• Philosophy

    Philosophy is the critical examination of the most fundamental questions humans ask: What is the nature of reality? How should people treat one another? How do we know anything?

    The goal of Hamline’s Philosophy Department is to help students improve their consideration of these issues by examining the reasons they, and others, have for thinking as they do. By increasing the care with which they consider ideas, philosophy students deepen their understanding of themselves, others, and the questions and answers they formulate.

    At Hamline, your professors will provide a rigorous education in philosophical thinking that also connects with local and global concerns such as sustainability and social justice. You will become familiar with the historical texts and mainstream approaches of philosophy and also explore challenges and alternatives to the tradition. The study of philosophy will help you develop critical reading, writing, and oral communication skills while connecting philosophical work to other disciplines.

    A Philosophy major prepares you for any profession in which critical analysis, clear communication, and attention to fundamental questions are important, including law, medicine, journalism, and government service. Approximately one-third of Hamline philosophy majors pursue graduate study in philosophy in preparation to teach at the college or university level. Hamline philosophy students also often major in another field and take a philosophy major to complement their studies.

    Learning Outcomes

    The purpose of learning outcomes at Hamline University is to ensure that our mission and values are realized in what our graduating students know, value, and can do. View all learning outcomes for Philosophy.

  • News


    Duane Cady, professor emeritus of philosophy, gave a keynote address for a conference on nonviolence and public policy sponsored by the National Centre for Peace and Conflict at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand.


    Visiting Lecturer of Philosophy Joe Swenson gave a talk titled "Dewey’s Institutions of Aesthetic Experience" at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society.

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    Professor Emerita of Philosophy Nancy J. Holland had a chapter entitled "Nature (or Not) in Heidegger" published in the book Ontologies of Nature: Continental Perspectives and Environmental Reorientations, edited by Gerard Kuperus and Marjolein Oele, that was recently released by Springer.