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Deeper questions. Sharper skills.

Searching for truth behind the noise, the reality behind the fog? Then philosophy at Clark is right for you. The philosophy major at Clark explores the fundamental questions of life, knowledge, and right and wrong. Think beyond the easy assumptions and hidden biases. Reveal truth. Investigate and logically evaluate arguments, and understand the basis for morality.

As our experienced faculty guide your learning, you’ll develop superior writing and speaking skills while you engage in deep, conceptual analysis — whether by investigating the morality of art, debating environmental ethics, or examining the relationship between science and theology. We invite you to join our thinking community in our pursuit of knowledge and truth.

Catalog Requirements for:

Why Study Philosophy at Clark?

  • At Clark, you’ll be taught, advised, and mentored by philosophers with international reputations in fields ranging from Ancient Greek philosophy to biomedical ethics.
  • You’ll join a community of philosophy majors headed for careers in law, medicine, environmental policy, innovation, public health, finance, and research — many of whom are double-majoring in fields as diverse as physics, theatre arts, biology, psychology, mathematics, and political science.
  • Share a dedicated intellectual home — Beck House — with fellow philosophy students and faculty members.

The Philosophy Path

At Clark, your first course in philosophy is likely to be a First-Year Intensive (FYI) seminar or a course in ethics, such as Personal Values, Social and Political Ethics, or Environmental Ethics. Your last course will be a dedicated capstone seminar, reserved for graduating senior philosophy majors, devoted to collaborative, individual research projects around a central theme.

In between, you’ll take two courses in the history of philosophy, one in formal logic, one in epistemology, one in metaphysics, one in ethics and social philosophy, and advanced electives on single philosophers, movements, or topics. Few of your classes will have more than 24 students, and many will be limited to 12.

You’ll also be required to complete either a second major, a minor, or a concentration.

Qualified students can join the Clark chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the national philosophy honor society.

Excellence in Philosophical Studies
This award is presented to two philosophy majors who have achieved excellence in philosophical studies.

David N. Saltman ’83 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Philosophy

Logic Prize in Philosophy
This prize is awarded annually by the Philosophy Department faculty to a Clark undergraduate student who has demonstrated exemplary work in the area of symbolic logic.

Skills you will learn include:

  • Close reading of texts — the scholarly interpretation of classic texts of civilization
  • Careful analysis of arguments — the formal study of symbolic logic and informal study of the principles of good evidence and persuasive arguments
  • Clear and focusing writing — ensuring that we communicate difficult ideas in accessible ways
  • Clarity and precision in thought — the cornerstone of philosophical methodology
  • Integrating ideas — in addition to traditional philosophical subjects, philosophy engages in a wide spectrum of special topics, such as the philosophy of history, science, and art

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the philosophy honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors theses topics are:

  • Kant and Bell: Form in Modern Art
  • North-South Biomedical Research: Moral Problems of Justice & Consent
  • Soren Kierkegaard on Being Human
  • Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Positive Individuals:  Biological and Ethical Considerations

Building your foundation

The Clark Experience

We structure our curriculum around Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP), which connects classroom learning with action through world and workplace experiences.

Learn More

Faculty and Programs in the Department of Philosophy