Department of Philosophy


The mission of the Simmons University Department of Philosophy is to provide undergraduate women with a philosophical education that can prepare them for the graduate studies or jobs of their choice. The American Philosophical Association (APA) Statements on the Profession: The Teaching of Philosophy defines philosophical education in the following terms:

The development of an appreciation and grasp of philosophical methods, issues and traditions is an important part…and another is the cultivation of students' analytical, critical, interpretive and evaluative abilities in thinking about a variety of kinds of problems, historical texts, and issues, both 'philosophical' and commonplace.

The mission of the Simmons University Department of Philosophy adheres to the APA principles of philosophical education.

Philosophy at Simmons

The study of philosophy is a reflective consideration of life's deepest issues, and cultivates a sensitivity to values, to systems of thought, and to other people.

At Simmons, we emphasize that philosophy is not "for academics only." The study of philosophy helps one to analyze positions and communicate clearly in speech and writing.These skills can be profitably applied anywhere.

As a student of philosophy, you will be prepared for many disciplines and professions. Our majors and minors have gone on in law, business, social work, medicine, education and writing, as well as in philosophy. Admissions and personnel officers look favorably upon a philosophy major as a sign of a well-rounded individual with carefully developed analytical skills.

Philosophy provides excellent preparation for any profession. When you visit Simmons, we hope you will stop by the department to meet us.

Majors in this Department:

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    Philosophy Learning Outcomes

    Knowledge of the main problems and positions in at least three periods in the history of philosophy

    • Describe philosophical problems or positions in ahistorical period
    • Explain the meaning of philosophical concepts in a historical period
    • Compare or evaluate different philosophical positions in a historical period

    Knowledge of the basic theory and standard methods of analysis and evaluation in (mathematical or informal) logic

    • Identify different types of claims, issues, and/or arguments and their components
    • Evaluate arguments and identify mistakes in reasoning
    • Prove the validity or invalidity of arguments

    Knowledge of a variety of ethical theories

    • Describe an ethical theory and its rationale
    • Explain the meaning of key ethical issues, concepts or principles
    • Compare or evaluate different ethical theories

    In-depth understanding of particular philosophical problems, domains, or positions

    • Explain and analyze a problem, domain, or position from a particular perspective
    • Examine critically a philosophical position, domain, or problem
    • Develop a philosophical position or response to a philosophical problem
    Diane Grossman photo

    Diane Grossman