Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of life's big questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?  Philosophy isn’t an impractical or luxury major. Philosophy teaches you to think, write and speak critically and creatively. As a result, some universities and institutions of higher education have had a 74% increase in students attending as Philosophy majors in the last decades.

Because of the critical and abstract thinking skills obtained while studying philosophy, it pairs well with other majors. Philosophy majors have been known to double major in English, pre-law, medicine and neuroscience, as well as business, art and math. The Philosophy minor is an excellent addition to any major as emphasizing logical thinking and clear expression are useful skills in any career.


Philosophy majors are known to do well on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The Verbal Reasoning section is scored from 130 to 170 and Philosophy majors score an average of 160 on the section, higher than every other field of study. The Quantitative Reasoning section is also scored from 130 to 170. Philosophy majors average at a 153 with only hard science fields such as physics scoring higher. The Analytical Writing section is scored from 0-6 with Philosophy majors averaging at a 4.4, higher than every other group, including Literature and Composition based majors.


At West Shore Community College, students can take a variety of introductory-level philosophy courses including the following:


  • PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy is a historical and thematic introduction to the major issues, theories and methods of Philosophy. Representative topics include truth, knowledge, reality, personal identity, free will, happiness, and the meaning of life.

  • PHL 102: Introduction to Ethics familiarizes students to the study of classical moral theories and their application to contemporary ethical issues such as war, capital punishments, animal rights, and sexual morality.

  • PHL 103: Introduction to Logic goes into the study of formal and informal logic, including major types of inductive and deductive argumentation as well as good and bad forms of reasoning.

  • PHL 104: Bioethics is an analysis of classical and contemporary moral problems in health care, medicine and medical research. Representative topics include abortion, euthanasia, cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell research, and patient rights.

  • PHL 151: Topics in Philosophy may focus on any topic, thinker or school of thought in the history of Eastern and/or Western Philosophy that is not substantially covered in any other courses. The course is for the general student as well as the student who wishes to major in Philosophy.

  • PHL 202: World Religions surveys the core beliefs and practices of the major world religions—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity, Islam, etc.—with an emphasis on cultural and historical context.

  • PHL 204: Philosophy of Religion is a historical and thematic introduction to the philosophical study of religion and religious beliefs. Representative topics include the nature and existence of God, the relationship between faith and reason, the problem of evil, and miracles and divine intervention.

  • PHL 298: Independent Study of Philosophy is a course designed to provide a student with experience of independent research, investigation, analysis, and the study of principles and concepts of topics related to the discipline of Philosophy.