725 S. Church St
West Chester, PA 19383
Email: Rose Sykes, Department Secretary
The Philosophy Department has moved. Come visit our new offices on the second floor of Anderson Hall.
Philosophy may sound dauntingly remote from our daily concerns, but its basic questions "What can I know? What may I hope? What must I do?" actually pose themselves throughout any thinking person's journey. And the skills it teaches — close reading, careful thinking, and the critique of ideas — apply to most areas of human endeavor. A background in philosophy is thus excellent training for many careers, and matchless preparation for life itself.
Almost 2500 years ago, Plato grounded Western philosophy in the study of “the good, the true, and the beautiful.” While ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics have remained fundamental to the field for millennia, philosophy today encompasses subjects the ancient Greeks scarcely dreamed of.
Thus, while the department’s programs are firmly grounded in philosophy’s past, offering courses in the traditional disciplines, there is an equally strong commitment to studies vital to the present day, including environmental, biomedical, and business ethics, feminist theory, conflict resolution, the interface of religion and science, and numerous other topics of contemporary concern.
And though philosophy and religious studies differ somewhat in their methods and aims, they share a common quest for uncommon knowledge. Consequently, the department, with a faculty well-qualified in each field, offers concentrations in both areas.
Marci Irwin – Philosophy B.A., '13
"When thinking about switching my major from Psychology to Philosophy I went through
a back and fourth struggle of which one would be more useful when I step out into
" the real world". What I came to discover and now appreciate every day is that Philosophy
is an amazing foundation for literally any passion one desires to pursue."
William Davis – Philosophy/Political Science, Honors College B.A., '13
"I didn't choose to study Philosophy; Philosophy chose me. I wanted to go to law school,
and chose a different major to do so--but Philosophy has prepared me in ways I couldn't
even imagine. Philosophy began the study of sciences, humanities, education...all
of that comes from Philosophy. I love studying Philosophy because now I can do whatever
I want, and I'm prepared for what the world (and law school) has to give me."
Carl Korsnes – Philosophy/Political Science, Honors College B.A., '14
"At the age of ten, Jostein Gaarder's novel Sophie's World introduced me to the history of philosophy. From that time on, I learned that there
existed people who actually devoted their lives to search for answers to what many
would call unanswerable questions. Earlier, I was usually discouraged to ask deeper
so-called unanswerable questions: 'thinking such thoughts can make you mad,' I was
told. After having read Gaarder's novel, however, I was unstoppable."
Megan McCormick – Philosophy B.A., '13
"I’ve always been an insatiably inquisitive being concerned with the circumstances
of existence and fascinated by human consciousness. I began my education at West Chester
as an undeclared major, and throughout my struggle to choose a field of study, Philosophy
was a discipline that I continuously held in the back of my mind. After much exploration
and consideration, I decided to go ahead and commit to it. I must admit that I had
Kevin Basl – B.A., '10
"Choosing to major in philosophy is a life-changing decision. You will not walk away
from college with the attitude that you merely fell into a major, got your degree
and got out. You will be full of ideas and well-crafted opinions, all backed by a
drive to enact positive change in whatever life or career path you choose to pursue."
Dan Merola – Philosophy B.A. '14
"My first encounter with philosophy was at West Chester. I sure never saw myself studying
philosophy. I graduated today and studying philosophy was one of the best decisions
I ever made. The professors in the philosophy department are all people to look up
to. I have never had a bad experience with anyone in the philosophy department. Learning
about philosophy helped me concentrate on the big picture and I'm proud that I'm not
graduating with a cliché pencil-thin career goal."
2017 Graduate Student Conference Keynote speaker Dr. Chalmers Clark (Drexel)
2017 Graduate Student Conference. Left to right: Keynote speaker Dr. Chalmers Clark (Drexel), Ben Wilson (Liberty University), Michael Dauber (North Shore University), Sarah MacIntosh (West Chester University), Phil Taylor (West Chester University), Thomas Kiefer (Fordham University), Dr. William Harwood (Missouri State University).
WCU Ethics Bowl Team, led by philosophy faculty Dr. Larry Udell wins a berth at the National Finals. Left to right: Madison Algayer (history), Julianna Brodhecker (pre-med), Alexa (Sasha) Radke (psychology), Laura Bruce (history), Jacob Galligan (accounting). Julianna, Jacob and Sasha are also applied ethics minors!
Dr. Frank Hoffman talks with keynote speaker, noted author and Buddhist scholar, Dr. Charles Johnson, from the University of Washington.
Dr. Justin McDaniel from the University of Pennsylvania, comments on Charles Johnson’s talk: ‘Why Buddhism for Black American Now?’
Keynote speakers David R. Loy, Jin Y. Park, and Charles Johnson share the podium with commentators Shigenori Nagatomo and Monte S. Hull from Temple University.
Jason Keyser (M.A. 2012) (l.) and Dan DalMonte (M.A., 2013) in their first week in Temple University's Ph.D. Program in Philosophy
Joshua Cutts (M.A., 2014), in his first semester at Temple's doctoral program in philosophy