Beyond knowledge and into understanding

The Department of Philosophy at Lake Forest College seeks not only to develop the critical reasoning skills essential for most careers but to foster creativity so that students can develop their own insights and arguments.

Many of our students choose to double major and find that a degree in philosophy provides intriguing and pivotal insight that deepens the understanding of their other major.

students sitting and talking by the gates

Why study philosophy?

Philosophical reflection plays a central role in the liberal arts—and thus in human life. But philosophy also has a subversive role, raising essential questions that challenge complacency and encourage reflection on personal and community problems. Philosophy majors at Lake Forest College are encouraged to cultivate critical thinking skills, utilize creative expression, and develop a deeper understanding of complex texts.

Here, we cultivate a dynamic intellectual environment where students engage with timeless questions, explore diverse perspectives, and develop foundational skills that extend far beyond the classroom. Our curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive exploration of major philosophical traditions, from ancient to contemporary thought. Small class sizes allow for personalized attention, ensuring that students have the opportunity to engage in lively discussions, challenge assumptions, and develop their own unique perspectives. Through seminars, workshops, and independent research projects, students gain the tools to articulate and defend their ideas with clarity and rigor.

student studying in lounge

Cultivate critical thinking

Philosophical skills can be used to put things in perspective, to see the consequences of our views, and to assess justifications of our beliefs, practices, and institutions. 

flags of different countries

Invite an international outlook

We seek to provide students with some understanding of this range of styles by offering opportunities to study Asian and Africana as well as traditional Western philosophy.

students talking

Fostering creativity

Philosophy majors are expected to design their own research project as the culminating experience for the major. This requires that students learn a body of information and assess and build on that knowledge to ultimately develop their own insights and arguments.

Open a world of possibilities: double major with philosophy

Students often select majors based on career prospects, but sometimes students simply fall in love with a particular discipline, like philosophy. They feel the excitement of comparing different visions of the good life, or debating how to make sense of beauty or considering how much science can explain about human behavior. So they choose philosophy, sometimes as a second major, for the love of it.

Many who double major find intriguing connections between the two. Thus they develop culminating projects that incorporate philosophical insights related to their other major.

student studying

Careers and internships

While some philosophy graduates choose to pursue graduate study and are admitted to top graduate programs in philosophy and other disciplines, plenty of other philosophy graduates go directly into the job market. The skills students learn through the study of philosophy are valuable in just about any professional career. 

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An attentive program with a wealth of knowledge and learning options

Our distinguished faculty members are not only experts in their respective fields but are also dedicated mentors who are committed to the success of each student. With diverse research interests spanning ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, and more, our faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Our department hosts regular events, including guest lectures, discussion panels, and philosophy club meetings, providing students with the chance to engage with scholars and explore current issues in depth.

Beyond traditional coursework, our department offers exciting opportunities for experiential learning. From internships with local organizations to study abroad programs that immerse students in different cultural perspectives, we believe in the importance of applying philosophical concepts to real-world situations.

Philosophy and your future

A philosophy education equips students with skills that are highly valued in a variety of fields. Whether pursuing graduate studies, entering law or business, or embarking on a career in public service, our graduates leave with the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and navigate the complexities of the modern world.

Our graduates have gone on to:

  • Law school
  • Finance
  • Publishing
  • PhD programs
  • Nonprofit work
  • Entrepreneurial endeavors
  • and much more
The most rewarding thing about studying philosophy is the diversity of topics that you get to explore. From the abstract to the application of it, it is easy to apply these skills and lessons not only to your academics but to your life.
Diana Rosales ’14

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Daw-Nay Evans
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Chair of Philosophy
Durand Art Institute 102

Karla Finley
Department Assistant
Durand Art Institute 207