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Department of Philosophy

Philosophy is a method for thinking clearly about everything.

This is demonstrated by the wide variety of subjects philosophers study: science, ethics, mind, art, language, politics, and metaphysics, among many others. The philosophy professors at SUNY Potsdam have varied interests and areas of expertise, but they all teach the philosophical method by encouraging students to read closely and carefully, to evaluate ideas and arguments, and to present their own views in a convincing way.

Students can develop these skills further by taking part in the many extracurricular activities that the Department supports, including the very active Philosophy Forum student group. Philosophy students are familiar with logic, the history of ideas, and the complex relationships between various fields.

Employers value persons with philosophy undergraduate degrees for their abilities to solve problems and to think, write, and speak well.

Our department's graduates practice law and medicine, work in government and college administration, are journalists and educators. SUNY Potsdam philosophy majors work for the New York State Supreme Court, the CIA, Hewlett Packard, the U.S. Forest Service, and many own their own businesses. Studying philosophy prepares students for success in all aspects of life, including any profession they may choose.

"The SUNY Potsdam Philosophy professors have shown me how to think clearly and how to justify my position on an issue. This has helped me greatly in my other studies and will continue to be a great asset to me throughout my life.”

Gordon Millsaps Philosophy/Psychology Major
A Philosophical Mind for Animals

After graduating summa cum laude with a double major in music and philosophy, Kate-Nicole Hoffman ’17 has continued to excel academically. First receiving her master’s degree from York University, she’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and conducting research on animal cognition—a natural extension of a Presidential Scholars research project that she completed years earlier as an undergraduate student at SUNY Potsdam.

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