The Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at California State University, East Bay seeks to promote the exploration of enduring human concerns - concerns, for example, about the nature of knowledge, ethics, truth, and God. In addition to emphasizing classical philosophy, the department encourages students to think critically about contemporary debates, particularly in the areas of law, human rights and social justice; science, technology, and values; and religion. We strive to instill in our students lifelong habits of questioning, of exploring views contrary to their own, and of engaging in reasoned and honest dialogue. By our focus on analysis, comprehension and communication, we aim to develop qualities that are essential to personal fulfillment, civic responsibility, and career success.
Many different kinds of students choose the major in philosophy. Some intend to do graduate work in philosophy, often with the intention of becoming philosophy professors who research and teach in philosophy. Others take philosophy as a preparation for another professional area. Traditionally, for example, philosophy has been one of the chief roads to professional law schools. On the other hand, the aim of many religious studies students is to prepare for entrance into theological seminary. Philosophy also serves as a good general liberal arts education, since many of the long-established university disciplines are founded on philosophical principles: political science, sociology, education, aesthetics, physics, and other subjects. Finally, many students major in philosophy in order to prepare for careers that require clarity of thought, analytical ability, good writing skills, and the ability to present a reasoned argument.