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Philosophy’s center is everywhere and its circumference nowhere. -Maurice Merleau-Ponty

There are no formal prerequisites and courses do not have to taken in sequence (for example, beginning with Philosophy 1). But because philosophy deals with concepts and ideas that are sometimes complex, English proficiency is recommended.

Socrates once proclaimed that 'the unexamined life is not worth living.' As philosophy is more suitably defined as an ongoing activity, rather than a fixed object of study, the idea of actively examining one's life is just as accurate a description of philosophy today, as it was 2500 years ago when the Greek philosopher uttered those words.

Philosophy is a discipline for the curious-minded--an attempt (as the philosopher Harry Frankfurt puts it) “to get to the bottom of things.” Philosophy involves the attempt to understand our world, and our place in it, which in turn has involved the questioning of the very limits of human understanding and knowledge. This concern with the character of truth and limitations of knowledge unfolds within the branch of philosophy known as EPISTEMOLOGY. In this ongoing quest for answers to our most fundamental questions, philosophers have challenged traditional responses by uncovering logical inconsistencies in commonly held beliefs; some have paid the price for this intellectual brazenness! Accordingly, the study of LOGIC has also developed within the domain of philosophy.

This pursuit for a better understanding of life and our role in it, has made it inevitable that philosophers also consider the principles that make life valuable, and as such, seemingly abstract ideas like justice, and happiness are considered in ETHICS classes. In a related vein, the very possibility of free will and moral choice, along with other topics concerning the nature of reality, God, and the self, are discussed in one of the oldest branches of philosophy, known as METAPHYSICS.

Regardless of the specialty area, because of its insistence on rational dialogue, and its backbone in logic, philosophy makes a suitable preparation for most majors, but especially for those students that plan to go into law or policy making.

Faculty Office Phone Courses Taught email
Mary L. Crane L.V. 109 434-8997 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 7 | PHILOS 10 | PHILOS 23 Crane_Mary@smc.edu
Robert Flores L.A. 110U 434-4671 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 4 | PHILOS 9 Flores_Robert@smc.edu
Christine Holmgren L.A. 110P 434-4670 PHILOS 3 | PHILOS 6 | PHILOS 23 | PHILOS 48 Holmgren_Christine@smc.edu
Robert C. Jones L.V. 110N   PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 3 | PHILOS 4 | PHILOS 5 | PHILOS 7 | PHILOS 9 Jones_Robert_C@smc.edu
Howard F. Kamler L.A. 110 434-4244 PHILOS 1 Kamler_Howard@smc.edu
Amber L. Katherine L.A. 135E 434-3539 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 52 Katherine_Amber@smc.edu
Steven Kurvink L.A. 110S 434-8542 PHILOS 1 Kurvink_Steven@smc.edu
Eric R. Oifer L.V. 111 434-8912 PHILOS 51 Oifer_Eric@smc.edu
Gary R. Ortega L.V. 110 434-8553 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 2 | PHILOS 4 Ortega_Gary@smc.edu
Donna M. Quesada L.A. 110A 434-8572 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 22 Quesada_Donna@smc.edu
John L. Schroeder L.A. 135H 434-4244 PHILOS 22 Schroeder_John@smc.edu
Kathy Shamey L.A. 135A 434-4509 PHILOS 2 | PHILOS 7 | PHILOS 9 Shamey_Katherine@smc.edu
James S. Stramel L.A. 135F 434-8969 PHILOS 1 | PHILOS 2 | PHILOS 3 | PHILOS 5 Stramel_James@smc.edu

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