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Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Elmhurst University Department of Philosophy aims to serve both the broader student population and our major and minors.

It is our mission to provide Elmhurst students with an excellent education in the liberal arts by teaching them to understand the great ideas and theories regarding human experience; to do close and careful reading; to perform critical analysis of ideas and arguments; and to present their thoughts carefully and clearly.

Our specific goals are as follows:

  1. The Elmhurst University Philosophy Department aims to introduce students to great thinkers and important ideas as they developed over the course of human history. We intend students to understand some of the theories and concepts that organize and explain human experience.
  2. We teach students to work with abstract ideas and to think critically. As such we help students learn the principles of logic, careful expression, and clarity.
  3. We train our students to be able to carefully and persuasively articulate ideas and argument, both in writing and in oral presentation. These skills are important in any career.
  4. We inspire our students to engage in practical ethical issues as well as in the great philosophical questions. We aim to help our students grapple with today’s most pressing ethical issues.

Students majoring and minoring in philosophy gain a broad-based understanding of the field through courses in reasoning and ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy along with multiple electives within the major. Contrasting theories of knowledge and ethics lead to wide-ranging discussions and challenge students to examine their own assumptions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a philosophy major or minor, a student should be able to:

  • Understand and explain some of the historically important theories and concepts that organize and explain human experience.
  • Use abstract ideas in writing, to think critically, and to understand the principles of logic, careful expression, and clarity.
  • Articulate a persuasive argument, both in writing and in oral presentation.
  • Apply ethical theories to contemporary ethical problems.

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