Why Study Philosophy at ESU?

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The ESU Philosophy major is designed to give the best possible undergraduate grounding in philosophy.

Whether you are interested in going on to graduate school in philosophy, or using your degree as a preparation for further study in other disciplines such as law, our program gives you a solid basis.

Philosophy majors are prized even outside the discipline for their clear thinking and their articulateness. Our program will help you to attain these abilities.

The ESU Philosophy major is structured around the study of the major texts in the history of philosophy. Unlike some other programs, which address issues in philosophy mostly in terms of contemporary readings and secondary sources, at ESU you will address these issues in the context of the classics in philosophy.

You will not merely read about the great philosophers - you will read the great philosophers themselves.

While studying at ESU, you will read great works by Plato such as the:

  • Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Republic and Parmenides
  • Aristotle's Physics, Metaphysics and Nicomachean Ethics
  • Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Spinoza's Ethics, Leibniz' "Monadology"
  • Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Hegel's Encyclopaedia Logic, Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
  • Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Heidegger's Being and Time and
  • Sartre's Being and Nothingness

In addition to our historically-based courses, we do have issue-based courses in:

  • Ethics
  • Logic
  • Social Philosophy
  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Aesthetics
  • Philosophy of Religion, and
  • Many other stimulating and important topics.

We place emphasis not merely on acquaintance with these thinkers and issues, but also on engaging with them. ESU Philosophy majors are given a solid grounding in the principles of sound thinking. Furthermore, we stress the ability to communicate your thought in writing and debating. Philosophy majors learn to "think on their feet," and to write about even the most difficult thoughts clearly and succinctly.

In studying philosophy at ESU, you will hone your thinking abilities in the study of the great questions of human existence as they have been addressed by the greatest thinkers in human history. Aristotle once said that the highest happiness is attained by the achievement of the greatest degree of excellence in thinking. It is our aim to help you toward this goal.