Philosophy Major

The study of philosophy examines certain unavoidable questions for human existence: "What does it mean to be a human being?" "What is the best kind of life to live?" "What is the difference between right and wrong?" "Is life meaningful or meaningless?" "What is truth?" Being a good philosopher does not mean having ready-made answers to these questions but having the ability to ask and answer them self-consciously, self-critically, and with clarity and consistency. The skills essential for being a good philosopher are not unique to philosophy, and so are useful in every aspect of life. In particular, the philosophy program at Roanoke College teaches the core skills of analytic reading, thinking, and writing, which involve breaking down ideas, discovering their interrelation, and evaluating their worth in such a way that they may be clearly communicated to others.

Philosophy News:

Steve Chovanec Headed to Law School:
Steve Chovanec, class of '13, is headed to Washington and Lee in Lexington, VA to begin Law School in the fall.  Washington and Lee is ranked 26th in America, according to the US News annual list.  Steve says he is attracted to the small class size at Washington and Lee (an average of 10 students), something he has grown to value during his time at Roanoke College.  This last year Steve was a member of the Ethics Bowl team, he was inducted into Phi Sigma Tau, the Honor Society for Philosophy, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.


Ed Hrinya Begins Job with AmeriCorps:
Ed Hrinya, class of '13, is about to begin an AmeriCorps VISTA position with The Advancement Foundation (TAF) in Vinton, VA.  They work to build capacity and create sustainability within non-profit organizations fighting poverty throughout southwest Virginia.  Ed will be writing grants both for TAF and for other non-profits.  Ed was the Senior Scholar in Philosophy this year, and he says "my philosophy degree is largely what got me this job, since they were looking for a strong writer for the position.  I'm looking forward to making a difference right here in my own community."

 

Beth Nicoll Graduates from Law School:
Beth Nicoll, class of 2010, graduated from New England Law in Boston this spring. She also had her article on University Student Speech and the Internet published in The New England Law Review.  This summer Beth is studying for and taking the Massachusetts bar exam, and then she will be moving to Austin, Texas, where she will begin a two-year clerkship with a judge in the state's highest court for criminal law.  In her clerkship she will be drafting opinions for the judge, and providing other research, writing, and editing help.

Eric Coleman Headed to Grad School:
Eric Coleman,  class of 2010, was just accepted to a graduate program in Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Eric chose Loyola Marymount because it excels in the history of philosophy and contemporary continental philosophy.  He is particularly excited about studying Kierkegaard this coming fall. Eric also recently had his paper "Sustainability" in what state?: Green Sovereignty and the Production of Bare Life" accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.  The conference theme this year is "Postnatural" and the meeting will be held at Notre Dame, October 3-6th, 2013.   


Nick Montgomery
 Begins Dissertation Work:
Nick Montgomery, class of 2009, earned his Master's Degree in Philosophy from Brandeis University in the fall of 2010, and is now starting his third year in the Ph.D. program for Philosophy at Indiana University at Bloomington.  Nick's main areas of study are metaphysics and philosophy of language. His dissertation will be on Ineffability and Ontology, an interest he says was originally nourished at Roanoke College. 

Dr. Monica Vilhauer wins Exemplary Professional Achievement Award
Congratulations to Dr. Vilhauer for winning the Dean's biennial Professional Achievement Award.  Highlights include her recent book Gadamer's Ethics of Play: Hermeneutics and the Other (Lexington, 2010) and her keynote address at the University of Gloucestershire, England in 2011, entitled "The Game of Understanding: Dialogue Play and Opening to the Other."

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Major Checklist:

Core Requirements (9 units):
Survey (none required):
PHIL 105 SOCRATES, JESUS, AND THE BUDDHA done need
Logic (at least one):
PHIL 122 LOGIC done need
PHIL 215 SYMBOLIC LOGIC done need
History of Philosophy (at least two):
PHIL 213 PHILOSOPHIES OF INDIA, OR done need
PHIL 218 RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES OF CHINA, OR done need
PHIL 251 EARLY WESTERN PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 253 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 255 MODERN WESTERN PHILOSOPHY done need
Topics (at least two):
PHIL 205 MORAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 206 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 212 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 221: FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 222 BUSINESS ETHICS done need
PHIL 223 MEDICAL ETHICS done need
PHIL 231 RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE done need
PHIL 260 SELECTED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 265 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 266 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 267 PHILOSOPHY & FILM done need
Advanced (at least two):
PHIL 301 PLATO done need
PHIL 302 ARISTOTLE done need
PHIL 310 KANT'S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 315 HEGEL done need
PHIL 320 NIETZSCHE done need
PHIL 321 TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION done need
PHIL 325 HEIDEGGER done need
PHIL 330 WITTGENSTEIN done need
PHIL 332 TOPICS IN METAPHYSICS done need
PHIL 340 TOPICS IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY done need
Senior Thesis (one):
PHIL 410, 411, 412 (1/2), (1), (1/2) done need
PHIL 495, 496, 497 (1/2), (1), (1/2) done need
POLI 342 or 343 may be considered electives with the approval of the department, as may some IL courses.
 
Dr. James Peterson joins international society

Dr. James Peterson joins international society

Dr. James Peterson, Roanoke's Schumann Professor of Christian Ethics, was invited to be a member of the International Society for Science & Religion.

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