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Studying philosophy at Holy Cross offers exceptional preparation for citizens of a globally interconnected world. At its core, philosophy is the ability to think reflectively and critically about questions that are at the very foundation of human existence and human practices. In trying to find answers, students learn to approach problems imaginatively, to explore what might appear to be self-evident, to write clearly and precisely, and to appreciate the ethical implications of decisions and actions.

The nature of reality. The foundations of science, ethics, and art. The scope of human knowledge. Philosophy is the meeting place for all disciplines, for any discipline becomes philosophical once it begins seriously to examine its own methodology and fundamental presuppositions. Philosophy students develop highly valued and transferable skills. It is an excellent stand-alone major, and an ideal second major or minor for students interested in examining the foundations of another discipline. Holy Cross philosophy students have done well in many fields; in academia, media, communications, business, teaching; and philosophy is also known to be rigorous preparation for law school.

Program Highlights

Known for one of the largest undergraduate philosophy departments among liberal arts colleges, philosophy at Holy Cross is also uniquely pluralistic. Instead of the sometimes typical but narrow undergraduate focus on one tradition, the Holy Cross department represents all major traditions within Western philosophy as well as some Eastern traditions. Faculty also have genuine interdisciplinary interests, including scholarship in the natural and social sciences, the humanities and the arts.
  • Courses span the entire tradition, from the pre-Socratics to the philosophers of our time.
  • The departmental honors program is designed to provide outstanding majors the opportunity to devote their senior year to independent research, culminating in a thesis and oral presentation.
  • Departmental colloquia series, with campus lectures by and conversations with renowned philosophers from around the country and around the world.
  • Opportunities for all students to participate in the Philosophy Club’s lively exchanges and informal activities, including book discussions and movies.
  • The department is a member of Phi Sigma Tau, the National Honor Society in Philosophy.

Philosophy News

‘College Business Programs Look to the Liberal Arts Model’

May 4, 2017

Business may be the most popular major in the country, but employers complain that recent college graduates do not possess critical thinking and communication skills — skills that a recent NPR article notes can be developed through liberal arts courses. …


Sep 29
Talk by Prof. Berislav Marusic - PHIL Colloquia Series
03:30 PM
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall 501
Oct 18
Guest Speaker: Martin Camper
04:30 PM
Edith Stein Hall 120
Nov 10
Talk by Prof Wiebke Deimling-Kant’s Theory of Sympathy
03:30 PM
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall 501