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Philosophy

In today's complex world, we are confronted with moral, ethical and philosophical questions on a daily basis. Whether in the fields of science and medicine, business or education, the very essence of what it means to be human in an ever-changing and technologically saturated and interconnected world force us to seek answers for the most basic questions that philosophers have pondered for centuries.

The Philosophy program at Roger Williams University introduces students to the discipline, acquaints them with the world’s major philosophic figures and the problems with which they wrestled and encourages students to pursue their own avenues of philosophic inquiry. Students who study in the Philosophy program at RWU develop skills in careful reading, critical thinking and clear, effective writing. Each student’s program culminates with a senior thesis, which demonstrates the student’s ability to analyze and critically evaluate an important philosophical issue.

Student Learning Outcomes

All Students completing the Philosophy program will demonstrate the following:

  1. Read with comprehension philosophical texts relevant to the specific courses;
  2. Define key terms of the philosophical vocabulary relevant to the particular course;
  3. Analyze texts, draw inferences, and support claims using internal evidence;
  4. Practice critical reading and thinking;
  5. Distinguish different areas of philosophy and philosophical methodology;
  6. Understand some of the diverse assumptions and values that shape our experiences and/or attitudes of the world;
  7. Write cogent analytical and critical essays tied to textual evidence, explaining a philosopher’s position, presenting the philosopher’s arguments, exposing weaknesses in the arguments; five pages for lower level and intermediate courses; ten pages for advanced courses.
  8. Use secondary sources appropriately in reinforcing and extending arguments.

These outcomes while not specifically enumerated in the course catalog, are realized and achieved through the course requirements in the major as listed on pages 189‐190 of the University Catalog (2011‐2012). The first two are key outcomes for the gateway course, Introduction to Philosophy. The third outcome is derived from the goals of the Phil 103, Logic. The fourth and fifth outcomes are the focus of Phil 203 through Phil 401‐the topic/theme specific courses. Eight of those courses are required for the major. The last two outcomes are the focus of the two‐semester senior seminar.

Michael B. Wright, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
B.A., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Contact Information
x3251
GHH 321

Michael B. Wright

Michael B.
Wright
Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
B.A., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Contact Information
x3251
GHH 321
Robert Blackburn, A.M.
Professor of Philosophy
A.B., A.M. Brown University
Contact Information
x3022
GHH 320

Robert Blackburn

Robert
Blackburn
A.M.
Professor of Philosophy
A.B., A.M. Brown University
Contact Information
x3022
GHH 320