Offered by the Department of Philosophy
Professors Newman, Timko (chairperson), Young
Assistant Professor McEvoy
Philosophy is concerned with exploring and reasoning through such issues as the meaning of life, whether we are really free, the nature of the self, how we can determine what is morally right and wrong, proper reasoning (logic), whether there is a God, the nature of religion, science, and art. The department offers the B.A. degree in Philosophy, as well as a Philosophy minor. Additionally, the minor program in Canadian Studies, and the minor in Pre-Law are all administered by the Philosophy Department.
A Philosophy major provides an excellent grounding in the fundamental ideas and concepts of our culture. It thus explains a great deal of why we are the way we are and do the things we do. Students are introduced to major philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Hume. The major is appropriate for anyone wishing an educationally rewarding and personally challenging undergraduate experience. Because of its emphasis on critical thinking skills, it is especially useful for professions requiring excellence in reasoning, writing and argumentation. It is the recommended course of study for those wishing to pursue a graduate degree in philosophy. There is sufficient flexibility in the Philosophy major to allow students to combine Philosophy as a double major with any other university program.
The B.A. degree in Philosophy also offers a pre-law concentration that is designed primarily for students who want to attend Law School or work in a law related field. The Pre-Law track is an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes the relationship between philosophy and several of the social sciences. The Pre-Law B.A. Program has been carefully designed to help students develop intermediate to advanced skills in critical reasoning, legal argumentation, and judicial analysis. It is a rigorous program intended to challenge students and advance their opportunities in the study of law and requires 36 credit hours of study.
The B.A. degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Applied Philosophy and Professional Ethics is for students who wish to include a significant ethics component in their curriculum. The Applied and Professional Ethics track is an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes the relationship between moral theory and moral practice in modern society. With the rapid rise of public interest in ethical issues, this program was designed to help promote ethics education and ethical analysis of professional and social behaviors. It requires 36 credit hours of study.
In addition to the credit hour requirements for each of the philosophy tracks, students majoring in philosophy will be required to complete a capstone project in their final year of study. The capstone will be a research-based, student selected, independent study project undertaken as part of their existing program requirements either (a) during one of the upper level philsophy courses or (b) in a one-credit PHL 4490 seminar, with permission. Students must complete this project with a grade of C or above in order to complete the program requirements for graduation.
The formal study of Canada is a critical element in the education of the next generation of leaders, providing a significant, accessible avenue for understanding global interdependence and multicultural environments. Moreover, with Canada and the United States as each other’s largest trading partner, learning about Canada as a foreign market makes increasingly good economic sense, especially as international job mobility increases.
The Canadian Studies minor provides the student with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the history, literature, economics, politics, business, fine arts, educational systems, and the physical and cultural environments of our northern neighbor. Building on the theoretical and practical content of the core course, the student selects courses from across the curriculum wherever Canadian content or perspectives are designated.
Mansfield University has an active and successful effort in the preparation of students for the study of Law. Central to this program are the Pre-Law Minor and the Pre-Law Association. Pre-Law is administered by the Philosophy Department. Dr. Thomas Young is the Pre-Law advisor. His office is in Hemlock Hall; his email address is email@example.com. The Pre- Law Association is an active, student-funded organization which supplies students with various types of support in preparation for law school. This includes trips to law school fairs, advice concerning LSAT preparation programs, advice on studying for the LSAT, visits to Mansfield University from law school recruiters, advice on applying to law schools, discussions by visiting alumni attorneys or law students, etc. In order to ensure that students expressing the intention of enrolling in law school will receive the support they need, they will be expected to discuss an appropriate major for themselves with the Pre-Law advisor, depending on the area of law they anticipate practicing.