Philosophy defined is "love of wisdom." For our students and faculty, this love—this pursuit—of wisdom is a calling.

Emmanuel's Department of Philosophy strives to help students explore the "big questions" surrounding human existence: the meaning of life, the existence of God, the source and nature of values, and the relationship between individuals and society. Successful students analyze ideas carefully, reason accurately, think in an interdisciplinary fashion and develop other critical-thinking skills that are in great demand in today's professions.

Major Requirements

View the 2022-2023 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

Requirements for the Philosophy Major

  • 1.Any 1000 level course
  • 2. PHIL2108 Critical Thinking (M) OR PHIL2119 Symbolic Logic (QA) (QR)
  • 3. PHIL2106 Ethics (M) (ER)
  • 4. PHIL2201 Existentialism and the Meaning of Life (M)
  • 5. PHIL3109 Philosophy of Mind
  • 6. PHIL3115 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • 7. PHIL3215 Modern Philosophy
  • 8. PHIL4999 Senior Seminar in Philosophy
  • 9-11. Three additional philosophy courses, to be selected from department electives.

Students may also minor in philosophy to complement their studies in the liberal arts and sciences.

Minor Requirements

View the 2022-2023 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

Requirements for Minor in Philosophy

  • 1. Any 1000 level course 
  • 2. PHIL2108 Critical Thinking (M) OR PHIL2119 Symbolic Logic (QA) (QR)
  • 3-5. Three additional philosophy courses, one of which must be a 3000-level course

Learning Goals & Outcomes

In addition to acquiring knowledge of philosophical concepts, problems and systems, successful philosophy majors will learn

  • How to solve problems, think critically, communicate their ideas effectively in written and oral form.
  • Analyze their own fundamental beliefs and world view, be comfortable with ambiguity and complexity, and gain intellectual independence.

Explore Emmanuel

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Nadel Henville '22: Creating Community Takes Center Stage

For Nadel, the stage is her “second home,” and the community she’s found within Emmanuel’s Theater program, a second family. While she originally thought she would pursue college theater as a hobby, she soon realized the work would define her student experience and provide a foundation for life beyond Emmanuel.

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Gianna Kittle '20: Advocating for Justice

Prior to coming to Emmanuel, Gianna had never heard of the field of sociology, but was very familiar and passionate about issues of crime and justice. Her time at Emmanuel helped her to not only put a name—but also, a purpose—to that passion.

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Jake Hill '20: Seeing Citizenship with a Capitol C

Growing up in a suburban town outside of Boston, going to college in the city had always been a goal for Jake. After touring Emmanuel's campus he felt it had the perfect mixture of “small campus feel and big city appeal.”

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Melissa Duffy '20: Artist and Appreciator

When Melissa started at Emmanuel, she chose what she believed to be two separate and distinct majors—studio art and history—to fulfill her both her personal and professional interests.

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Featured Faculty: Petros Vamvakas

Petros Vamvakas is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies and Peace Studies Programs. His work focuses on security and democratization, as well as issues related to identity and race in politics throughout the Americas. As part of his teaching, he has escorted groups of students to Crete, Greece, and will be bringing a group of students to Cuba.

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Emmanuel is a place where students broaden their sense of what’s possible and prepare for inspiring careers in an ever-changing world. Be here.