Philosophy is the act of examining our basic beliefs about the world and ourselves to better make the choices of what constitutes a worthwhile life. Philosophers and sages have been at the cutting edge of their own cultures as critics, visionaries, and thinkers. Their insights have fostered revolutions, shaped the course of technology, redefined the way we think about the world and about ourselves, and inspired new visions of the good life. Philosophers pursue the eternal questions that must be considered and reconsidered by humankind in each culture and time, and by each person who grows in experience and encounters new phases in life. When Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” he meant that people should have a clear understanding of not only what they do but why they do it. Having a clearly defined system of thought behind one’s actions leads to a more authentic, rational, and satisfying life. The path to wisdom through the study of philosophy focuses on truth and knowledge, ethics, social and political theory and organization, logic and critical thinking, and the nature of reality.
Those pursuing a philosophy major should be interested in history and the study of ideas through time. The need for clear expression requires good communication skills coupled with thoughtful analysis. Background in writing, mathematics, and analysis is helpful.
Students completing the suggested curriculum earn an Associate in Arts degree.
Bismarck State College has many cooperative, articulation, or transfer agreements with postsecondary institutions both inside and outside of the North Dakota University System. Some of these agreements are established to allow students to remain on campus as they complete their bachelor’s degree. In all cases, students seeking to transfer after completing a degree at BSC should consult the academic catalog of their destination college and work with their academic advisor to plan for this transition.
A minor or major in philosophy is a great companion to any other academic or career pursuit. Studying philosophy effectively teaches basic reasoning, writing, and thinking skills. It encourages analysis, criticism, problem-solving, and communication, skills in high demand by employers in all fields. While the study of philosophy rarely leads directly to a career as a philosopher, people with philosophy degrees often go on to careers in government and nonprofit organizations, law, computer science, administration, consulting, research, teaching, and graduate studies.