The Philosophy Program at Florida Gulf Coast University trains students in the challenging and exciting academic discipline of philosophy, which critically reflects on the most fundamental questions regarding the status of knowledge, truth, morality, and human existence while providing students with valuable skills in critical thinking, argumentation, content analysis and tools for clear writing.
Students in the program receive broad historical training in the key figures and movements of Western thought, from Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages and modern movements such as Empiricism, Rationalism, Existentialism, and Phenomenology. It is also particularly welcoming to feminist and non-Western perspectives, with course offerings that reflect philosophical diversity.
Philosophy students at Florida Gulf Coast University also receive formal training in logic, problem solving, critical reading and writing–skills that are transferable to a wide range of academic and professional endeavors. Through the development of these skills, our graduates have been successful in a variety of professional and academic fields, having been admitted to Law School, Medical School, Divinity School, and Graduate School in philosophy.
For an updated list of special topics course offerings, program events, or to hear what current students have to say about the program, visit our program blog, http://fgcuphilosophy.wordpress.com. If you are interested in the program and would like to make an appointment with a program faculty member, click here.
The Philosophy program makes a core contribution to Florida Gulf Coast University’s mission, which sees “the advancement of knowledge and pursuit of truth as noble ideals at the heart of the university’s purpose.” Our aim is to provide students with the conceptual tools to critically engage the foundations of human knowledge, to question conventional opinions and prejudices, and to carefully situate our own beliefs and values socially and historically. In doing this, we offer courses that ask the deepest and most penetrating questions of lived experience, such as: “Who am I?” “Does my life have any enduring meaning?” “Do I have free-will or are my actions causally determined?” “Is there a God?” “Do my perceptions provide me with genuine knowledge?” “What is happiness and how can I attain it?” “Are there human rights?” “Should I care about the moral status of non-human animals and nature?” and “How do characteristics of race, sex, and gender shape human understanding?” In engaging these kinds of questions, the Philosophy Program serves a vital civic function at FGCU by creating an intellectual space for critical, historically informed, and mutually respectful dialogue about the ideas and beliefs that are most important to us. In fostering our mission, the faculty is strongly committed to exposing our students to the broader philosophical community in the United States and abroad through its ongoing Philosophy Lecture Series, organized and sponsored by the student-run Philosophy Club.
As a faculty, we are also committed to mentoring our students for successful careers after college. Although our program is still very young, our graduates have had remarkable success in being accepted to strong graduate programs in philosophy and other academic fields. Many of our graduates have gone on to professional schools, including medical school, seminaries and competitive law schools. For those who do not plan on post-graduate education, we are establishing a “Careers in Philosophy” initiative to help students in the workplace by highlighting the marketable skill set that is unique to philosophy majors.