Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Philosophical Studies

What is there? Who are we? What can we know? How should we act? What meaning, if any, is there in our lives?

The philosophical studies concentration welcomes students to explore diverse approaches to these and other fundamental questions about the world and our place in it. Some philosophers address these questions by emphasizing the evaluation of arguments in accordance with deductive and inductive canons of reasoning. Others focus on the analysis of individuals in their historical and social context, as well as the political implications of various philosophical views. Religious thinkers address these questions from a standpoint of faith in a godhead or a spiritual order of the universe. It is hoped that concentrating in philosophical studies will foster students’ appreciation of the variety, creativity, and elegance of extant responses to the above questions, and help them gain a foundation for formulating their own.

Related Career Paths

A concentration in philosophy offers a variety of career opportunities in fields including careers in education, human resources, communications, law, journalism, and social services.

Curriculum

The requirements for fulfilling the concentration are:

  • 24 credits from the list below or from other approved courses
  • Two 300-level courses
  • Completion of 15–19 additional credits in the program of study, as agreed upon at Moderation

At Moderation, students should seek to identify the fundamental questions that fascinate them; these will provide a framework for defining the complement to the concentration.

Course Spotlight

Student in pink socks reads about philosophy on campus.

Philosophy 226: Metaphysics, Minds, and Morals: Hume and Kant

Immanuel Kant and David Hume are among the most influential philosophers of the last 300 years. While Kant must be considered a revolutionary thinker in the history of modern philosophy, his work needs to be understood largely as a response to the skepticism of David Hume. Like Kant, Hume was interested in placing strict limits upon what it is that human beings can claim to know.

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