Philosophy Department

About Department of Philosophy

Mission Statement

The Philosophy Department is a multi-disciplinary department that offers programs in four areas: philosophy, humanities, religious studies, and the cognitive sciences. The department plays an important role in the liberal education of UCF students by offering an interdisciplinary perspective in undergraduate courses in General Studies, three of its own majors, four of its own minors, the Honors Program, three graduate certificate programs, and graduate courses in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

The study of philosophy, humanities, or religious studies fosters self-understanding, and can offer the resources to enrich and transform individual cultures and values. Courses offered as part of these programs develop an appreciation of intellectual and cultural history. They foster the skills of critical thinking and conceptual and cultural analysis, and the ability to apply this knowledge to the leading issues of our day. Faculty members work together with students to explore the intricate relations between knowledge, moral insight, social awareness, and responsibility. Courses in these areas explore the following questions:

  • What are the marks of an intellectually virtuous person?
  • What are the qualities of wisdom and good judgment conducive to a successful life?
  • Which character traits are conducive to finding truth?
  • How are we responsible for the process and products of our investigations?
  • What are the connections between knowledge and power?
  • What is the relationship between intellectual responsibility, emotional responsiveness and social responsibility?
  • How do academic pursuits prepare us for public citizenry?
  • What is the relationship between theory and practice?

These themes are also reflected in the disciplinary and interdisciplinary research of our faculty. Grappling with such issues is of the utmost importance in a world too often characterized by interpersonal violence, cross-cultural misunderstandings, rapid technological development, and environmental crises. Indeed, these are arguably among the most pressing questions of the new millennium. The programs in philosophy aim to provide students with the knowledge and critical skills needed to engage with the complex issues of our time.

Courses offered in the area of the cognitive sciences, provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mind, brain, and intelligent systems, broadly construed. They provide a background for students intending to pursue graduate degrees in cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, biology, neuroscience, and medicine, as well as students with more immediate career goals in fields such as neural network modeling, neuroimaging, information technology, clinical or counseling psychology, biotechnology, etc.

Philosophy Department • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Phone: 407-823-2273 Fax: 407-823-6658  •