What is distinctive about philosophy at Illinois College?
Philosophy is about big questions. What is the meaning of life? Do I have a soul? What is art? The philosophy minor will introduce you to notable works of the past and present. You will be empowered to flex your own philosophical muscles through argumentation, learn to define terms clearly, make distinctions, qualify your statements, analyze evidence and convincingly present examples and counterexamples. A minor in philosophy will allow you to develop valuable skills for any modern career – the abilities to read, write, listen, speak and think critically.
Students interested in other majors or minors are also well-served by philosophy courses. Courses in the history of Western philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, and Modern) complement a major or minor in history, and other courses complement a major or minor in computer science (Computer Ethics), religion (Philosophy of Religion), economics, finance, or accounting (Business Ethics), and political science and international studies (Survey of Political Philosophy). As a result, the IC philosophy program prepares students—whether philosophy majors or not—for graduate school and careers in philosophy, business, law, education, medicine, public service, and seminary.
Why Study Religion or Philosophy?
The Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa reported a the results of a survey of students majoring in theology at Georgetown University between 1970-2003. Of the 182 respondents, 33% had a bachelor's degree, 33% earned a master's degree, and 33% received a doctorate (JD, PhD, EdD, DDM, MD, or DMin).
25% are educators, 16% are in law, 12% medicine, 8% business, 7% non-profits, 5% government, 4% finance, 4% fine arts. Surprisingly, only 4% are in careers related to religion (clergy, missionaries, etc.). Other careers (each constituting 3% or less of respondents) include counseling, writing, homemaking, continuing education, information technology, environmental science and culinary arts.
Many respondents "reported that their theology study and interaction with faculty and students had significantly influenced their life values and had increased their ability to think critically. . . to express themselves effectively and to strengthen and deepen their religious experience." (J. of TAK, Fall 2005, pp. 54-55)