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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

The department offers a philosophy prelaw program for those students interested in philosophy or a general arts education, and in pursuing a legal career. It is generally acknowledged that a concentration in philosophy and the other arts provides an appropriate basis for the study of law. Students in the prelaw program complete the requirements of philosophy track Law and Politics, which are 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 6, 2018

    Dr. Michael Chiariello
    Professor Emeritus, Philosophy Department
    Dr. Michael Chiariello is living in Perugia, Italy, where he continues his work with the board of the Romeyne Robert and Uguccione Sorbello Foundation. On February 8, he will present an invited paper titled “Postmodernita, ideologia e rationalita` nel Manifesto Communista: il Marxisme come teoria e metateoria,” at La cantina associazione filosofica di Lugo. “La cantina” (literally “the cellar,” after its historic meeting site) comprises faculty from several universities and non-academic professionals in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The paper is a translation of “Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto” originally presented at the national conference of the Association for Core Texts and Courses in April 2016.

    On April 19, Chiariello will present “John Wisdom’s Parable of the Invisible Gardener and the Nature of Religious Belief” at the Association for Core Texts and Courses conference.

    In June, he will present “The Moral Challenge of Global Hunger” at the International Conference on Exploring Ethics Through Food Choices, which is sponsored by the Food Studies Program of the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy.

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.