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EIU Department of Philosophy

 Studying Philosophy at EIU

Philosophy is the oldest academic discipline and is devoted to answering the biggest questions of life. Here are just a few of the questions that philosophers at EIU are currently debating and studying:

  • What does a truly happy life look like?
What is the difference between a morally right and a morally wrong act?
Is there life after death?
Is there anything I can know with certainty?

  • How does the mind relate to the brain?

  • What kind of person do I want to be?
What is the relation between morality and law?
Why be moral?
  • Can I prove that I am not in the Matrix?
Does time really “flow” or “move”?
What is a just society?
Does God exist?

Philosophy as a discipline has always been devoted to debate and conversation. Plato’s most important philosophical works are dialogues between Socrates and many of the great (and not-so great) men of his day. Philosophy is a big 2,500 year long conversation. If you enjoy respectful and rigorous argument about important questions, then philosophy might just be for you.

The philosophy faculty here at EIU are devoted to continuing this fascinating conversation.

We offer a major in Philosophy as well as minors in both Philosophy and Religious Studies. The Integrative Studies Option allows students to design their own philosophy major by choosing their own complementary area of study.  The philosophy major provides a framework for integrative learning in interdisciplinary minors that include Pre-Law, Criminology, Medieval Studies, Neuroscience, and Asian Studies

The department has a friendly and informal atmosphere with students and faculty regularly debating philosophical issues in the department office (which serves as our central hub), hallways, offices, during Philosophy Club, and during our weekly departmental lunches (friends of philosophy are always welcome). Please feel free to stop by!

Your first philosophy course may have been by way of meeting your general education requirement on campus.  

Our General Education Courses include:

PHI 1000G – God, Freedom, Knowledge and Values
RLS 1200G – Introduction to Religious Studies
PHI 1900G – Introduction to Logical and Critical Reasoning
PHI 3100G – Cultural Foundations I
PHI 3110G – Cultural Foundations II

Social and Behavioral Sciences:
PHI 2500G – The Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics
PHI 3050G – Social and Political Philosophy
PHI 3700G – Language and Human Nature

Senior Seminar:
EIU 4167G – The Meaning of Life
(This course IS open to Philosophy majors for elective credit; but MAY NOT be used by Philosophy majors to fulfill the Senior Seminar requirement.)

Many of these courses are also available as Honors courses

Students interested in religious studies are encouraged to consider the Philosophy Major Integrative Studies option. This option allows you to study religion from a broad interdisciplinary perspective within the  philosophy major. We are home to our own interdisciplinary minor in Religious Studies

  • We also offer Departmental Honors program.
  • We participate in courses offered by the School of Continuing Education, both on and off campus.
  • We offer many opportunities for academic recognition:
    • The Athenaeum Philosophy Scholarship
    • The Robert Barford Philosophy Scholarship
    • Outstanding Senior award
    • Phi Sigma Tau, the international philosophy honor society
  • And also opportunities for social, intellectual, and collegial interaction:
    • Philosophy Club
    • We also provide various ways for students to pursue their individual research interests, such as Independent Studies.


Related Pages

Contact Information

Philosophy Department

3542 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3012

Chair: Jonelle DePetro

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