The goal of the Philosophy Department is to work with students to develop the skills of critical analysis, powerful speaking, and clear writing, skills alumni find of singular practical use in a wide variety of careers, and indispensable to their work as responsible citizens. We emphasize the value of philosophical examination for understanding broad issues that concern us all.
About the Major
At Hamilton, philosophy professors encourage students to engage actively in classes. Our small introductory classes focus on primary sources rather than predigested material in textbooks. All courses invite students to participate in collaborative conversations, with emphases on developing clear writing and presentation skills. Philosophy majors apply their training beyond the classroom through experiential learning projects or by participating in our exciting summer program. Visiting speakers bring some of the most prominent names in philosophy to campus and into our classrooms.
Students Will Learn To:
- Explain a range of philosophical views, historical and contemporary
- Identify philosophical problems in philosophy, other academic disciplines, or outside the academy
- Formulate their own views about philosophical problems in conversation with other philosophical works
- Defend those views cogently in writing and in speech
A Sampling of Courses
Examines the appropriate relation of humans to the environment. Specific topics include ways of conceptualizing nature; the ethical and social sources of the environmental crisis; our moral duties to non-human organisms; and the ethical dimensions of the human population explosion. The goal is to help students arrive at their own reasoned views on these subjects and to think about the consequences of everyday actions, both personal and political. Preference given to environmental studies majors and minors, starting with seniors.
Explore these select courses:
Meet Our Faculty
John Stewart Kennedy Professor of Philosophy
epistemology; philosophy of science; philosophy of mind; theories of identity; feminist theory; philosophy and literature; American pragmatism
Explore Hamilton Stories
Associate Professor of Philosophy Katheryn Doran recently posted a blog on American Philosophical Association's Current Events in Public Philosophy. In "Phronêsis, or, a Plea for Critical Thinking," she gives a critical account of what philosophers do in the classroom -- and its many uses beyond the classroom.
Professor of Philosophy & Africana Studies A. Todd Franklin was a panelist as part of the American Philosophical Association’s Live Event Webinar Series. The panel, "Institutional Support for Public Philosophy: Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion," took place on Nov. 15, and focused on issues surrounding the professional status of the public-facing endeavors of philosophers.
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in philosophy are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
- Writer, Simon & Schuster
- Psychiatrist, SW Connecticut Mental Health
- Director & Counsel, Credit Suisse Securities
- U.S. Ambassador, Federal Republic of Germany
- Professor of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University
- Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Virginia Tech
- Senior Scientist, GE Global Research
- Director, U.S. Department of Transportation
- Vice President, Goldman Sachs
- Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
- Principal Law Clerk, New York State Supreme Court
- Lieutenant, U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention