Philosophers try to make sense of human experience through critical reflection and argument. The study of philosophy involves asking questions about the nature of knowledge, reality, and values, and formulating and evaluating answers to these questions. As a philosophy major or minor at Illinois Wesleyan University, you will be introduced to various traditional philosophical issues such as the nature of consciousness, personal identity, the nature of morality, and skepticism. Your understanding of these issues will be strengthened by reading the works of major philosophers, including Plato, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and more recent figures.
The Philosophy Department offers courses to meet the needs of general education students wishing to explore perplexing and controversial questions about the fundamental nature of the world and human experience. The best way to learn about philosophy is by doing it. All philosophy courses offer an open forum for a disciplined exchange of ideas. In such open forums students and professors learn from one another, and from the careful reading and critical analysis of philosophical works. Among the traditional tasks of philosophers is the investigation of the aims and methodology of other disciplines and specific problems that arise from them. Thus the department offers courses that probe the philosophical assumptions and implications of different disciplines, including courses in the philosophies of Religion, Natural Science, Psychology, Education, and Law.