Message From The Chair

Man with suit and tie smilingPhilosophy begins in wonder. These words were famously said by Aristotle, the ancient Greek thinker who, along with his teacher, Plato, did more than anyone to found the disciplines and methods of today’s university, from Anthropology to Zoology. But, Aristotle was not just referring to one discipline among many; what he had in mind was the thing that unites them all, and all of us: the search for the true and the good; that is, philosophy as “the love of wisdom.“

All of us feel wonder at the rich and complex world around us, at the vastness of the universe and the immeasurable depths of our own inner lives - and the challenges we face "becoming ourselves," striving to achieve good and decent lives and work with others in society to improve the human condition and preserve our shared environment.

Philosophy explores these and other issues. It focuses on the most profound questions that we as humans ask. Why does the world exist - and why am I here? How should I live my life? What is reality, what can I know of it, and how do I make sense of the vast array of opinions, facts - and misinformation - that I am constantly bombarded with?

As philosophical study explores these questions, it also develops the skills in critical thinking, careful reading, discussion, and argumentation that are of limitless practical value in any walk of life. We're looking forward to having you join us in this adventure and sharing your thoughts.

Robert Switzer
Chair of the Department of Philosophy