Department of HumanitiesJohnson Hall, 117
1009 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
The Philosophy Minor is dedicated to helping students become better critical thinkers, more curious intellectuals and more reflective citizens.
Philosophy as a word is rooted in an ancient Greek word that means the love of wisdom. Philosophy devotes itself to wisdom by teaching us how to be better aware of ourselves and the world around us. The core of this awareness is the practice of critical thinking—seeking the best answers to the most enduring questions. Oftentimes our thoughts and behaviors are based upon hidden presumptions that, if brought out into the light, might give us pause to reconsider. Philosophy examines those presumptions, seeking good reasons to justify or revise them. In the process, it is hoped that we will have more flourishing lives—ones characterized by self-examination and integrity.
It has been said that a major is how you feed your family, but the minor is how you feed your soul. The Philosophy Minor can actually do a bit of both, but at its core philosophy helps enhance your quality of life by helping you making better decisions and understand the positions of others more clearly. For example, PHIL 218 (The Philosophy of Sex and Love) examines issues surrounding our most personal of relationships. PHIL 216 (Ethics) helps us think through our ideas of right and wrong. PHIL 315 (Political and Social Philosophy) helps us re-think our expectations of our political system, its strengths and flaws, and might even help us get a better idea of how and why to vote in the next election. In short, our curriculum will touch upon just about all of the most important features of our personal and public lives.
When looking at GRE scores for admission to many graduate programs, philosophy students dominate in terms of highest scores, doing better than all other majors in both the Verbal Section as well as Analytical Writing (Source: www.ets.org). The same skills that push philosophy students to the top of the GRE and other tests (MCAT, LSAT, etc.) are the same skills that can push your resume to the top of a pile of applications. Critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to clearly articulate a point of view are all essential skills that can make you better at your career . . . regardless of what your career may be.
Perhaps more intensely than any other program, Philosophy focuses on understanding and articulating arguments. This emphasis leads to improvements in both written and verbal communication—the core skills underlying all disciplines.
Here at Ferris, the Philosophy faculty all have very unique points of view. The faculty at other institutions might bring a narrow academic interest to the classroom, but our faculty add complexity to discussions by being richly interdisciplinary. Our faculty teach courses in other disciplines: film, religion, humanities, popular culture and women’s studies, to name a few. Philosophy, at its best, is a way of life, and our faculty live full and interesting lives: some are musicians, some play hockey, some fly fish. Some travel extensively around the world—and they offer study abroad courses that count toward the minor. In short, the Philosophy faculty at Ferris engage in the whole human condition, and they welcome all students to join them.
John Scott Gray
Phone: (231) 591-3515
Email: [email protected]
Office: Johnson Hall 110