Program Overview

The philosophy program will help you develop thinking skills to help you understand, articulate and evaluate the values, principles and assumptions on which decisions are made.  By studying the various traditions of philosophy and analyzing the philosophical issues facing the people and societies of the contemporary world, you will get the perspective and knowledge necessary for making significant personal, professional and public choices through reason and logic. This is a valuable tool in any profession but it is particularly helpful for those contemplating careers in government, medicine, law and politics, where the exposure to ethical dilemmas is significant. 

Ideally, the major will prepare you to become an independent thinker, and to be able to engage in rational debate on significant issues.  And with faculty assistance, the philosophy major can be tailored to your needs, plans and goals to reach these objectives.

A Cornerstone of Jesuit education

Philosophy has been a cornerstone of Jesuit education since the founding of the first Jesuit universities in 17th century Europe.  Philosophy: 

  • Embraces your human powers to think abstractly, have mental discipline and broaden your capacities to understand and to enjoy living.
  • Help you raise critical questions and use reasoned argumentation to develop normative standards for guiding a your relationship to your community.
  • Promotes reasoning about human nature and about human values to help provide bridges between religious belief and contemporary intellectual directions.
  • Values integrity, commitment to truth, excellence and understanding with an aim to enhance your expressive powers, knowledge, foresight and sense of direction.
  • Is an especially ennobling activity since it elevates what is common in being human while also nurturing individuality and self-esteem.

At Canisius, philosophy explores answers to the most fundamental questions about:

  • Human experience
  • The nature of the human person
  • The existence of God and immortality
  • Freedom, moral and political values
  • The relation between appearance and reality
  • Knowledge, wisdom, and truth.