Why Philosophy?

Professor working with two students

LMU's Philosophy major is a reflective and critical course of study that guides students in the exploration of fundamental ideas that underlie and penetrate human existence and constitute the deep background of all human endeavors. The major explores ideas such as meaning, truth, knowledge, being, good, justice, and beauty.

The major invites students to ask and to pursue, in the company of past and present philosophers, the most fundamental questions: Does God exist? What is so special about being human? What is happiness, and how is it achieved? What is a good life? What is the relation of mind to matter? Is all of reality knowable? Are there objective moral truths? What is a just political system?

The Philosophy major is both challenging and enlightening. It initiates students in the pursuit of wisdom and encourages development of a vision of the world and of an understanding of our place in it. Toward these ends, students acquire the habit of asking fundamental questions and develop the analytical and synthesizing skills required to solve complex problems and to make critical judgments. 

For more information about majoring in Philosophy, visit our website:

     Philosophy: The Major for Life

What do Philosophy majors do?

Philosophy majors take a core set of courses on the history of philosophical inquiry. Majors supplement these courses with electives chosen from a variety of content areas, including morality, law, politics, natural and social sciences, arts and literature, religion and theology, contemporary movements, major thinkers, and thought and reality. Majors are exposed to both the Western and the Eastern traditions of philosophical inquiry. 

Is this major right for you?

A Philosophy major might be for you if you:

  • Wonder about the meaning and purpose of life
  • Have an interest in the big picture
  • Are intrigued by the complexity of the world
  • Have a feeling for the power of ideas
  • Tend to ask the deeper questions about life 

About our faculty

Our faculty members are dedicated teachers and accomplished scholars. Their scholarly interests are diverse. They include ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, virtue theory, philosophy of mind, hermeneutics, environmental philosophy, philosophy of culture, phenomenology, philosophy and film, philosophy of science, and social and political philosophy. Among our faculty are experts in Chinese philosophy, Thomism, Foucault, Heidegger, Ricoeur, Lonergan, Plato, Plotinus, Aristotle, Spinoza, Scotus, Pascal, Hegel, and Kant.

Members of our faculty are active professionals who serve on the editorial boards of philosophical journals, have held or currently hold positions on the governing boards of national philosophical societies and foundations, and produce a steady stream of scholarly books and articles. 

About our students and graduates

Our majors and minors participate in The Philosophical Society, a student-led group that holds informal weekly gatherings devoted to philosophical inquiry and discussion.

Graduates have been admitted to highly rated graduate programs in philosophy in preparation for careers as university professors. Our graduates have also gone on to careers as medical doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, business executives and entrepreneurs, elementary and high school teachers and principals, librarians, social workers, judges, directors of county and federal government offices, and motion picture producers. Many of our graduates go on to law school, for which the Philosophy major is excellent preparation. 

Representative courses

Our courses have included:

  • Philosophy of Human Nature
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Critical Thinking
  • Philosophy and Film
  • Bioethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Feminist Theory
  • Images of Women in Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Environmental Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Culture
  • Philosophy of God
  • Existentialism
  • Phenomenology
  • Independent Studies 

More resources (links)