The philosophy program, inspired by Socrates and guided by the mission of College of Saint Mary, seeks to encourage students to grow in their ability to wonder, contemplate, understand and reflect on their most basic beliefs and assumptions. An emphasis is placed on the importance of seeking the truth rather than accepting the status quo. Philosophy challenges students to see things from unfamiliar perspectives and thus opens their minds to new ways of understanding the world and themselves.

As a result of taking philosophy courses, students will grow in their ability to:

  1. Think critically about important issues and express such thoughts clearly and in writing
  2. Embrace intellectual struggle in the examination of complex issues and texts
  3. Contribute to civil discourse in a pluralistic world
  4. Engage in reflective moral discourse and recognize the ethical dimensions in all aspects of life
  5. Embrace the examined life

The General Education requirement is met by taking PHL 200 and any other approved philosophy course. PHL 105 can be used to meet either the General Education quantitative reasoning requirement or the General Education philosophy requirement, but not both.

Degrees and Certificates


PHL 105: Principles of Reasoning

This course is designed to help students develop skills in recognizing, constructing, and evaluating arguments. The course covers basic concepts in logic and reasoning including: argument recognition; categorical and propositional logic; and informal reasoning and fallacies.

PHL 200: Moral Reasoning

This course is designed to give students a theoretical basis for determining what makes an action right or wrong and to give them the analytic tools to apply this basis to contemporary moral problems.

PHL 206: Introduction to Philosophy

This course is an introduction to some of the important problems that have arisen in the history of ideas. Attention is given to both philosophical problems and philosophical methods. Readings developing several philosophical problems are analyzed.

PHL 301: Issues and Trends in Philosophy

The subject matter and methods of this course will vary from semester to semester. The material will usually be handled in three one-hour modules. A student may elect to take one, two or three of the modules.

PHL 310: Philosophy of Women

The question about what it is to be a woman will be the major topic of this study. Selected works of philosophy and related disciplines, both ancient and contemporary, will be critically examined.

PHL 315: Ancient Philosophy

This course examines the beginnings of western philosophy in Ancient Greece. It focuses on the Presocratics and the Golden Age in Athens.

PHL 335: Business Ethics

An examination of the most important moral issues that arise in the contemporary world of business.

PHL 350: Health Care Ethics

Health Care Ethics is an applied ethics course in which students critically apply moral theory to moral problems specifically related to the health care professions. The course includes a review of philosophical moral theories and focuses on the critical analysis of issues in health care ethics through the use of case studies.

PHL 360: Philosophy Through Film

This class is focused on the in-depth examination of issues in metaphysics and epistemology. These issues include the nature of knowledge, the problem of perception, the problem of memory, the problem of other minds, the problem of free will, the nature of time, and personal identity.

PHL 391: Directed Readings

Under PHL 391 an opportunity is offered the student to do philosophical studies and/or to consider in greater depth a particular problem, philosopher, or historical era on a non-classroom basis.

PHL 624: Academic Integrity

This applied ethics course examines the implications of several influential philosophical theories for a broad range of questions bearing on research, teaching, role expectations, the allocation of resources, and contemporary dilemmas in organizations of P-12, higher education, continuing education, professional development or patient education.