Philosophy explores central aspects of our lives that often go unexamined. Without much reflection, we daily rely upon notions of truth, knowledge, beauty, evil, happiness, freedom and justice. And phenomena such as time, causation, obligation, language, consciousness and rationality structure our lives in ways we take for granted. Philosophy critically reflects on and deepens our most general understanding of the arts. We are everywhere guided by assumptions that philosophy brings explicitly to light, and puts into larger perspective. For this reason, thoughtful people are gripped by the questions philosophy asks. In this sense, philosophy is essential and unavoidable.
The Department of Philosophy at Amherst College welcomes all students, from those who would like to sample a course or two in philosophy, to those who would like to major in the discipline and perhaps even go on to study the subject in graduate school.