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for California State University, Fresno.
Department of Philosophy
The College of Arts and Humanities
ANDREW FIALA, Chair
Music Building, Room 102
Andrew Fiala, Chair
Ann E. Berliner
Robert D. Maldonado
Terry R. Winant
Philosophy is one of the fundamental domains of human thought. It grows
out of basic life questions, including questions of ethics, religion, politics,
and science. The study of philosophy has had an historic role in the core
of sound education, because it helps sharpen skills of careful, independent
thinking and aids people of all ages in defining their most important values
and beliefs. The examination of great philosophical ideas, and the emphasis
on clear reasoning and personal development that are involved in philosophy
serve as a strong foundation for life, regardless of one's career objectives.
The Department of Philosophy offers students the following opportunities for a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience: the traditional B.A. philosophy major, the prelaw option, the religious studies option, and the philosophy minor. The department provides ample opportunity for individual attention and student participation in its activities, e.g., student Philosophy Club, symposia, colloquia, etc.
The Prelaw Option emphasizes analytical skills, ethics, and values courses. Law schools seek a broad general education background and do not recommend any specific major. Students who enjoy philosophy and are interested in law should find this option an excellent way to combine their interests.
The Religious Studies Option offers objective methods for exploring the vast and complex human experience known as religion. This study is done with an appreciation for the variety and diversity of religious beliefs and expressions. This option provides students with an academic approach to religion in personal, social, historical, and global contexts.
Faculty and Facilities
The department has a diverse and well-trained faculty with special interests ranging from logic and scientific method to existentialism and philosophy of religion. All members of the department share the conviction that the best way to teach philosophy is through an intense but sympathetic interchange between the teacher and the student. Our conference room is a pleasant and frequently used meeting place for students and faculty.
The undergraduate major provides an excellent foundation for a variety
of professional careers as well as for graduate study in philosophy. Students
who complete a major in philosophy develop analytical, critical, and communicative
skills which are demanded by law schools, seminaries, and training programs
in government and business. Thus, graduating majors are often in a competitive
position for occupations that at first glance are not obviously related
to the study of philosophy. In fact, people who have majors or minors in
philosophy can be found in almost all areas of endeavor, from medicine,
law, and the ministry, to teaching, social work, and fine arts.