Department of Philosophy

Think about the big questions

The Philosophy Department at Mercer University houses majors and minors that are designed for serious, curious, and motivated students. Our courses teach you to think critically about issues that have intrigued humans since antiquity, such as the scope and limits of human knowledge, the structure of logical thinking, the nature of a good life, and the requirements for a just society. Many of our courses — for example, bioethics, environmental ethics, philosophy of technology, and philosophy of the arts — focus on the interplay between traditional philosophical inquiry and investigation of contemporary problems. We also have a strong commitment to the history of philosophy, where we engage foundational frameworks for addressing a broad spectrum of philosophical issues.

Since discussion is integral to philosophical study, we keep class sizes small, allowing you to form strong relationships with classmates and faculty. While an education in philosophy is a good in itself, our emphasis on analytical reading, persuasive speaking, and writing also supports studies in many other disciplines and prepares you for an array of careers. Recent philosophy majors and minors have gone on to professional programs in law, medicine, business, and social work, and to graduate programs in philosophy and other disciplines.

Majors and minors

  • Philosophy (major and minor) — Philosophical inquiries about knowledge, morality, justice, and beauty have always intersected with such other fields of study as religion, science, politics, and art. Our program explores these intersections in both historical and contemporary contexts, helping you to understand how philosophy can help to solve today’s problems.
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics (major) — This interdisciplinary major enables you to discover the philosophical roots of our society’s economic and political systems. Drawing on courses taught in multiple departments, it supplies you with a distinctive perspective for understanding and addressing many of the controversies currently roiling our nation and the world.
  • Ethics — This minor teaches and encourages ethical reflection. It will give students the tools to answer questions, such as “What do you think are the marks of a good life?” and help them consider how their judgements can be applied in their everyday lives and professions.