The study of philosophy at Maryville focuses upon the history of philosophy. Before students can participate meaningfully in the traditional discussions and debate the famous questions, they must have a sound grasp of the long and interconnected history of those issues and questions. Therefore, the major centers upon four courses: Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, and Contemporary Philosophy.
The philosophy student also is required to take Logic and Ethics. The study of logic enables the student to gain a detailed understanding of inductive and deductive reasoning, as well as an appreciation of method. The study of ethics can be described as a culmination of philosophical study because the student comes to understand the way in which abstract and speculative ideas translate into practical systems of human conduct.
Finally, Aesthetics is highly recommended. Learning, theory, and knowledge ideally culminate in appreciation and enjoyment. Thus, the philosophy of art and the experience of beauty form a capstone upon a philosophical education.
The major in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Philosophy is directly related to the goals of Maryville, especially to the aim of aiding students in fashioning a philosophy of life that is reasoned, decent, and civilized.
PHIL 230 Logic plus 27 upper division credits, including PHIL 305, 306, 307, 308, and 325, are required for the major. (See Liberal Studies, B.A. section for general education requirements.)