Courses in philosophy present ways of thinking about fundamental questions that continue to arise no matter how much we think we know: What does it mean to be human? Is there a right way to live as a human? Is there a right way to live together as a society? What is our relationship to each other and to the earth? Is truth possible? What is ultimately real? 

Philosophers see questions like these cutting across the boundaries of science, art, politics, religion—crucial to all these areas yet belonging to none of them—and demanding that we subject both our experiences and our beliefs to critical scrutiny. Because it calls into question grounding beliefs, philosophy has always been considered central to liberal education, whose point is to generate citizens thoughtful about what is essential. 

Across more than two dozen of the most prominent college majors, philosophy majors have scored the highest on the GREs over the past four years—and have exceeded the national average score by the most points (ets.org, 2019)

Philosophy majors are introduced to the central questions and movements in the history of philosophy as a foundation for tackling today’s philosophical problems. And faculty members have an unusually wide range of interests, including contemporary-analytic, 19th- and 20th-century continental and American philosophy. 

The philosophy program at Dickinson aims to educate our students to be careful readers, critical reasoners and, finally, original thinkers by exploring significant and enduring philosophical problems through the close reading of primary texts and acquiring and evaluating methods and skills requisite to doing philosophy. 

Contact Info

Chair

Jim SiasAssociate Professor of Philosophy

Department Coordinator

Stephanie Dyson

Phone

717-245-1493

Fax

717-245-1683

Location

1st floor, East College Mailing Address

Department Features



Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here

Jobs:

  • CitySpade Inc.
  • Trala
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Parano & Associates
  • Teach for America
  • Delaware College Scholars Program
  • International Republican Institute
  • The Nielsen Company
  • Kaiser Associates
  • Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding
  • The ABIS Group
  • Veritonic Inc
  • Chubb Corporation

Graduate Schools:

  • University of Notre Dame Law School
  • Georgetown University
  • London School of Economics
  • Stanford University Law School
  • Boston University School of Law
  • Harvard University
  • Duke University School of Law
Where Our Students Have Interned
  • Bloomberg LP
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Cumberland County Historical Society
  • Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program
  • Friday Harbor Labs
  • Maryland Department of Health
  • New York Mets
  • Public Broadcasting Service

Student Perspectives

"The Department of Philosophy has contributed significantly to my moral and intellectual growth at Dickinson. Every member of the department has encouraged me both to think critically about course material and to construct creative arguments concerning topics that I'm interested in. I'm excited to employ philosophical tools and methods in my future work."

—Nick Serensits ’20


"I love the philosophy department at Dickinson and have found it to be both fulfilling and crucial to my education! The curriculum and professors challenge us to think more critically, formulate logical arguments and view the world in different and sometimes critical ways, all lessons that I will take with me well beyond my time at Dickinson. The availability and friendliness of the professors and the cross-discipline and diverse nature of many of the courses allow for amazing opportunities and experiences, whether in or out of the classroom, and I couldn’t imagine my Dickinson experience without the philosophy department or my fellow students in it."

 —Dylan Chambers '20


Philosophy News

Student Snapshot: Nathaniel McCloud ‘23

Student Snapshot: Nathaniel McCloud ‘23

Learn why, for Nathaniel McCloud '23, conversations with faculty and peers have made studying philosophy and political science deeply enjoyable.

Two More Dickinsonians Admitted to Oxford University’s Mansfield Program  

Two More Dickinsonians Admitted to Oxford University’s Mansfield Program  

Continuing more than a decade of success with the program, two more Dickinson students will cross the pond in the fall to immerse themselves in Oxford's tutorial system.

Dickinson College Philosophy Major Shares Her Passion for Philosophy While Tackling Social Issues

Dickinson College Philosophy Major Shares Her Passion for Philosophy While Tackling Social Issues

Former philosophy major Alison Bailey ’83 embraces her passion for philosophy as an author and professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Illinois State University.

Student Snapshot: Dylan Yang ’23

Student Snapshot: Dylan Yang ’23

It wasn’t easy to adjust to stay-at-home guidelines during the pandemic, but the rewards have been great, says philosophy major Dylan Yang ’23.

Dickinson Announces New Major in Data Analytics

Dickinson Announces New Major in Data Analytics

Emerging from a winning Revolutionary Challenge proposal, the new major merges Dickinson’s liberal-arts foundation and its future-forward approach.

Top 10 Tips for Getting a Job on Wall Street

Top 10 Tips for Getting a Job on Wall Street

Setting sights on Wall Street? Check out these tips from two Dickinson alumni pros at Lazard, a leading financial-advisory and asset-management firm.