"Philosophy," translated from the Greek, means a "love of wisdom." The Philosophy Minor at the University of Maine at Presque Isle is an interdisciplinary program designed both as an important contribution to a liberal education and for those wishing to interrogate further what "philosophy" has come to mean to us today-understanding the nature of knowledge, thought, values, and reality. Our lower level course offerings, and most of our more advanced classes, are designed to be of interest to students reflective about their beliefs or those who wish to become so. The basic principle of reasoned inquiry are useful for nearly whatever subject you wish to pursue as a major, whether it be English, History, Political Science, law, or medicine. Most importantly, however, the study of philosophy looks beyond obtaining employment after graduation, finding its value in a range of thought and action that we develop and enjoy long after our formal studies might be completed.
Many of our students take only one or two philosophy courses, while majoring in other programs. They find a study of basic philosophical ideas and principles enriches their general education and adds a dimension of understanding to courses in their major program. Classes such as "Introduction to Philosophy" and "Introduction to Ethics" are especially designed to address students from all majors and programs. Furthermore, students often find that philosophy courses give them a deeper understanding of contemporary social issues, such as biomedical, business, interpersonal, and technological ethics. These issues find reflection in courses such as "Social Theory," "Aesthetics," and "Literary Theory and Critical Practice."
Most importantly, the study of philosophy challenges us to move beyond overly simplified disciplinary views of "critical thinking." Rather, in the words of the renowned philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Zizek, it encourages us to anamorphosize "reality" as we conventionally experience it-to see it from a different perspective and, in so doing, to open up a new set of questions about that reality which cannot but serve to affect some sort of change in our very being. Instead of encouraging us merely to "adapt" to an existing "reality," something which is "always already out there," philosophy encourages us to interrogate, rethink, and (re)construct "reality," to think beyond the known and the conventional, and subsequently to imagine and construct new realities.
For further information, contact Dr. Ray Rice