History, Philosophy and Political Science Department
‘Philosophy’ is literally the love of wisdom, and wisdom is an all-encompassing understanding sought by philosophers in all cultures. Whereas the individual arts and sciences develop specific forms of knowledge in their respective domains, such as medicine, biology, or physics, philosophy examines the nature of knowledge in general, as well as the nature of reality, and the nature of values. Philosophy examines fundamental questions about knowledge, reality, and values, such as:
How can I know what is true?
When am I justified in believing anything?
What makes something real?
What is the nature of reality?
How can we tell the difference between what is true and what just sounds true?
Do morals really matter, or are they just tools of social control?
Do we really have free will, or is everything just genes and environment?
Is consciousness distinct from matter?
How should I live?
Does life have meaning, or do we just make it up as we go along?
Is there a God, or are we in a purposeless universe of mindless matter?
Philosophy at Kingsborough
- Philosophy Coordinator: Richard Legum
Philosophy Concentration in Liberal Arts Major
Complete any three Philosophy courses with a grade of C or better.
For information, please contact Richard Legum,
Philosophy cross-examines all beliefs, claims, theories, hypotheses, as well as the very cognitive tools we use in doing so: What is reason, logic, evidence, proof? Philosophy challenges us to think deeply, critically, and logically, about everything that matters to us, to analyze our reasoning in doing so, to communicate clearly and logically, to identify contradictions in our beliefs, to solve problems of cognitive dissonance, and to resolve paradoxes and other intellectual puzzles. One classic way of doing so is by studying the ideas and arguments of the world’s greatest philosophers, across cultures and time. Almost any other area of human knowledge or endeavor can become the subject of a sub-branch of philosophy, such as the philosophy of science, the philosophy of language, or the philosophy of religion.
Philosophy Courses Offered (no prerequisites)
PHI 6600 – Criminal Justice Ethics
Examining ethical problems associated with criminal justice.
PHI 6700 – Political Philosophy
Examining the fundamental question of the citizen’s obligations to the government and the government’s obligations to its citizens.
PHI 6800 – Ethical Problems in Business and Society
Examining ethical principles applied to moral issues that exist in business and technology.
PHI 6900 – Environmental Ethics
Examining ethical relationships of human beings and their environment.
PHI 7000 – Introduction to Philosophical Problems
Examining fundamental philosophical problems, such as the mind/body problem, whether we have free will, whether there is a God, and the nature of reality, knowledge, values, the self, etc.
PHI 7100 – History of Ancient Philosophy
Philosophical thought of Ancient Greece, India, and/or China.
PHI 7200 – History of Modern Philosophy
Philosophical thought of the Modern Era, beginning with the Renaissance.
PHI 7300 – Logic: Theories of Argumentation
The study of proper reasoning, rules of valid inference, and types of arguments.
PHI 7400 – Ethics: An Introduction to Ethical Problems
Applying ethical theories to moral judgments about right/wrong, virtue/vice, and good/evil.
PHI 7500 – The Philosophy of the Beautiful: Aesthetics
Applying aesthetic theories to judgments of beauty in art, literature, and music.
PHI 7600 – Ethics and Morality in the Health Professions
Applying ethical theories to moral dilemmas inhealth care and biological research.
PHI 7700 - Philosophy of Religion
Examining the fundamental concepts and beliefs about God and religion.
PHI 7800 – Philosophy in the Asian Tradition
Philosophical thought of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism.
PHI 7900 – Global Ethics
Applying ethical theory to globalization, human rights, and global crises.
PEOPLE WHO STUDIED PHILOSOPHY IN COLLEGE
- Phil Jackson (NBA player and coach)
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- President Bill Clinton
- President Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence)
- Angela Davis (philosopher & activist)
- Harrison Ford (actor)
- Bruce Lee (actor & martial artist)
- Steven Colbert (comedian)
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (writer & Russian dissident)
- David Souter & Stephen Breyer (US Supreme Court Justices)
- Herzi Halevi (General, Israel Defense Forces)
CAREERS ONE CAN PURSUE WITH A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY
Employers cannot find enough candidates who are highly skilled in critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating – skills strongly cultivated by studying philosophy. People who study philosophy pursue careers in: