Mission Statement of the Philosophy Department
The Philosophy department aims to stimulate intellectual curiosity by engaging students in core philosophical questions through our courses and ambitious co-curricular programming. By training students in textual interpretation, conceptual analysis, and logical reasoning, we empower them to understand and assess the answers given by philosophers, as well as to examine their own beliefs and values. These philosophical investigations will educate our students in the theories and history of philosophy, and prepare them to become engaged citizens who think clearly about cornerstones of our society such as ethics, democracy, and truth.
Our philosophy majors will acquire broad knowledge of the traditions of philosophy as well as contemporary philosophical movements. Through their studies they will also acquire future-proof transferable cognitive skills that are economically valuable in the 21st-century knowledge economy. A modest percentage of our majors aspire to attend graduate school in philosophy and demonstrate noteworthy philosophical promise. We aim to mentor these students into graduate school—especially those who can diversify the field, their backgrounds informing a unique philosophical orientation. More generally, our department is committed to prioritizing diversity not only for social and political reasons but because a diversity of backgrounds enriches the intellectual growth of every student. We support students and faculty from groups that are underrepresented in the USA, in academia, and in the profession of philosophy.
The foundation of these departmental aspirations is our faculty, who are engaged teachers and active researchers. Faculty research serves as the intellectual engine for this departmental work. We aim to contribute to the university’s intellectual culture not only through our research and courses but also through two-tiers of recurring co-curricular events—weekly Philosophy for Lunch sessions and monthly Montclair Philosophy Workshop sessions.