The study of philosophy is based on the recognition that all human beings are engaged in a search for meaning and values with which to interpret their experiences and give order to their lives. The raising of questions about meaning and values and the pursuit of possible answers to these questions through the study of philosophy is an essential part of a liberal arts education, for the liberally educated person wants to know not only how to make a living but what she/he is living for. Furthermore, Clarke’s philosophy program advances the Catholic tradition of the university through study of Christian conceptions of God, ethics and metaphysics.
For these reasons, within the liberal studies component at Clarke, philosophy is an area in itself and all students are required to take at least six hours in philosophy. In order to best serve the needs of all Clarke students, the philosophy program tries to focus attention on those philosophical areas that are of concern to all, such as the meaning of human existence, ethical theory and problems, and contemporary philosophical thought. In addition, the philosophy program seeks to supplement various professional programs by applying philosophical methods to them, particularly in the area of ethics.
Outcomes for all philosophy students are structured around what students are expected to know, do and value. Majors in philosophy must demonstrate:
Proficiency in each of the following outcome areas: logical thinking, values analysis, epistemological reasoning, metaphysical reasoning and research/analysis.