Professor Roger Ward (Chair); Associate Professor Brad Hadaway;

Assistant Professor Jonathan Sands-Wise

Contact the Department

Philosophy Department
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

Department Site


Philosophy studies the basic beliefs that support all of our thinking and living.These beliefs are about the nature and existence of the universe, God, persons,free will, space/time, and causality; about evidence, theory-testing, and rational judgment; and about justice, the good person, and moral education. The curriculum emphasizes the history of philosophy as well as recent philosophical work concerning religion, science, business activity, environmental ethics, poverty, and social justice. Philosophy students will develop skills to evaluate critically what they read, to examine and to write clearly about what they believe, and to think in a cooperative way. These skills are useful in most careers and in graduate and advanced professional study. Majors often select an area of philosophy for independent study. All majors take advanced courses in other disciplines related to their philosophical interests; many dou-ble-major in another academic field. The Department offers innovative tutorial courses to prepare students for study at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.


Philosophy graduates will demonstrate:

  • a basic understanding of the history of western philosophy from the ancient world through the modern period;
  • a basic understanding of formal symbolic logic and its application to arguments in ordinary language;
  • a basic understanding of one or more areas of philosophy related to the¬†student‚Äôs interests;
  • successful application in a major independent project of fundamental research skills related to philosophy, including synthesis and critical evaluation of¬†arguments, clarification and critical evaluation of one‚Äôs own beliefs and values, logical argumentation, organized written and oral presentation of ideas, and critical analysis of cultural trends.



(B.A. degree) Thirty semester hours required, including PHI 152, 201, 203, at least one upper-division history of philosophy course (315, 412, or 435) and either 440 or 450.



Eighteen semester hours required, including PHI 152, 201, and 203.


150. Basic Philosophy. (3 hours) Introduction to typical methods and problems of philosophic thought, with emphasis on forming and evaluating a personal world view.                                                         Fall and Spring


151. Ethics. (3 hours) Introduction to the nature and grounds of moral obligation, virtue and the good life from both ancient and modern ethical perspectives.

Fall and Spring

152. Logic. (3 hours) Introduction to principles of sound reasoning with emphasis on formal and informal techniques for evaluating arguments.                                                                                                 Fall and Spring


195. Discovering Vocation. (3 hours) This course introduces the idea of vocation through reading, discussion, writing and research. ‚ÄúVocation‚ÄĚ is a term of art referring to the integration of practice and intellect with moral and spiritual calling. The interdisciplinary readings in this course will acquaint the student with representative and historical models of reflection on vocation. This course will be offered only as a Foundations 112 course.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Spring


201. History of Philosophy I. (3 hours) Survey of the development of Western philosophical thought within its cultural contexts from ancient Greece through

the Middle Ages. Exploration of foundational approaches to questions of reality, virtue, knowledge, God, faith, and reason.   Fall and Spring


203. History of Philosophy II. (3 hours) Survey of the development of Western philosophical thought within its cultural contexts from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century. Exploration of issues foundational to contemporary philosophy, theology, and the sciences.                                                                                                                     Fall and Spring


315. Existentialism and Idealism. (3 hours) A study of the emergence of existentialist philosophy and literature in the nineteenth century as a response to idealist philosophy. Major figures to be covered are Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Kafka. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.                                                                                 Odd Falls


325. Business Ethics. (3 hours) Introduction to both the moral issues involved in business management and the ethical concepts and analytical skills relevant to resolving those issues.                             Fall and Spring


335. Theories of Economic Justice. (3 hours) Introduction to the moral and political issues raised by the facts of absolute poverty and economic inequality in both international and domestic contexts. Contemporary theories of beneficence and distributive justice will be explored.                                                                                                        Even Springs


345. Environmental Philosophy and Ethics. (3 hours) Philosophical exploration of the concept of the natural environment, including a survey of ethical positions that guide human habitation in nature. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.                                     Even Falls


355. Philosophy of Religion. (3 hours) Philosophical exploration of the classical issues of theistic religious thought, such as the reality of God, the problem of evil, religious language, life after death, and the pluralism of religious traditions. Prerequisites: one course in Philosophy; one from REL 231, 233, 235, 237.

Odd Falls


365. Social/Political Philosophy. (3 hours) An examination of the major political philosophies of our time, with same attention to the historical precedents. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.                    Odd Falls

370. Topics in Philosophy. (3 hours) The study of a special topic in philosophy, announced at advanced registration. Recent offerings include Postmodernism, Feminist Philosophies, and Friendship and Love. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.        Fall and Spring


375. Tutorial Topics. (3 hours) The study of a special topic in philosophy using a one-on-one tutorial method of instruction adapted from humanities courses at Oxford University and Cambridge University. Please check with department for

a list of current offerings. Prerequisites: one course in philosophy and permission of the instructor.  Fall and Spring


385. Medical Ethics. (3 hours) Philosophical exploration of the moral issues involved in the practice and management of medicine, including a basic introduction to the moral concepts and analytical skills relevant to resolving these issues. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.                                                                                                     Odd Springs


395. Seminar on Vocation. (3 hours) This course introduces the idea of vocation through readings and discussions. The readings include scripture, biography, theology, and philosophical texts. The purpose of the course is to develop the student’s understanding of vocation as a reflective theme and to have access to rich sources for exploring the idea of vocation.   Spring


