Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy teaches students to think more deeply and rationally about everything: the world and its nature, knowledge and where it comes from, and what’s morally right and wrong. Philosophy asks thought-provoking questions about the mind, the self, God, free will, science, justice, and the Good Life. By engaging with philosophical questions, students learn to think analytically and independently, and they develop good skills at critical thinking, reasoning, writing, and communication.
Philosophy majors at Coastal benefit from small classes, supportive faculty, and a close-knit community of students. They also have opportunities to participate in student clubs, internships, study abroad, experiential learning, and leadership programs.
Studying philosophy is good preparation for any kind of career, including careers in business, medicine, science, law, public policy, education…anything where good thinking and good reasoning is required.
The Student Experience
One learns the basics of philosophy through introductory-level courses like Introduction to Philosophy or Introduction to Ethics. Learning basic reasoning skills come from taking Logic and Critical Thinking. Our course in Philosophical Writing helps build skills in analytical and argumentative writing. These courses also help satisfy CCU’s Core Curriculum requirements.
Learning about philosophy also includes learning about the history of philosophy. We regularly offer courses in Ancient Philosophy (on the ancient Greek philosophers, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) and Modern Philosophy (on 17th and 18th-Century philosophers like René Descartes and John Locke). We also have courses in medieval philosophy and 20th-Century analytic philosophy.
Philosophy also includes ethics and political philosophy. We offer many courses here, including Contemporary Moral Issues, Social and Political Philosophy, Political Ethics, Sports Ethics, Philosophical Issues in Feminism, Philosophy of Race and Gender, Bio-Medical Ethics, Business Ethics, and Ethical Theory.
Students of philosophy also need to reflect on the nature of the world and our knowledge of it, as well as needing a more refined understanding of logic. Our courses in metaphysics and epistemology include stand-alone courses in those subjects, as well as several “philosophy of…” courses, such as philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Our students also take a course in Symbolic Logic.
Beyond the Classroom
Many philosophy majors plan to go to law school after graduation. The intellectual rigors of philosophy also serve pre-medical students quite well. Through their reading, writing and questioning, philosophy majors develop skills that serve them well as journalists and writers. Philosophy majors often put their intellectual skills to work in executive/management sectors of business either via corporate management trainee progams or business school. Philosophy majors also pursue graduate study. Usually, they study philosophy in graduate school, but other areas such as cognitive science, English, history and philosophy of science, and psychology are possibilities.
Areas of study include:
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Ethics and Political Philosophy
- History of Philosophy (Ancient and Modern)
- Race, Gender, and Justice
- Philosophy of Science
- Philosophy of Mind
- Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
- Philosophy of Sex and Love
- Philosophy of Religion
A sampling of our philosophy courses at Coastal include:
- Introductory courses (Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Introduction to Logic, Critical Thinking)
- Ethics courses (Contemporary Moral Issues, Bio-medical Ethics, Technology and Human Values, Philosophical Issues in Feminism, Intelligence Ethics, Military Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Environmental Ethics)
- History of philosophy courses (Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, 20th-Century Analytic Philosophy)
- Metaphysics and epistemology courses (Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics)
- Others (Existentialism, Philosophy of Sex and Love, Philosophy of Religion)
- Senior thesis or capstone
The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers small and engaging classes, and provides excellent advising and support for each individual student. On this page you will find information about available courses, about faculty members and current students, together with a sampling of the successes some of our former students have had.