Philosophy Explore your passion

A Solid Foundation

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.

Opportunities to Explore

Philosphy Club

Philosophy Club is a group open to anyone with a passion for philosophy and discussion. We get together to discuss topics ranging from current events and philosophical puzzles to the ethical value of superpowers.

Ethics Bowl

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) is a team competition that combines the excitement and fun of a competitive tournament with an innovative approach to education in practical and professional ethics.

Phi Sigma Tau

Philosophy students can become a member of the national honor society for Philosophy, Phi Sigma Tau. The purpose of Phi Sigma Tau is to encourage interest and activity among students and to promote ties between philosophy departments in accredited institutions.

Educational Opportunities

Independent Study provides students with the opportunity to explore areas or topics in philosophy outside the regular curriculum. Philosophy students may also elect to participate in the internship program.


Research Honors provides students with the opportunity to pursue a project of original research in philosophy during their senior year.