The Department of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology offers a large variety of undergraduate philosophy courses plus graduate courses in Philosophy of Art/Aesthetics, Philosophy of Mind, and the Philosophy of Vision and Imaging. Beyond our introductory level courses, students may take philosophy as General Education electives or as part of a 3-course immersion, a Minor in Philosophy, or a Major in Philosophy. The Department also develops an annual program of speakers, symposia, and conferences.
Why Study Philosophy?
The study of philosophy can enhance your education with an invaluable grounding in the history of ideas. Philosophy teaches students to think clearly and critically through the most important questions of life. Most of the skills required for student and career success—how to learn, how to apply that learning in professional and personal environments, and how to communicate that knowledge—are central to philosophical training. Philosophy students are taught to evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and communicate clearly in both written and oral forms. Finally, evidence shows that philosophy students do extremely well on standardized tests. For example: philosophy students score higher than any others on the verbal and analytical writing section of the GRE, and score near the very top on the GMAT and LSAT tests for business and law school. As a result, philosophy is widely recognized as a valuable and useful component of anyone’s education.
The Philosophy Department is motivated by a dedication to excellence in teaching. Most of our faculty have received teaching awards, and many of our faculty have received multiple teaching awards. The Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching is RIT’s highest tribute to successful pedagogy, and the Department of Philosophy is home to nine of these awards.
- John T. Sanders (1979-1980)
- James I. Campbell (1991-1992)
- Timothy Engström (1993-1994)
- Dane R. Gordon (1996-1997)
- James I. Campbell (1999-2000)
- John T. Sanders (2000-2001)
- David B. Suits (2002-2003)
- Timothy Engström (2007-2008)
- Katie Terezakis (2014-2015)
The Philosophy Department is also motivated by a strong commitment to scholarship, as evidenced by the scholarly activities of the individual members of the Department, by the Department’s speaker series and colloquia, and by the scholarship awards which have been won. Each year Paul A. and Francena L. Miller Fellowships are awarded to assist faculty in the College of Liberal Arts in the pursuit of their scholarly and professional projects. The Department of Philosophy has been the home of eleven of these prestigious Fellowships.
- Timothy Engström (2002-2003)
- Brian Schroeder (2003-2004)
- John Capps (2005-2006)
- Evan Selinger (2007-2008)
- Katie Terezakis (2009-2010)
- Jesús Aguilar (2009-2010)
- John T. Sanders (2012-2013)
- Brian Schroeder (2013-2014)
- Lawrence Torcello (2014-2015)
- Jesús Aguilar (2015-2016)
- Silvia Benso (2018-2019)
Ezra A. Hale Chair in Applied Ethics
The Hale Chair in Applied Ethics is devoted to research and teaching in ethics within and about the professional disciplines. The holder of the Chair is Wade L. Robison.
The Chair sponsors the Hale Ethics Series, occasional lectures and conferences throughout the academic year, and helpful material on ethics, including books, videos and links on various aspects of ethics. The Hale Chair is the founding President of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum and has written and lectured extensively on issues in professional ethics.