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Philosophy

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

Holy Cross Academic Conference 2017 to Showcase Student Work

Apr 21, 2017

As the academic year nears its end, more than 350 students will present the results of their independent work in the performing and visual arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences at the 2017 Academic Conference, taking place across campus …