Literally, philosophy means “love of wisdom.”A good working definition might be “the search for truth,” because philosophy concerns itself with questions and problems that we as humans have long considered, including questions about our place in the universe, the meaning of a good life, and the nature and value of knowledge.
Because they are often very focused on their future careers, few students begin college with the intention of majoring in philosophy. Those who do choose philosophy as a major usually switch from something else, such as management or political science, or they might add philosophy as a second major.They switch because they discover the value of a good education in philosophy.
A major in philosophy helps to develop a variety of important skills which contribute to professional success. These include analytical thinking, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving, useful in every professional career; the ability to build an argument (highly valued by law schools); clarity of communication both written and spoken; and an increased awareness of human solutions to a variety of human problems – out of the box thinking isn’t new after all! Philosophy is therefore excellent training for many careers and also for graduate school preparation. Once this is understood, the popular belief that a philosophy degree is not useful is seen as the myth that it is. Indeed, rather than pre-business, pre-engineering or being directed toward just one particular career path, philosophy is pre-life.
Here at Purdue Calumet, our philosophy faculty are internationally recognized scholars who have written numerous books and lectured to audiences around the world. At the same time, they are approachable, friendly, and easily found in their offices along “Philosopher’s Row” on the west side of the CLO building. In addition to the permanent faculty, our adjunct faculty bring to their classes a wealth of academic and professional experience from various backgrounds.
Philosophy majors at Purdue Calumet find the cultural, social, and academic environment on campus to be informal and ideal for learning. See what our current and past philosophy majors have to say about the program.
Questions and comments about philosophy at Purdue Calumet, including inquiries about courses and requirements for the major and requests to be added to the “Friends of Philosophy” email list, may be directed to John Rowan, who coordinates the philosophy program.