412. American Philosophy. (3 hours) Survey of the most influential American philosophies from the colonial period to the present: Puritanism, Deism, transcendentalism, pragmatism, and process philosophy. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.  Odd Springs


435. Contemporary Philosophy. (3 hours) A survey of leading 20th century philosophers. Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Husserl, Moore, Davidson, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida represent some of the figures to be considered. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.   Even Springs


440. Independent Study. (3 hours) With the approval and permission of a member of the Philosophy faculty and the chair of the Philosophy Department, students may undertake independent reading and research on a philosophical topic of their own choosing. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy.                                                Fall and Spring


450. Seminar. (3 hours) Class presentation of research on a philosophical topic, announced at advanced registration, with the guidance of a member of the Philosophy Faculty. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy. As needed

Click to See Career Options



  • Research
  • Fund Raising
  • Counseling
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Grant Writing
  • Administration
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Public interest research groups
  • Museums
  • Mental health agencies
Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills. Gain related work experience. Volunteer in relevant organizations. Obtain master’s degree in social work or counseling as well as applicable state licensure for therapy positions. Become familiar with grant writing techniques.


  • Clergy
  • Administration
  • Missions
  • Local churches or synagogues
  • District, regional, national, and world denominational headquarters
  • Religiously affiliated schools, colleges, and universities
  • Local, national, and international mission fields
  • Religious organizations
Obtain appropriate seminary training for clergy positions. Become certified through a denomination for specialized staff positions. Gain related experience through volunteering with local churches or religious organizations. Develop applicable foreign language skills for international mission work. Seek leadership positions in campus religious organizations. Complete an internship or summer position with a religious camp or missionary organization.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Adult education programs
  • Vocational-technical educational programs
  • Professional or graduate schools including Medical
Obtain a doctorate degree for opportunities in teaching and/or research. Develop one or more concentrations, such as mathematics, medical or business ethics, science, or religion. Gain related experience through internships, volunteering, or part-time employment. Earn a master’s degree in a specialized area (e.g., Library and Information Sciences, College Student Personnel, or Counseling). Seek campus leadership positions such as peer mentor or resident assistant.


  • Public Policy
  • Research
  • Regional Planning
  • City Management
  • Intelligence
  • Foreign Service
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
  • Program Administration
  • Elected or Appointed Leadership
  • Campaign Management
  • Staff Administration
  • Special Interest Advocacy
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Commission on Civil Rights
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Department of Energy
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Foreign Service
  • Federal Municipal Archives
  • National and State Endowments for the Humanities
  • Legislative, executive, or judicial officials
  • Political action committees
  • Special interest groups
  • Political parties
  • Campaigns (national, state, or local)
Become familiar with federal, state, and local job application processes. Supplement curriculum with courses in political science, public administration, or business. Complete an internship in government or related area. Serve in model United Nations. Become involved in student government. Participate in cultural groups and organizations. Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs. Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis. Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions. Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement. Volunteer with the staff of a government official. Participate in local or national campaigns.


  • Medical
  • Environmental
  • Research
  • Hospitals
  • Medical and professional schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Consulting services
  • Research organizations
  • Health science funding agencies
  • Environmental agencies
Obtain Ph.D. for most positions. Participate in related professional organizations. Join debate groups. Develop excellent research skills. Hone verbal and written communication skills.


  • Law firms
  • Corporations
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Special interest groups
  • Universities
Obtain law degree. Develop excellent research and writing skills. Participate in debate or mock trial. Maintain a high grade point average. Gain experience through part-time employment or internships in legal settings.


  • Editing
  • Technical Writing
  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing companies
  • Magazine and newspaper companies
  • Professional and trade associations
  • Advertising agencies and departments
  • Electronic media organizations
Serve on college newspaper staff. Develop excellent writing and desktop publishing skills. Take courses in journalism, advertising, public relations, or English. Gain related experience. Become a student member of a related professional group.


  • Management
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Market Research
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Business firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Retail stores
  • Marketing research departments or organizations
  • Real estate companies
Minor in business. Gain related experience through internships or part-time jobs. Obtain leadership role(s) in campus organization(s). Develop computer skills in word processing, database management, and spreadsheet programs.

General Information

  • Philosophy students develop many transferable skills that can be can be utilized in a variety of careers and jobs, demonstrating the flexibility and capacity for growth that employers find valuable. These skills include analytical, organizational, research, as well as oral and written communication skills.
  • Other related skills that are attractive to employers are idea generation, problem formulation and problem solving, diverse data integration, adaptation to change, the ability to elicit hidden assumptions, persuasion, and summarization of complicated material.
  • An undergraduate degree qualifies one for entry-level positions in business, nonprofit organizations, and government.
  • Graduate and/or professional studies usually lead to careers in law, medicine, ministry, finance, psychology, counseling, diplomacy, ethics, and related areas.
  • Ph.D. is required for college/university teaching and research.
  • Concentrations with other areas can include mathematics, religion, science, history, women’s studies, Eastern philosophy, and medical or business ethics.
  • Develop aptitudes for analytical thinking, logic, and statistics in order to apply philosophy to a broad range of professions such as law, government, finance, management, consulting, and related areas.
  • Join related student or professional organizations.
  • Seek related summer or part-time work experience or internships in area(s) of interest.
  • Take computer courses to increase employment opportunities.

Helpful Links

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
(2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer


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