Department of Philosophy
Creating real world, problem-solving tools is one of the ways we apply the study of philosophy to modern life. If you can learn to think you can learn to do most anything.
Socrates believed that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Department of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina helps students examine the world, especially human practices and institutions, in an effort to gain understanding and wisdom.
The skills that one learns in philosophy – the ability to think clearly and to work out successful resolutions of problems in committees or groups – are crucial to success in most any career. And, a major or minor in philosophy is widely regarded as excellent preparation for law, medical, or divinity school.
The Department of Philosophy offers programs leading to the B.A., the M.A., and the Ph.D. degree. The department has a longtime strength in teaching the history of philosophy, and in recent years, has also established strengths in practical ethics and in the history and philosophy of science. Today the department is ranked among the best places in the nation to study the philosophy of science, and has been awarded significant grants from the National Science Foundation, including a major grant to study the social and political dimensions of nanotechnology.
Undergraduates are provided key components of a liberal arts education as well as important pre-professional training for careers in fields such as law, business, and public policy.
The department’s nationally-acclaimed Master’s program, established in the 1960s, has prepared students for Ph.D. work at leading universities such as Yale, Duke, and Rutgers. Our first doctoral students were admitted in 1995. Both programs provide a foundation in logic and the history of philosophy; students may specialize in a broad diversity of areas. Faculty members collaborate with various units on campus, including the Medical School, the Center for Bioethics, the School of the Environment, and the NanoCenter.