Department of Philosophy at St. Bonaventure University

Philosophy Program

The Department of Philosophy offers a major program that serves two different goals:
  • For students who desire to achieve a general liberal arts education and who do not plan to do graduate work in philosophy, courses are selected to enable the student to become a cultured, liberally-educated person.
  • For students who plan to do graduate work in philosophy, the department has designated a faculty adviser for preprofessional philosophy. This adviser carefully selects a series of courses and seminars in order to give the students a firm grounding in the discipline and prepare them for acceptance into graduate school.

The Value of Philosophy

Philosophy addresses one's life as well as one’s career.

The aim of philosophy courses is to help the undergraduate student examine the ultimate nature of people, the universe, God, the basic principles of moral evaluation as they apply to personal questions and social and political policies.

Since these concepts underlie most human endeavors, the study of philosophy, together with the practice of its methods of analysis and argumentation, prepares students to responsibly address basic problems later encountered, whether personal, social, or professional.

Nationally, philosophy majors rank second of all (nearly 100 tested) majors in verbal and analytical aptitudes.

Philosophy assists the student in reasoning well and writing effectively. Consequently, a philosophy major serves as an excellent preparation for the professions, including law, business, and government service as well as for graduate study and the teaching of philosophy.

Philosophy Prelaw

It is generally acknowledged that a concentration in philosophy and the other arts provides an appropriate basis for the study of law. Students considering a career in law are urged to complete our department's Law & Politics track, which is presented on our Curriculum & Courses page.

Learn more about the prelaw track by contacting Dr. Steve Nuttal, associate professor of philosophy, by email at or by phone at (716) 375-2260..

Faculty Research & Honors

    Feb 22, 2017

    Dr. Michael Chiariello
    Professor of Philosophy

    Dr. Michael Chiariello, professor of philosophy, shared his recent publications and presentations. “Augustine’s Confessions: Interiority at the Core of the Core Curriculum,” has been reprinted in the volume Teaching Augustine, edited by Scott McGinnis and Christopher Metress (Basel: MPDP, 2015). The essay was originally presented at Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition conference at Samford University in 2014 and first published in Religions (2015). “Comprehensively Critical Metapolitics” appears in Critical Rationalism at Work: Essays for Joseph Agassi, edited by Nimrod Bar-Am and Stefano Gattei. Zug: Springer, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, 2017. “Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto” was presented at the national conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses in April 2016. “Plato’s Cave: Metapolitics for the Post-factual Era” will be presented at the upcoming national conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses this April.

A Great Choice

100% of our philosophy grads from 2011 to 2014 said they would choose the same major if they had to do it again.