2021 Graduation Addresses by Victoria Smith ('21) and Jene Smith ('21)
Welcome to the Philosophy Department!
Welcome to the Department of Philosophy at Lehman College. In just four years, the department has changed considerably, with three new tenure-track faculty members, a new department chair, and a growing number of new adjunct faculty members. The range of our course offerings, and the number of our courses, has also increased. In the past two years alone, our number of majors has quadrupled. We also have more students adding a philosophy minor to their degree than ever before. Some of our students are pursuing careers in law and academia, and some are winning fellowships while still at Lehman. For more news about our students, see here.
What Is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom about ourselves, others, and the world, through sustained reflection on general questions – what is the purpose of life? what is a just society? what is the nature of thought? what is truth? – that arise in the course of human experience. Philosophy is both a body of knowledge and a set of skills.
What Courses Do We Offer?
We offer courses in moral philosophy, global justice, and applied ethics; in political philosophy, social philosophy, and philosophy of law; in logic, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science; in theory of knowledge and philosophy of the social sciences; in history of philosophy from Ancient Greece to the 21st Century; in African philosophy and Asian philosophy; in existential philosophy and philosophy of religion ; in philosophy of music, philosophy of film, and aesthetics; and in many more areas. Please check out our course offerings here.
The Department offers two Philosophy majors and six Philosophy minors. More information about our majors and minors can be found here. The Department also offers a minor in Disability Studies. For more information about about the Disability Studies Program, see here.
Students may also write an Honors Thesis in Philosophy in their senior year, under the supervision of a professor, and give a public presentation of their work to the department. For examples of Honors Theses from previous years, see here.
Why Study Philosophy?
- Preparing for the Future Job Market? Choose Philosophy! "There's going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors"
- Tech Leave You Cold? Major in Philosophy! "Philosophy majors generally do quite well for themselves in whatever career path they choose"
- The many, many reasons to study philosophy: "Philosophy delivers highly marketable, highly transferable skills"
- Earn a good salary, study Philosophy!
- Be employable, study philosophy! "I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy"
- Philosophy – the most practical major: "It is also a tool... for thinking about everything else, and every profession from law and medicine to motorcycle maintenance"
- Get into law school with a philosophy degree!
- Get into business school with a philosophy degree!
- Get into graduate school with a philosophy degree!
- Get into medical school with a philosophy degree!
- Who has a degree in Philosophy? Many people, it turns out – from Pope John Paul II and Susan Sarandon, Angela Davis and Wes Anderson, to Carl Icahn and Carly Fiorina.
- There's going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors
For YouTube videos about majoring in philosophy as well as more links to newspaper stories about how useful a philosophy degree actually is, see here.
Maimuna Doulah ('16), a Philosophy and English double major, has been accepted to CUNY School of Law School in the fall of 2017. She will continue to work as a Trial Prep Assistant for the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Bronx District Attorney's Office. For more news about Philosophy students, see here.