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    Why Philosophy?

    Philosophy tackles questions that we all face as creatures alive to the world. The first question, perhaps, is how we should live our life. That question gives way to related questions about the nature of the world, what we can know, how words do things, our political arrangements, our belief in God, and our interest in the things we value (each other, the natural environment, works of art, music, movies,...). Many people think about these questions late in their life and anxiously, wondering about the life they’ve led. Those who study philosophy believe that the solutions to these questions are urgent and central to their happiness, and so they give their thinking over to them early and often.

    Why Philosophy at Le Moyne?

    At most colleges – and indeed at most graduate universities – philosophy departments are loyal to one of the two Western philosophical traditions of the past two hundred years: either continental philosophy (from the continent of Europe – chiefly Germany and France) or analytic philosophy (the dominant philosophical tradition in Great Britain and the U.S.). Le Moyne’s department of philosophy is unusual in being strongly represented in both traditions, so our students gain exposure to the full range of philosophical approaches practiced today.

    We are a large philosophy department for a small college with a small number of majors: the ratio of majors to full-time faculty is less than two to one. This means, for majors, a dozen full-time faculty from whom you can choose several to work with closely and get to know well. The department’s areas of strength include social and political philosophy, aesthetics (i.e., philosophy of art), ethics, and the history of philosophy (particularly ancient and medieval philosophy).

    Our majors have a fairly open course of study compared to other majors. Thus, as a philosophy major, you have time to pursue interdisciplinary interests, enhancing your philosophy degree with a minor or second major. Many of our majors have taken extensive courses in religious studies, political science, literature, foreign languages, theater arts, and music. It is also possible to be certified in Elementary/Special Education with a philosophy major.

    If you are bright, motivated, and want to work on a specific project, you can apply for Departmental Honors in Philosophy.

    There are several funded enrichment opportunities for philosophy majors at Le Moyne. These include travel to undergraduate conferences across the country, study abroad, internships, and post-graduate fellowships.  Participation in Symposium, the student philosophy club, enriches your experience of the philosophy major.

    Philosophy Courses and Requirements

    If you would like to learn more about courses, requirements, and opportunities for the Philosophy major, please see the Le Moyne College catalog.

    Philosophy’s Learning Goals

    In the philosophy department, we have five goals for ourselves and for our students:

    1. Developing a philosophical understanding of the world through the eyes of others.
    2. Developing a philosophical understanding of the historicity of philosophical thought and of specific histories of philosophy.
    3. Developing the capacity to reason critically, question philosophically, and reflect intelligently on human situations, germinal philosophical texts, and philosophical arguments.
    4. Developing a mature discernment of philosophically significant issues in our own life-experiences.
    5. Preparing students for success in graduate school or professional post-graduate education, or other legitimate venues of learning and experience.

    Meet the Faculty

    Tabor Fisher

    Tabor Fisher

    Associate Professor View Bio
    William Day

    William Day

    Associate Professor View Bio
    Cavin Robinson

    Cavin Robinson

    Assistant Professor View Bio

    News and Events
    Vulnerability Conference

    The Department of Philosophy and the McDevitt Chair of Religious Philosophy are hosting an undergraduate conference titled Vulnerability: Dimensions and Perspectives. The conference will be held on April 8, 2017. Students from all majors at the College are invited to submit papers for the conference. Areas for exploration include, but are not limited to, the following:

    The psychology of vulnerability
    Vulnerability in religious experience
    Vulnerability in our social and political lives
    Vulnerability in literature and film
    Overcoming physical or emotional vulnerability

    Papers written for course work, Scholar’s Day, a senior thesis, etc., may be submitted. Students whose papers are accepted will have the opportunity to present them at the conference.

    The keynote speaker will be Richard Moran, Ph.D., the Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University, who will be delivering a talk titled “The Philosophical Retreat to the Here and Now."

    Submission Guidelines:
    1. Student must be an enrolled undergraduate at Le Moyne College.
    2. Papers must be between 10-12 pages double-spaced. Header should include the student’s major and contact information.
    3. Papers must be submitted for review by March 19, 2017.
    4. Papers should be emailed to under the subject line “Vulnerability Conference”.

    Students whose papers are accepted will be notified via email by April 1, 2017.

    If you have any questions about the conference, please feel free to email the Visiting McDevitt Chair of Religious Philosophy, Todd May, Ph.D., at

    Get in Touch

    Contact the Department Chair:

    Dr. Irene Liu


    (315) 445-4491


    Contact the Department:

    Reilly Hall 339A
    Department of Philosophy
    Le Moyne College
    1419 Salt Springs Road
    Syracuse, NY 13214


    (315) 445-4256


    Why Study the Liberal Arts? Le Moyne graduates leave here with a strong intellectual capacity, a tolerance of ambiguity and the ethical foundation to succeed professionally and to thrive personally–all of which is our mission, and our privilege. Learn more about the liberal arts

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