Historically philosophy has been the discipline that included all thinking going beyond every-day thinking. Since antiquity philosophy has given rise to a wide series of specialized disciplines and practices which attempt to understand and shape the world (law, natural sciences, economics, politics, psychology, etc.)

But there remain questions and problems that lie beyond the scope of these specialized disciplines, problems that only philosophy can properly address. Proposing ethical theories; defining the formal rules of correct thinking; analyzing happiness, pleasure, and beauty, as well as evil, anxiety, and loss; investigating the foundations of science; constructing new and precise concepts; describing the role of art in society; deciding among competing political, legal, and religious frameworks — these are just a few examples of typical philosophical activities.

The task of the philosophy minor is twofold: first, to give a basic introduction to some of the classic philosophical questions and sub-disciplines; second, to give students a realistic idea of contemporary philosophical research, as they choose from among electives that comprise a representative sample of what philosophy is and does today. Because philosophy is in ongoing exchange with other disciplines, informing them and informed by them, the philosophy minor makes an excellent accompaniment to any of the majors offered at SAS, helping students develop greater clarity, precision, care, and depth in whatever they choose to pursue.

Mandatory courses: