Why Study Philosophy?

 

Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy is a broad field, taking up topics likely to captivate students of any background, interest, and orientation. Philosophers train their critical attention on issues related to politics, economics, art, biology, physics, religion, and many other things besides. This means that the typical philosophy student comes away prepared for many future careers. This preparedness shows:

It also means that there are many paths into philosophy. Below, we’ve provided a sampling of connections philosophy makes with different topics and conversations, and some courses offered by Philosophy at Bates that make them. We intentionally offer our 200 level classes with minimal prerequisites so that they are easily available to Bates students.

  • A number of courses include a focus on non-Western approaches to philosophy.
    • PHIL 213 Biomedical Ethics;
    • ES/PL 214 Environmental Ethics;
    • PHIL 218 Concepts of the Self;
    • CM/PL 271 Ancient Philosophy,
    • PHIL 272 Philosophy in the Modern Period: 1600-1800,
    • PHIL 310 Buddhist Philosophy.
  • Many courses consider how oppressions have influenced or determined the nature of philosophical questions.
    • PHIL 112 Contemporary Moral Disputes;
    • PHIL 211 Philosophy of Science;
    • ES/PL 214 Environmental Ethics;
    • GS/PL 262 Feminist Philosophy;
    • PHIL 268 Capitalism and its Critics;
    • PHIL 272 Philosophy in the Modern Period: 1600-1800;
    • ES/PL 314 The Environment and What We Owe to Each Other;
    • PHIL 324e Virtue Ethics;
    • GS/PL 323D Feminist Epistemology.
  • Other courses focus on or include discussions of the consequences of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism.
    • PHIL 112 Contemporary Moral Disputes;
    • PHIL 210 Philosophy of Cognitive Science;
    • PHIL 213 Biomedical Ethics;
    • ES/PL 214 Environmental Ethics;
    • PHIL 258 Philosophy of Law;
    • PHIL 268 Capitalism and Its Critics;
    • PHIL 272 Philosophy in the Modern Period: 1600-1800;
    • S20 Film as Philosophy;
    • GS/PL 262 Feminist Philosophy;
    • PHIL 257 Moral Luck and Social Identity;
    • PHIL 256 Moral Philosophy;
    • PHIL 234 Philosophy of Language;
    • ES/PL 314 The Environment and What We Owe to Each Other;
    • PHIL 324C Liberty, Equality, and Community;
    • GS/PL 323D Feminist Epistemology;
    • PHIL 332 Moral Psychology
  • Some classes discuss the intersection of philosophy with other areas of the Arts & Humanities.
    • S20 Film as Philosophy;
    • CM/PL 271 Ancient philosophy;
    • GS/PL 262 Feminist Philosophy.
  • Other classes discuss the intersection of philosophy with STEM fields, such as the sciences, computation, and mathematics.
    • PHIL 195 Introduction to Logic;
    • PHIL 210 Philosophy of Cognitive Science;
    • PHIL 211 Philosophy of Science;
    • PHIL 213 Biomedical Ethics;
    • PHIL 233 Making Moral Minds;
    • PHIL 235 Philosophy of Mind;
    • PHIL 321 Animal Minds;
    • BI/PL 323 Philosophy of Evolution;
    • PHIL 332 Moral Psychology;
    • S29 Logic: Possibility, Proofs, and Paradox.
  • Finally, many of our classes discuss philosophical approaches to practical problems that many of us face in our daily lives.
    • PHIL 112 Contemporary Moral Disputes;
    • PHIL 213 Biomedical Ethics;
    • PHIL 233 Making Moral Minds;
    • PHIL 236 Theory of Knowledge;
    • PHIL 256 Moral Philosophy;
    • PHIL 257 Moral Luck and Social Identity;
    • PHIL 258 Philosophy of Law;
    • PHIL 268 Capitalism and Its Critics.

Here are some further links that students potentially interested in philosophy might find interesting, helpful, or fun:

Reference Resources:

Blogs:

Podcasts:

  • Very Bad Wizards (a podcast with a philosopher and a psychologist) https://verybadwizards.fireside.fm/
  • History of Philosophy without any Gaps (a series of podcasts on historical and modern topics in a number of traditions, including Islamic Philosophy, Africana Philosophy, Indian Philosophy, and Medieval European Philosophy https://historyofphilosophy.net/

The American Philosophical Association (the main professional group in the US, with lots of information about the profession, graduate programs, and so forth): https://www.apaonline.org/