The Philosophy department has a three-fold mission in Utica College at this time:

  1. Provide a quality program for students majoring or minoring in philosophy.
  2. Provide quality courses that satisfy the college’s core requirements.
  3. Provide quality major-related required courses for other disciplines or programs.

Within this mission, the department has a series of specific goals in three categories.

Course-Specific Goals

Every student in a philosophy course should acquire:

  1. The ability to read philosophical texts with a fair degree of comprehension.
  2. The ability to express that comprehension in writing and speech.
  3. A working knowledge of the central philosophical questions in the specific area covered by the course.
  4. A working knowledge of the most important arguments that have developed around those questions.
  5. The ability to both formulate and criticize arguments concerning those questions.

Discipline-Specific Goals

Every student in a philosophy course should acquire:

  1. A skeptical, inquiring, and enthusiastic attitude to the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom.
  2. An understanding of their own thinking processes and a critical attitude to their own beliefs.
  3. An understanding of the reciprocal influence of academic philosophy and the broader social culture.
  4. An appreciation of the humane approach to the exercise of philosophical inquiry.  An understanding that philosophy is not a blood sport, but a shared intellectual endeavor that requires cooperation and consideration.

Long-Term Goal

  1. It is the aim of the philosophy department to plant “seeds” or “time bombs” in the minds of our students.  These are questions, ideas, attitudes, skills, or information that are consistent with the practice of philosophy and in harmony with the ideals of a liberal education and whose significance and worth will be realized only later in the life of the student.


John Johnsen

(315) 792-3122
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502