Philosophy Mission

The philosophy curriculum at Lake Forest College highlights the discipline’s central and critical role. We focus on:  

Exploring the immense range of philosophical concerns

Philosophical questions emerge in all facets of human life. We seek not to isolate philosophy but to highlight the ways human beings are inevitably led to ask the fundamental questions with which philosophers struggle. We deal with metaphysical, aesthetic, epistemological, and ethical issues in film, art, literature, and debates over public policy.

Stressing the practical value of philosophical inquiry

Philosophy is not mere idle speculation but serious inquiry into issues that matter in our professional, public, and personal lives; philosophical insights help us grapple with questions ranging from the obligations between employers and employees, to what level of education is owed each member of our society, to how we ought to view the environment. 

Developing critical thinking skills

Philosophy is both a subject and a way of thinking, a critical reflection on our most important judgments and human experiences. 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. 

Cultivating an international outlook

“Cultivating an international outlook Philosophical reflection occurs in different ways in different cultures. 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. Our international focus is evident through our involvement with the College’s Program in Greece. Further, we take advantage of the international cultural atmosphere in Chicago as well as the natural attractions of the area.”

Fostering creativity

Philosophical investigations require not simply that students learn a body of information but that they assess and build on that knowledge and ultimately develop their own insights and arguments. Philosophy majors are expected to design their own research project as the culminating experience for the major.