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Philosophy

Among the many questions philosophers ask — What can I know? Who am I? Does God exist? What is the nature of time? — one of the most pervasive may be What is philosophy?

It’s been defined as the love of wisdom; the search for truth through reasoning; and a discipline that comprises metaphysics, logic, ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics. The Philosophy Department at Lewis & Clark believes such definitions have their purpose—but the only way to truly understand philosophy is to engage in the study and practice of philosophical inquiry.

In philosophy courses, you’ll investigate the questions above, and many others as well. Professors cover the ideas of ancient philosophers (such as Plato and Aristotle), modern philosophers (Descartes and Kant), twentieth-century thinkers (Heidegger and Quine), and such recent theorists (Foucault and Lewis). Topics include ancient philosophy, 19th century philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and the philosophies of religion, science, and law.

Outside the classroom, students are active in the Philosophy Club and regularly attend where visiting philosophers, philosophy faculty, and fellow students present papers and posit questions about the fundamental natures of society, life, and knowledge. These talks are always followed by active, lively discussion, giving students a great chance to engage the ideas they’re exploring in classes.

We have a vibrant philosophy colloquium featuring renowned philosophers both here in the Northwest and across the country. All are welcome and the colloquia series can be accessed below.

Philosophy Colloquium Series 2014-2015

 

 

Events

March 6th, 2015

  • Image preview 3:30pm - 5:00pm: Implicit Bias and the Circumstances of Moral Responsibility by Manuel R. Vargas (University of San Francisco)
    Implicit bias is a partially unconscious, partially automatic, and often negative evaluative tendency directed at individuals, based on their apparent membership in a socially salient category or group. The phenomenon of implicit bias raises interesting questions for a theory of moral responsibility, in part because implicit bias and our reaction to it provide reasons for both blaming and not blaming agents who act on the bases of those biases. For example, on the one hand, implicit biases can appear to be largely outside the direct control of agents, and not expressive of their values or true selves. On the other hand, it is difficult to shake the sense that one’s discovery of, say, racist bias should give rise to a sense of guilt. How we should navigate these issues, and what they suggest about responsible agency more generally, is the subject of this talk.

March 18th, 2015

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Philosophy

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