquaintance with philosophers and works both classical and contemporary, emphasizing a multicultural and multigendered curriculum.
The Philosophy Program serves three types of students: those students who take one or two philosophy courses as part of their general education; students with a deeper interest in philosophy who wish to pursue a minor; and the students in interdisciplinary programs and degrees such as Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, University Seminar, and Honors.
In addition, the Philosophy Program sponsors an energetic Philosophy Club with the goal of creating "friends of philosophy" in the campus community and the general population.
Faculty in the Philosophy Program include Program Head, Associate Professor Dr. Prakash Chenjeri, Assistant Professor Devora Shapiro, Instructor Mitchell Frangadakis, and Emeritus Dr. Tangren Alexander; they teach a wide range of courses providing an excellent introduction to the different areas of Philosophy.