Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog 
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog


Professors Avnur, Scott-Kakures, Weinberg
Lecturers Castagnetto, Hay

Philosophy is a rigorous and analytical investigation into timeless, important, and perplexing human questions, such as:

  • What is the nature of consciousness?
  • What is the right thing to do?
  • What does it mean to really know something?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is really going on when people try to use language to communicate with each other?
  • Do we act freely and responsibly?
  • What is the nature of existence?
  • Why do we believe what we believe?
  • Is there a god? (Do we care?)

As these questions indicate, philosophical concerns are central in the liberal arts.  Its emphasis on clear reasoning and its attention to language and logic makes philosophy a particularly good major for students who are thinking about careers in law, business, publishing, and teaching. The Philosophy Department also encourages interdisciplinary majors, for example, psychology and philosophy, philosophy and law, philosophy and the arts, history and philosophy, philosophy and politics.

The Philosophy major offers a Bioethics track within the major. See Bioethics track in the Philosophy Major   for more information. 

Scripps College offers cooperative programs in philosophy with Harvey Mudd College and Claremont McKenna College.

Learning Outcomes of the Program in Philosophy

Department Goals and/or Objectives

Goals are broad statements that describe what the program wants to accomplish

1. Students develop critical reasoning.
2. Students develop analytical writing skills.
3. Students gain understanding of fundamental analytical philosophical issues.
4. Students attain knowledge of the history of philosophy.
5. Students develop philosophical reading comprehension skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes describe specific knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes students should demonstrate

SLO1: Students demonstrate critical reasoning, provide justifying reasons for their views and critically evaluate arguments.
SLO2: Students demonstrate ability to develop coherent lines of argument with clear theses and justifying reasons.
SLO3: Students demonstrate understanding of basic analytical philosophical issues and their significance.
SLO4: Students demonstrate familiarity with the historical development of philosophy.
SLO5: Students demonstrate ability to comprehend written arguments in a wide range of texts in different areas of philosophy and make appropriate use of textual evidence.