What Philosophy Offers
The Graduate Program offers a Master's Degree in Philosophy, with most students receiving teaching assistantships, tuition fellowships, and--in some cases and in the second year--an opportunity to teach one of our introductory courses. Students from our master's program have gone on to outstanding Ph.D. programs and to top tier law schools.
The department is historically oriented and pluralistic in scope and interests. UT is thus an ideal place to pursue a variety of philosophical areas, including American philosophy, environmental ethics and issues surrounding sustainability, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and medical ethics, in addition to philosophy of mind, logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, ancient philosophy, and social and political philosophy. For more information on our areas of expertise and research interests, consult the faculty list.
Some faculty at UT have deep roots in continental traditions and several of the department's courses are either in continental philosophy or are taught from a continental perspective. Students pursuing continental philosophy will be encouraged to take courses in non-Western and feminist philosophy as well as departmental distributive requirements in the history of philosophy. Students who wish to pursue Continental Philosophy will be expected to take at least one "Directed Readings" course in a foreign language, usually in relation to a seminar.
Opportunities for Philosophers
There are several opportunities for philosophy majors to participate in student organizations such as the Philosophy Club, specialized study groups, and to contribute to or help edit Slash, a student run journal.
The Department of Philosophy is a center for interdisciplinary learning at the University
of Toledo. The department is the home base for three
interdisciplinary programs: American Studies, Law and Social Thought, and Religious
Studies. Contact Ben Pryor, the chair of the Department of Philosophy, for more information
and contacts for these programs.
- Law and Social Thought
The Program in Law and Social Thought is the only program of its kind in the state universities of Ohio. Our interdisciplinary BA program in the Arts and Sciences provides undergraduate students at the University of Toledo with an opportunity learn about ideas that inform legal institutions and processes. The degree gives its students the intellectual tools necessary for the reasoned appraisal of U.S. and other western and non-western legal systems and the policies, practices, and philosophies that underlie them. The program is based on the view that the study of law and justice is best pursued when located within a rich humanistic and social scientific tradition, and is therefore one of the few in the country to emphasize the humanities as well as the social sciences.
- American Studies
The American Studies program is directed by James Campbell, a Distinguished University Professor at U.T. and one of the nation's top scholars of the work of John Dewey, Benjamin Franklin, William James, and other North American philosophers. The American Studies program consists of courses drawn from philosophy, English, history, and other disciplines concerned with life, culture, and identity in the United States. Majors in American Studies enjoy careful mentorship and opportunities for engaged research in the Ohio area.
- Religious Studies
Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, an interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of Philosophy. Religious Studies involves the analytic and rigorous application of the methods of the humanities and social sciences to the scholarly study of religion, religious phenomena, and religious experience. Students are invited to explore the themes, history, and artistic expressions of religion, as well as its social, cultural, and philosophical implications. Course topics range from the academic study of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, to less familiar topics such as Eastern religions, Medieval witchcraft, or Native American Religions.
The philosophy faculty represent a variety of traditions in philosophy including:
Eastern, Ancient, Modern, Ethics, (including environmental,
medical and business ethics); The Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Math, Social
and Political Philosophy, Logic, Contemporary Continental
Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Feminist Philosophy, American Philosophy,
"Ithink that doing philosophy differs greatly from studying philosophy. The study
of philosophy too often leads to the mistaken impression
that philosophy refers to the practice of forming and vehemently defending ideas.
However, if one is lucky enough to study amidst a diverse
faculty of consummate professionals, the experience is radically different. Studying
philosophy in this environment comes closer to the
experience of doing philosophy. This experience, rather than referring to the construction
and maintenance of barriers to thought, refers
to the eclipse of all barriers that seek to limit thought."
-Joshua Kurdys, Major in Philosophy and English.
"People are often surprised when I tell them that my major is information systems
and yet I have a minor in philosophy....I think people
underestimate the value of philosophy because it often discusses topics that many
people could care less about. What people fail to realize
is that, in discussing these topics, one learns valuable skills such as analyzing
every possible aspect of a question/problem, recognizing
others' fallacious arguments, constructing your own persuasive arguments, looking
at problems from a different perspective..."
-Eddie Schutte, minor in Philosophy 2001