Philosophy

What is Philosophy?

The study of philosophy encourages rigorous and disciplined habits of mind and sharpens the critical intellect. Philosophers think carefully and precisely about issues of fundamental importance. Philosophy students find that a detailed, critical examination of various positions is exciting both logically and as a means of clarifying their own beliefs and values. Philosophy asks those questions that engage all sensitive and reflective people, but which seemingly cannot be answered by any of the empirical sciences: Is human behavior determined or is free choice possible? Are there objective standards for determining right and wrong, or is morality subjective? Can we objectively distinguish rational from irrational beliefs? Is everything material? Is there a God? 

UCSB’s Philosophy Department offers the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Students may concentrate in one of the following areas: Core Philosophy Concentration—for students with a general interest in philosophy and those preparing for graduate study in the discipline. Ethics and Public Policy Concentration—focuses on moral and legal problems confronting the community and responsibilities of various professions. Each concentration allows for elective coursework. Through electives, students may study the philosophy of religion, science, history, mathematics, and law.

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