Philosophy
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Philosophy

philosophy-students-during-classDo you often wonder “what it all means”?  Do you like to discuss other belief systems and cultures? Do you enjoy analyzing logic and assumptions, and thinking in ways that combine many different perspectives?

Perhaps a career in Philosophy is for you. Philosophy explores timeless questions about reality, knowledge, and morality while developing critical thinking, rational problem-solving, and the ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively. These skill sets are vital to employers in a variety of professions.

Degrees Offered

  • BA in Philosophy
  • Minor in Philosophy

About Philosophy

The word “philosophy” literally means the “love of wisdom.” Throughout history, innovators in any field, from the arts to the sciences, have turned to philosophy as a way of framing new ideas and “thinking outside the box.” Today’s philosophers combine logical reasoning with many different academic perspectives and methods. This allows them to examine questions concerning the sources of morality, the ways in which we try to justify our beliefs, the nature of the mind and reality, whether humans have free will, and (of course) the meaning of life.

  • We offer small class sizes, customized and unique curricula, student research opportunities, and connections to other academic fields and perspectives.
  • Our students frequently present original work at conferences or as part of one-on-one independent studies with a professor.
  • Nearly 50% of our recent philosophy graduates have gone on to grad school.
  • Converse students study all over the world. You could go to Greece, Italy, Turkey, France or Spain, to name just a few!
  • Philosophy majors outperform most other majors on standardized tests for grad school admission, including the GRE and LSAT.
  • Philosophy majors are projected to earn an average starting salary of $49,000, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers in its 2016 Salary Survey

The skills that our Philosophy students learn will help them thrive in many different pursuits, both on and off campus. Philosophy majors have participated in internships and have presented papers at local and regional conferences on topics such as the philosophy of art, moral psychology, and popular culture.

Recent majors have been awarded grant funding from organizations such as the Humanities Council SC and the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities for original research. A majority of Philosophy students receive honors awards and scholarships at Converse.

Philosophy and YouTube

YouTube co-creator Brent Hurley has spoken with the Converse Philosophy Club about his experience as a philosophy major and the applications he has found for philosophy in business and technology.

Study-Travel

philosophy-study-travel-rotterdam-with-erasmusThe Philosophy department encourages study-travel and offers a variety of opportunities. In recent years our students have traveled to Greece, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Spain, France and Italy. In 2015, students and faculty traveled throughout the Netherlands and Germany, visiting historical sites associated with 16th and 17th-century philosophers whose ideas helped define the modern age. Students experienced firsthand where ideas including individuality of self, religious toleration, and the rise of scientific approaches to ethics and human nature were derived. During the 16th and 17th centuries the Netherlands burgeoned as an intellectual hub, being a relative “safe space” for writers and thinkers to be free from religious persecution.

Converse philosophy students take a total of 10 philosophy courses, including core curricula in logic, ethics, and the history of philosophy. They also participate in a research-oriented senior capstone course in which they develop their own scholarly project on a philosophical topic. The remaining courses for the degree offer wide flexibility to accommodate individual student interests and to keep with the interdisciplinary spirit of the field. For instance, while all philosophy majors will become knowledgeable about basic philosophical topics and methods, you may choose to take more courses focused on modern philosophical trends, while another might focus on issues in social and political philosophy (e.g. race, gender, economics, biomedicine, etc.).

Most philosophy courses emphasize critical engagement with classic texts, expressing and justifying one’s ideas in written and spoken form, considering and evaluating different perspectives logically and fairly, and finding connections between traditional philosophical questions and issues from other academic fields.

For full course requirements, see the academic catalog.

Sample Courses

  • Heroes and Heroism
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophy and Mythology
  • Philosophy of Monsters
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Mind, Machines and Meaning
  • Gender and Sexual Identity

What are common careers in Philosophy?

  • Lawyer
  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Counselor
  • Social Worker/Activist
  • Entrepreneur

What are Philosophy alumnae doing?

Grad Schools

  • Texas Tech University, Master’s in Philosophy
  • Law School of Charleston
  • Louisiana State University, Master’s in Student Affairs
  • Eastern Carolina University, PhD in Clinical Health Psychology
  • PhD programs in fields as diverse as Neuropsychology, International Affairs, Marine Biology, and Musicology

Jobs

  • Fulbright Scholarships
  • AmeriCorps
  • Red Cross

Philosophy Stories