Philosophy, which means “love of wisdom,” is the most general form of inquiry, investigating all other fields and subject matters, as well as fundamental questions unasked by any other discipline. Philosophy is the ability to think reflectively and critically about questions that are at the very foundation of human existence and human practices: the nature of reality, the foundations of science, ethics and art, and the scope of human knowledge. In trying to find answers, students learn to approach problems imaginatively, to question what might appear to be self-evident, to write clearly and precisely, and to appreciate the ethical implications of decisions and actions. Studying philosophy at Holy Cross offers exceptional preparation for citizens of a globally interconnected world. 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, including academia, media, communications, business, teaching,
and the law.

First year students may begin their study of philosophy by taking Philosophical Inquiries (PHIL 110) or any Montserrat seminar that earns a P (for Philosophy) common area requirement.

PHIL 110
Philosophical Inquiries
Common Area: Philosophical Studies

Some believe that philosophy begins with wonder. In that sense, children are all philosophers, always asking “why?” Others believe that philosophy begins with suffering, when we confront personal loss or struggle to understand the meaning of life. Wherever philosophy begins, we all find ourselves, at some point in our lives, wondering about the world and our place in it. This course will strengthen that sense of wonder and give you the skills you need to reflect philosophically on questions of critical concern. It provides the opportunity not just to learn “about” but to think along with some of the outstanding figures from the history of philosophy. By teaching you what others have thought, this course will teach you how to make these inquiries your own, and actively reflect on life’s questions rather than depending on ready-made answers to them. Whether you decide to major or minor, or just want to become the sort of person who is truly capable of thinking for him or herself, Philosophical Inquiries is a great place to begin.


PHIL 111
Intro to Africana Philosophy
Common Area 1: Cross Cultural
Common Area 2: Philosophy

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