Philosophy is the master-discipline of all the arts and sciences insofar as it trains its students to think critically about all the principles and assumptions that govern the arts and sciences. But even more importantly, it trains its students to think critically about the assumptions that underlie how they live their own lives: of what is good and bad, true and false.
La Salle’s philosophy department is oriented strongly towards the study of philosophy as a “way of life” meaning not just as a technical field of study with its own methods and body of knowledge but as a discipline that transforms and elevates how we live our lives.
Recent topics have included: Revolution to Romanticism; Philosophy of Islam; Memory, Identity, and the Self; Evolution and Creation; J.R.R. Tolkien as Philosopher; Harry Potter and Philosophy.
This course examines human consciousness. Topics include the relation between the mind and the brain, the possibility of building conscious machines, the mental life of animals, and conceptual puzzles posed by zombies.
This course analyzes the aesthetic character and philosophical significance of photographs through texts that explore their distinctive nature, metaphysical qualities, and reflective power. Students learn to describe creative and artistic techniques of photographic expression and relate them to notions of time, personhood, and transcendence.
The faculty is focused on being outstanding teachers of philosophy; and yet also engage in original and high-level research in our discipline and sub-disciplines. These include the philosophy of art and the icon, medieval mystical philosophy and the philosophical underpinnings of Tolkien’s fantasy; original research into metaphysical foundations of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant; the phenomenology of human health and philosophy for children.