Very few educational institutions below the college level offer courses in Philosophy, despite the fact that pre-college students are certainly capable of thinking about philosophical issues and despite the fact that pre-college students, and even relatively small children, do have questions that turn out to be both philosophical and important. A student who finishes college without taking a philosophy course has, therefore, missed the opportunity to be exposed to an intellectual discipline that has a long history and that provides people with a systematic way to think about and to try to understand some of the most important intellectual and practical issues that confront us.
The study of Philosophy develops a student's ability to think clearly and systematically, to distinguish between good and bad reasons for believing, to analyze concepts, and to seek truth by the use of reason and not the emotions. The study of Philosophy will widen a student's vision so as to see the particular object of one's study in its broader, philosophical context. And the study of Philosophy will expose the student to the work and ideas of some of this planet's greatest minds: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Mill, Marx, Russell, Sartre, etc.; and one can then see just how the work of these philosophers have influenced the rest of us and the world in which we all live.
The Philosophy Department at Wayne State University has for its undergraduate missions the goals of providing a stimulating and high-quality exposure to Philosophy to those who take Philosophy courses as pure electives, providing cognate courses to those specializing in other areas, so that they may see their own subjects in their broader contexts, and providing training in Philosophy to our departmental majors.
Undergraduate training in Philosophy provides excellent preparation for law school, divinity school, or pursuit of a credential in education at any level. Philosophy's emphasis on argumentation and the evaluation of evidence , in addition to course offerings in Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics, and The Philosophy of Law, make it especially valuable for those who plan a career in law. [Indeed, the statistics show that the study of Philosophy prepares students well for the LSAT.] Philosophy majors who specialize in ethics are in increasing demand in medical centers, government, and the private sector, where ethical guidelines and their applications are coming increasingly to the fore. Post-graduate degree holders are qualified to teach Philosophy at the college level.
For further information concerning the major, minor, and honors programs in Philosophy, click here.