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Philosophy Major

The School of Athens

Inquiry lies at the heart of the study of philosophy, a discipline that seeks to understand our world by asking questions, challenging certainty, and encouraging critical, independent thought.

The aim of the philosophy department is to introduce students to the inquiries of important philosophers and to aid them in developing and in exercising their own critical, independent thought. To this end, philosophy courses encourage students to formulate issues and questions and to evaluate critically philosophers' arguments and their own in classroom discussion as well as in the writing of papers.

The Examined Life

From the long history of Western philosophy to contemporary issues such as bio-medical ethics or the purpose of education, the philosophy curriculum introduces students to a diverse range of philosophical perspectives while considering fundamental questions about what it means to be human.

From Philosophy to Practice

Philosophy majors take part in an internship or directed field study, as well as a capstone project, benefiting from both in-depth study and practical application of their knowledge.

Beyond R-MC

Where will you find a philosophy major? Recent graduates are pursuing careers in law, advertising, finance, non-profit, education, retail sales and information analysis.

Featured Alumnus

robert-thomas2Robert Thomas '11 put his education to use as a contractor for the U.S. Department of State. While at R-MC, Thomas majored in philosophy and economics/business and minored in Asian studies and ethics. He was an active member of the Franklin Debating Society and completed a SURF project on "Ethical Issues in the Commercial Space Age." After settling into his work for the State Department, he also entered a master's program in philosophy at George Mason University, concentrating in ethics and public affairs.

Featured Alumna

leslie-rollinsAfter graduating Summa Cum Laude with a double-major in philosophy and psychology, Leslie Hainley Rollins '09 continued her studies at the University of Maryland's graduate department of psychology, focusing on developmental neuroscience. Do philosophy and psychology seem like an unlikely academic pairing? No, says Leslie. "My interest in philosophy began during my freshman course, Totally Mental: Where the Known Intersects the Unknown. In many ways, psychology is the scientific study that has investigated theories pondered by philosophers for centuries. My philosophy major developed my writing skills and provided me with training in logic that has aided me when planning, discussing, and defending my research in developmental cognitive neuroscience."