Philosophy Department

Dept Chair: Matthew Johnston
tel: 408-855-5305
Counseling: 408-855-5030

Division: Liberal Studies
Division Chair: Keith Johnson

Philosophy, the original home of the sciences, is an attempt at comprehensive understanding. Among the perennial questions philosophy investigates are the nature of reality, human knowledge, the nature of mind, morality and the good life, etc. In this investigation,
philosophy uses not only historical insights but also logical and conceptual methods.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Philosophy Department at Mission College’s central aim is to inculcate in students a rational outlook and an appreciation of the role of philosophy in human history. Upon completion of the Department’s core courses,
students will be able to:

  1. analyze, research, and write a thesis defense paper;
  2. construct and apply different types of argument in clarifying,
    defending, and refuting a philosophical position;
  3. identify and evaluate both the connections between some concepts
    in epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, and the implications
    these concepts entail for human existence;
  4. test for validity quantificational and truth functional arguments,
    construct elementary formal proofs in truth functional logic, and
    reconstruct the logic of a scientific experiment; and
  5. state and discuss the fundamental relations between different
    philosophical traditions and the world’s enduring civilizations
    (Western, East-Asian, and South-Asian).

Students will be assessed through written exercises, written exams, quizzes, oral presentations and papers.

Academic Preparation and Career Paths

Undergraduate training in philosophy seeks to inculcate and develop higher-level cognitive abilities that are excellent preparation for graduate and professional study. In GRE exams, philosophy undergraduates, when compared with undergraduates from other disciplines, have consistently obtained the highest verbal scores.

Training in philosophy also enables students to pursue numerous career
paths. Below are some career options open to philosophy students:

Administrator • Anthropologist • Archivist • Author/Lecturer • Business • Columnist • Crypanalyst • Drama Critic • Editor • Editorial Assistant • Editorial Writer • Educator • Essayist • Foreign Correspondent • Foreign Service Officer • High School Teacher • Information Scientist • Journalist • Lawyer • Management • Museum Curator • News Editor • Personnel Manager • Playwright • Priest • Psychologist • Publisher • Rabbi • Scientific Researcher • Social Worker • Tour Guide

Department Focus

As enrollment and funding increase, the Department plans to offer more courses. The focus of the Department is to provide students with rigorous preparation in ethics, critical thinking, and writing.

Additional Catalog Information includes transfer information and course listings