Philosophy

A student competes in the annual Ethics Bowl

Philosophy, or “the love of wisdom” is the search for answers to questions about beauty, values, reality, knowledge, and meaning. Using reason and logic, philosophy students exercise their minds in order to see the world in different ways, think critically, and effectively argue. Philosophy meets the needs of students (a) who major in other fields but want a theoretical background for such professions as law, education, business, or the ministry or (b) who want to sample the philosophical discipline in their elective courses.


Mission

The purpose of the Department of Philosophy and Religion is to introduce students both to philosophical and religious traditions—particularly Western, but including others—and in the spirit of the liberal arts, to engender critical thinking in these areas.


Goals

  1. Students who complete the general education requirements in philosophy and religion will have knowledge of philosophical and religious traditions.
  2. Students who complete the general education requirements in philosophy and religion will be able to think critically.
  3. Students who complete a minor in philosophy or a major in religion will be prepared to enter graduate or professional studies.

Core/General Education Requirements

Any course in the philosophy department will satisfy the Liberal Arts Elective requirement.


Minor Requirements

The Philosophy minor consists of 15 s.h. distributed as follows:

Required Philosophy Courses:

  • PHI 2110 Introduction to Philosophy (3 s.h.)
  • PHI 2130 Argument & Inference (3 s.h.)

Philosophy Electives:

  • Select any 9 s.h. with a PHI prefix

Contact the Philosophy Program

Dr. Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, Ph.D.

Chair & Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion
(910) 480-8530
Trustees 200D
Dr. Kevin Hoffman
Kevin Hoffman, Ph.D.

Chair & Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion

B.A., Valparaiso University; Ph.D., Fordham University

Bio:

My introduction to philosophy explores fundamental ideas about justice and personal love—two topics we spend a great deal of time sorting through regardless of job or technical degree.  In courses on religion, my approach is existential, treating questions of faith just as those who hold their beliefs actually do.  In either case, what matters is that these things matter, since what we care about, and how we understand those concerns, determines how we live outside the classroom.  No surprise, then, that my own scholarship devotes special attention to the Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard, who once said: “If we should believe nothing that we cannot see with our physical eyes, then we first and foremost ought to give up believing in love.”  More surprising may be how students end up learning something about their own selves—for example, whether one truly, actually thinks playing a video game is more enjoyable than changing a diaper.  At first blush, the answer seems obvious until you try to fit that answer into a coherent view of what is worthwhile in human life.

In addition to books and fountain pens, my other tools include a hammer, saw, drill, block plane, and sewing machine.  These are handy for constructing a cool desk and chair, for example, to go with the books and pens.

Publications include The Divine Madness of Romantic Ideals, A Reader’s Guide for Kierkegaard’s Stages on Life’s Way, and the forthcoming Exceptionally Common Courage, Fear and Trembling and the Puzzle of Kierkegaard’s Authorship.

(910) 480-8530
Trustees 200D