Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Such a life does not know what it pretends to believe and is often too vulnerable to fad, trickery, and convention. The same goes for a university. It, too, must examine its fundamental assumptions—such as, how do we gain knowledge of the world? what are justice, goodness, and beauty? how do we determine the difference between truth and falsity? and can we know God rationally and profess a responsible faith if evil exists in the world?
Most classes I have taken taught me about the world– about civilizations and nature, art and engineering. But in Samford's philosophy classes, I learned about myself– my intellectual heritage, my role in society, the limits of my knowledge. Majoring in a science honed the technical skills I routinely use now, but majoring in philosophy made me a better friend, husband and citizen. Stephen Bailey, Ph.D. candidate in Educational Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
In the Department of Philosophy, we focus on these questions and how they have been answered over the 2,500 year history of philosophical discussions. Our students learn to read, discuss, and critique the great ideas and arguments that have shaped our Western intellectual culture. Furthermore, the Department supports active extra-curricula meetings that enable students to discuss current and pertinent topics among themselves and with other faculty.
Of course, not everyone likes to raise such probing questions, but they must be addressed because “an unexamined university is not worth having!” Consequently, because we try to force these questions and deliberations to the forefront of the University’s life, the Department of Philosophy serves an important and indispensable role in Samford's fulfillment of its mission as a Christian University.
Many of our students go onto graduate schools in Philosophy, Law, and Ministry.