Philosophy and History

For those interested in intellectual history, or more broadly in the history of culture and society, the history of philosophy is essential.  The Philosophy Department epartment offers history courses in ancient, medieval, early modern, and more recent (nineteenth and twentieth century) philosophy.  History of philosophy courses tend to focus on the texts and arguments of significant and influential figures like Plato, Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein, but also put these and other important “greats” into context by relating them to important scientific, religious, cultural and political developments.  In addition, philosophy courses provide practice in the close reading and critical assessment of the kinds of sources involved in much historical research.  More important, perhaps, they get us to ask questions about who we are – questions to be considered in connection with the history of how we got there.

If you have questions, contact Professor Ed Minar, Chair of the Philosophy Department (