The Philosophy Department is a place to pursue the questions which arise as undergraduate students reflect on their own values and identity, religious, political, social and personal: What is the human person? Do human beings act freely? What is knowledge, and can we be sure that we really know anything? What is the best way for a human person to live? What possible relation can there be between humanity and God? What makes a just society and what are my obligations toward it and others? Are there limits to what science can tell us about the universe?
All students at Boston College take a two semester sequence of Philosophy as part of the University Core curriculum. In addition, the department offers a Philosophy major and minor.
By introducing students to the great philosophical questions, philosophy offers a perspective which makes possible an integrated vision of physical, human and spiritual reality; it weighs propositions fundamental to personal identity, dignity, religious belief, and social responsibility; and it examines moral issues of individuals and communities. In focusing on these questions, Philosophy aims to provide students with an environment of maximal openness for investigating them, as well as with a community of fellow-seekers to provide both encouragement and challenge.
The study of Philosophy aims not just at the acquisition of information or skills but also develops intellectual virtues, such as independence of mind - a willingness to examine oneself and one’s own culture, to question received views and develop a "mind of one’s own", humility about the limits of one’s knowledge and the complexity of issues / questions, charity as an interpreter and interlocutor - looking for what is true and valuable in diverse views, a love for the truth, and the capacity to experience joy in learning and discussing.
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.
Where Are They Now?
State of Connecticut
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Manager, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program
Sony Pictures Television
Senior Vice President
Anchorage School District
Elementary School Administrator
Vice President, Research
Big Y Foods Inc.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Johns Hopkins University
U.S. Department of Health Human Services,
Office of The General Council
Undergraduate Philosophy Association
Partly because of the increased fragmentation in our society and partly because of the pragmatic pressures of finding a major that is likely to result in a successful career, the life of collegial inquiry is somewhat foreign to students. Our Undergraduate Philosophy Association, which sponsors discussions, debates, lectures, and social events, provides one avenue of participation for students.
In recent years the Association has sponsored lectures, discussion, and debates on topics as diverse as the existence of God, the problem of evil, contemporary theories of deconstruction, the nature of human rationality, Pascal's wager, Augustine on faith and reason, multiculturalism, natural law and relativism, and the problem of skepticism. The faculty contact for the Association is Professor Ronald Tacelli.