PHILOSOPHY

YOUR FUTURE WITH PHILOSOPHY

With a solid foundation in philosophy, you can be a good citizen, understand the principles underlying your work and make wise choices in your personal life. Countless lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors and tradespeople major in philosophy, and have said that no other path of study would have given them the same deep and broad education.

Skills You will Gain

1. Writing. No matter your career path, the ability to clearly communicate an idea is a valuable asset desired by any employer.

2. Critical thinking. Whether on a debate platform, in a classroom, or in a meeting room, when you can understand and articulate another person’s position, you can skillfully critique it and defend your own.

3. Study skills. Believe it or not, many students double-major and use what they learned in philosophy to help them in medical school or graduate school in their field.

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MEET THE FACULTY

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email:

janice.breidenbach@avemaria.edu

Phone:

(239) 280-1572

Office:

Henkels 2014B

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Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email:

barry.david@avemaria.edu

Phone:

(239) 280-2534

Office:

Henkels 3046

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Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email:

maria.fedoryka@avemaria.edu

Phone:

(239) 280-2531

Office:

Henkels 3047

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Assistant Professor of Philosophy

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Chair of the Philosophy Department; Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email:

joseph.trabbic@avemaria.edu

Phone:

(239) 280-1647

Office:

Henkels 3049

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FAST FACTS

  • Famous philosophy majors include: Steve Martin, Harrison Ford, Alex Trebek, and Mary Higgins Clark.
  • Many members of the Monty Python group are philosophers. There is a close connection between comedy and philosophy. Both deal with the absurd. Both look at ordinary things in radically new ways.
  • St. Pope John Paul II taught philosophy for many years at the Catholic University of Lublin, before becoming bishop of Krakow and later Pope.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas referred to Aristotle simply as “The Philosopher.”
  • Philosophy is the only discipline which includes, as a subject within that discipline, what the nature of the discipline is. (“What is philosophy?” is a question in philosophy, but “What is physics?” is not a question in physics.)
  • The great mathematician Kurt Goedel loved philosophy and took inspiration from philosophy for his famous “incompleteness proof.” His proof is a sophisticated development of the Liar Paradox: Is the statement “I am now lying” true or false? (It seems to be false, if it’s true, and true, if it’s false.)

INTERNSHIPS & CAREERS

As undergraduates, philosophy majors can work as research assistants or interns to professors, whether at the university, at centers of ethics and public policy, or at think tanks.

Top philosophy majors can go on to graduate studies and academic careers. Philosophy is considered excellent preparation for law school. Many students double-major in philosophy and something else: for example, students who double-major in a science often take pre-med courses and go on to medical school.

The writing skills required for philosophy can be applied in journalism and in effective written communications in business. The debating skills fostered by philosophy are valuable for discussions and deliberations in every area of life and business.

REQUIRED COURSES

Required Courses for the Major

LATN 101 Elementary Latin

LATN 102 Intermediate Latin

PHIL 203 Logic

PHIL 205 Nature and Person

PHIL 206 Ethics

PHIL 300 Metaphysics

PHIL 302 Ancient Philosophy

PHIL 305 Medieval Philosophy

PHIL 412 Modern and Contemporary Philosophy

PHIL 490 Senior Seminar*

Two Elective Major Courses

*A 4000-5000 word thesis will be written senior year in PHIL 490.

Minor in Philosophy

The minor in philosophy allows students majoring in other disciplines to develop a concentration in philosophy, and to have this concentration officially recognized. The student must complete six philosophy courses—three Core philosophy courses (PHIL 205, PHIL 206, PHIL 300), PHIL 203, and two others of the student’s choice. It is suggested that the student specify his courses to have a concentration complementing his chosen major.

DEPARTMENTAL MESSAGE

Philosophy is an excellent major for any field or career. There are countless lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors, teachers, cabinet makers, builders, salesmen and (perhaps most important of all) homemakers, who have majored in philosophy and have said that no other path of study would have given them the same deep and broad education. Without a solid foundation in philosophy, it is difficult to be a good citizen, to understand the principles underlying our work, and to make wise choices in our personal lives. Philosophy is essential to the integration of faith and reason for a Christian.

Bl. John Henry Newman explained in his work, The Idea of a University, that the purpose of a university education is to develop the intellectual virtues. Perhaps no discipline fosters the intellectual virtues as well as philosophy: “The artist puts before him beauty of feature and form; the poet, beauty of mind; the preacher, the beauty of grace: then intellect too, I repeat, has its beauty, and it has those who aim at it. To open the mind, to correct it, to refine it, to enable it to know, and to digest, master, rule, and use its knowledge, to give it power over its own faculties, application, flexibility, method, critical exactness, sagacity, resource, address, eloquent expression, is an object as intelligible … as the cultivation of virtue, while, at the same time, it is absolutely distinct from it.”

We have an excellent undergraduate major which is soundly based on the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, while also conveying an understanding of modern movements such as analytic and continental philosophy. All of our faculty members are deeply conversant with the Catholic intellectual tradition while being specialists as well in some particular area.

Because students can work closely with us, in small seminars, reading groups, and directed study, you will get personal attention here. There are many opportunities to associate with our faculty and become friends of professors outside the class environment. You can take your studies as far as you wish, and our best students have gone on to study at some of the best graduate programs around the world, including the Catholic University of America, the University of Arizona, Cambridge University, and the University of St. Thomas.

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Sunny skies, warm temperatures, a beautiful campus. What more could you want? How about a community-like atmosphere, quality instructors who care about your success, a wealth of spiritual activities, expert career guidance… and that’s only the beginning. Imagine your future at AMU. It all starts by filling out our free application today.

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