Philosophy Handbook: A Student's Guide

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy has a profound heritage going back to Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and beyond. It continues to be concerned with the nature of reality in general (Metaphysics), mental reality (Philosophy of Mind), truth and knowledge (Epistemology), virtue, justice and freedom (Ethics), beauty and art (Aesthetics) and reason (Logic). More specialized courses such as Philosophy of Science, Biomedical Ethics and Feminism are more specialized variants of these general themes.

Knowledge of Logic is important for all students regardless of major, since whatever the topic, one should think and write logically about it. Knowledge of Metaphysics and Epistemology is important for an assessment of the claims of all disciplines and professions. The value oriented courses are important for any social or personal criticism as well as life planning.

Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge

The Department of Philosophy offers an opportunity for students to seek answers which fall outside the scope of any particular science because they are about values, or simply because they are at a higher level of generality.

The philosophy student will be involved in critical thinking. The objectives will be to raise questions, to think independently and to reject unfounded values.

At the U of L, above the 1000 Level, students will find themselves in seminar and lecture discussion classes. Readings will range from the ancient to the contemporary, the historical and the problem oriented. To round out further the student's academic studies, a minimum of one independent study must be completed. This course is designed by the student in cooperation with a professor and is intended to expand a student's program beyond the limits of the regular curriculum.

Our students have been admitted to graduate programs at Calgary, Columbia, Dalhousie, Oxford, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Toronto, University of Alberta, Waterloo and Western Ontario. Former students include philosophy professors Barry Allen (McMaster) and Cheryl Misak (Queens), Gary Gleb (Rutgers), and numerous professionals.