Goals and Objectives

Philosophy Department Goals and Objectives


The basic objectives of the Philosophy Department, found in the Course Catalog, are:
1. To inspire the student to confront the philosophical problems implicit in the experience of self, others and the universe, together with the question of their relations to ultimate transcendence (God and immortality);
2. To develop in the student habits of clear, critical thinking within the framework of both an adequate philosophical methodology and accepted norms of scholarship;
3. To introduce the student to reading critically the great philosophers, past and present, and
4. Finally, to help the student to formulate for himself or herself a philosophy of life or world-view consistent with the objectives of liberal education at a Catholic university.


Goal I. Students will develop a crucial understanding of major traditions and contemporary ideas in the field of philosophy.
*Students will read and critically assess the work of central thinkers in the history of philosophy.
*Students will explore and understand the historical development of major philosophical ideas.
*Students will develop a critical understanding of various key concepts in philosophy such as ‘truth’, ‘meaning’, ‘reality’, ‘mind,’ ‘the good’, ‘beauty’, and ‘political authority’.

Goal II: Students will learn to understand and apply concepts and theories of moral philosophy.
*Students will learn to identify and evaluate ethical principles, values and traditions of moral reasoning.
*Students will learn to identify and evaluate critically the ethical foundations of key social institutions and professions with a view toward social justice.

Goal III: Students will acquire the skills to write and speak effectively about philosophy and other subjects.
*Students will learn to recognize what constitutes relevant material and support for ideas.
*Students will learn to organize and to develop material in a well-reasoned manner.
*Students will learn to communicate ideas clearly with adequate definition and illustration both in writing and in speech.

Goal IV: Students will acquire the abilities to read, evaluate and respond critically to intellectual material from any discipline.
*Students will learn to give fair treatment to views and values present in intellectual materials from other disciplines.
*Students will learn to identify the main thesis in any discourse and to evaluate its supporting evidence.
*Students will learn to detect presuppositions, value judgments and generalizations, and to evaluate their implications.


The Philosophy Department also plays an integral role in the general education curriculum that is required of all undergraduates at The University of Scranton. The Philosophy Department offers both Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics and numerous other courses that fulfill the (p) designation for GE curriculum.

Students who have completed the general education philosophy and ethics requirements will be able to analyze and discuss the writings of past and present philosophers; to explain the basic philosophical issues implicit in the experiences of self and the relation of self to others and to God; to analyze and discuss the history of ethical theory and related moral issues in business, computing, health, science, technology, the law and the environment; and to reflect philosophically and ethically on their own personal, professional and civic lives.

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