The Department of Philosophy at Kent State University offers both Bachelor and Master programs of study in philosophy. An undergraduate student can major in philosophy, minor in philosophy, or take philosophy courses to fulfill liberal education requirements. The Philosophy Department is located in the College of Arts and Sciences, but a student in any college can minor (or double major) in philosophy. The Philosophy Department invites all University students to consider philosophy's course offerings as a complement or supplement to any program of studies.
To educate humanity, not just offer courses in philosophy as one of the humanities, is an aim of the philosophy department to Kent State University. Any person studying philosophy is urged to use philosophy's courses as good occasion:
- To enhance analytic and critical capacities;
- To facilitate grasp and articulation of careful prose;
- To entertain and scrutinize offered options without mere, habitual, or impulsive adoption or rejection;
- To increase capacity to invent options to stated alternatives; but also as occasions;
- To start learning for life;
- To broaden horizons and develop reflective and imaginative capacities;
- To begin appreciation of a discipline that dates back more than 2000 years but a discipline where questions of method and subject matter are ever newly considered.
What a Student Should Expect From Philosophy Courses
Each student's active participation is expected in any philosophy course, large or small. Students in a philosophy course should expect to be asked to think not just to listen, to be allowed to express their own ideas and views as opposed to repeating or agreeing with a correct answer. Students should expect also to be pressed to formulate reasons and explore consequences of views. And students should expect to become more able to identify beliefs and values, their origins, and consequences.
Instruction in philosophy aims to help students develop and self-impose a discipline and a daring that will risk and sustain encounter with classical, relatively congenial thinkers but also with authors who challenge assumptions and outlooks. Philosophy helps a person search out not only similarities but also differences in human assumptions and objectives.
Course Offerings and Faculty
Philosophy's course offerings stress diversity with depth in classes that explore a wide range of ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical concerns. Courses are taught by a faculty differing not only in scholarly concentrations but differing also in teaching modes, life concerns, and styles of interaction in instruction or advising. Students are urged to sample broadly from both course offerings and faculty interests.
The philosophy department participates in a spectrum of interdisciplinary programs: American Studies, Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, British Studies, Classical Humanities, German Studies, Health-Care Ethics, Hellenic Studies, Paralegal Studies, Pre-Law, Religion Studies, Women's Studies, and the Writing Program.
Philosophy faculty have a triple aim: excellence in teaching, rigor in professional research activities, and generosity and service to students, to the university, and to the broader community. Full-time faculty have doctorates from California (Riverside), City University of New York, Emory, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue, SUNY Stony Brook, Vanderbilt, Washington, and Wayne State universities.
Faculty participate in and contribute leadership within the American Philosophical Association, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Nietzsche Society, American Society for Value Inquiry, American Academy of Religion, Ohio Philosophical Association, International Society for Chinese Philosophy, and Society for Women in Philosophy.