The Perspectives Program
The Perspectives Program is a four-year, interdisciplinary course of study grounded in the great texts of Western Culture that seeks to integrate the humanities and natural sciences. The idea of this four-year interdisciplinary program comes out of the Jesuit context of higher education in which study of the humanities, especially philosophy and theology, properly conceptualizes both professional and scientific education. The program seeks to liberate the student both intellectually and spiritually from various forms of cultural indoctrination, habit, and prejudices that can enslave him or her. It seeks to form students who are intelligent, responsible, reasonable, and attentive. The overall vision of this four-year program is that men and women are oriented in freedom towards transcendence. Who are we Where do we come from, and where are we going?
In every historical period, certain fundamental questions about this universe and about our common human destiny have recurred. Yet, given the current climate of cultural amnesia regarding these fundamental questions, the four-year Perspectives Program is designed to help us not only remember our intellectual and spiritual heritage, but appropriate it anew. It gives students the opportunity of working out for themselves a set of coherent answers to the enduring questions. It brings faculty and students into conversation with the ancient, modern, and contemporary thinkers who have shaped our intellectual and spiritual heritage and who continue to influence the course of our community living. In short, the Perspectives Program was developed as an art of restoration, that is the recovery of a tradition of education that understands the love of learning as the desire for God.
Finally, all four of the Perspectives courses are year-long, double credit with an evening class component. Each perspectives course fulfills certain core requirements:
- Perspectives I: Perspectives on Western Culture
- Perspectives II: Modernism and the Arts
- Perspectives III: Horizon of New Social Sciences
- Perspectives IV: New Scientific Visions
Honors Major in the Perspectives Program
In order to enrich your educational experience here at Boston College, the Philosophy department is pleased to offer the Perspectives Humanities honors concentration in philosophy.
For those students who find themselves attracted to the type of interdisciplinary education received through Perspectives I, I invite you to think about exploring this option as a way to focus and enhance your undergraduate education.
The major will consist of ten courses. Eight of these will come from the four perspectives courses. The two remaining courses will include a senior seminar, plus a senior thesis.
The senior seminar will provide the student an opportunity to integrate and appropriate in a significant way his or her philosophical education. The senior thesis will be a research paper approximately 50+ pages in length designed to help the student work out a particular topic in a systematic way. The topic for the thesis will be developed in consultation with an academic mentor.
Students who may be thinking about graduate work in philosophy will be advised to select philosophy electives that will provide a solid grounding in the history of philosophy, in order to insure proper preparation for graduate school. Again, the courses to be taken will be worked out with the student’s advisor.
Finally, admission to the Program will come at the end of the sophomore year. A minimum GPA of 3.50 will be required for admission. With any questions concerning the requirements for the major, or questions concerning other opportunities and possibilities within the Perspectives Program, as well as the Philosophy department, please email Brian J. Braman.