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Philosophy at Aquinas College

Philosophy Mission Statement & Student Learning Outcomes

The Philosophy Department at Aquinas College is committed to the following goals:

  1. Generally, to provide students with the skills of critical thinking and expression essential to Liberal Arts education. More particularly, by synthesizing historical and systematic philosophical approaches, to provide a foundation so that students may engage important perennial philosophical questions, and address them well in dialogue and in writing. These questions—such as what is Truth? Reality? The Human Person? The Good? Power? Justice? The Divine?—are foundational to human flourishing in general, and for success in the particular disciplines. Acquiring the skills for answering them logically, soundly, and persuasively is invaluable to the intellectual life and virtue of the person, the College, and the Civic Community. In accord with our Dominican mission, this is to seek truth for individual perfection and the common good.
  2. Taking inspiration from our namesake, St. Thomas Aquinas, to give attention to the relationship between faith and reason as it has developed in the perennial philosophical tradition and the Catholic Intellectual tradition of which St. Thomas is such an integral part.
  3. To develop an interest in pursuing a philosophy major as a basis for professional work in philosophy, law, medical or environmental ethics, journalism, teaching or public policy work. This requires ongoing contact on the part of the department members with the majors in order for them to tailor their degree to their particular professional goals, and requires a faculty with diverse research and teaching interests, methodologies and professional experiences which are conducive to supporting a philosophy major.
  4. Finally, philosophy has traditionally been viewed as a source of insight into foundational issues in the other disciplines, whether they are of a conceptual, ethical, historical or theoretical nature. We in the philosophy department want to involve ourselves as much as possible in the work of our colleagues as it relates to the discovery of answers to the philosophical questions in their disciplines. Philosophy faculty also participate in the colleges General Education core program: Inquiry & Expression and Humanities.