Philosophy

To study philosophy is to engage in systematic reflection on the most fundamental questions about ourselves, and our world. Studying philosophy provides the critical skills, the historical understanding, and the vision necessary to meet existential and ethical challenges, and live richer, more self-aware lives. As students prepare to become citizens, professionals, parents, and men and women for others, the study of philosophy is strong preparation for a wide variety of enterprises. Both as a Core requirement and as a major, Philosophy is foundational in helping us appropriate our intellectual and spiritual heritage and develop self-understanding anew.

Philosophy has been central to the educational mission of Boston College since its founding. The prominence of philosophy in the curriculum reflects our Jesuit heritage. From the beginning, Jesuit colleges emphasized the values of authentic Christian humanism, the power of human intelligence, and the mutual compatibility of faith and reason.

The study of philosophy remains among the most relevant and urgent of pursuits. It investigates life's perennial questions—questions of ultimate meaning and value, truth and rationality, being and transcendence. The mission of the Philosophy Department at Boston College is to provide an encouraging and supportive environment for the exploration of these questions, and for the critical examination of philosophical traditions that inform our personal and professional lives. Toward that end, we offer a broad spectrum of courses with a special focus on the history of philosophy, and fundamental contemporary problems in "practical philosophy."

A Philosophy major is excellent preparation for careers in numerous fields including law, business, and medicine. The study of philosophy teaches highly marketable and highly transferrable skills. Philosophy blends well with other majors because it speaks to issues that are foundational to numerous disciplines and career paths. For students entering fields such as science, medicine, law, public service, economics, finance and management, the Philosophy Department offers specialized tracks within the major to provide focus and direction toward career goals.

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