Learning Goals & Mission


In striving to be consistent with the core mission and values of a Jesuit and Catholic liberal arts-based education, the Department of Philosophy endeavors to develop the critical faculties of our students so that they can learn to reason well, analyze problems, and articulate their insights in oral and written form. More specifically, the Department of Philosophy aims to acquaint students with the history of the western philosophical tradition, as well as with the perennial problems that constitute the history of world philosophy, with a special emphasis on the search for values and meaning within human experience. In so doing, the Department of Philosophy provides courses at the undergraduate level for majors and minors in Philosophy, as well as for all students meeting the core requirements in Philosophy and the required values course.

Learning Goals

As a consequence of the aforementioned mission statement, the Department of Philosophy has identified six general goals:

  1. To provide students with instruction at the college level in Philosophy, including majors and minors in Philosophy.
  2. To enable students to develop an understanding of philosophical problems and theories.
  3. To provide students with a general acquaintance with the history of philosophy.
  4. To help students to gain an understanding of value theory and ethical issues.
  5. To enable students to develop skills in critical and logical thinking.
  6. To prepare students for graduate study in Philosophy and related fields.

Relationship of Department Mission and Goals to those of the University

The Mission and Goals of the Department of Philosophy are consistent and congruent with the mission of Saint Peter’s University. In accordance with the Catholic and Jesuit mission of Saint Peter’s University, the Department of Philosophy seeks to educate the whole person in the liberal arts and to prepare young men and women for a lifetime of learning and service to others. More precisely, the educational goals of Saint Peter’s University state that “the purpose of education is to analyze ideas, to probe mysteries, to suggest solutions to problems, to express thoughts, to understand and to question the phenomenon of permanence amidst change,” …as well as “to develop an awareness of the person, one’s relationship to others, to the environment, to the historical accidents which occur.” Moreover, this awareness must be shaped by “an understanding of moral values.” It is not, therefore, surprising that this statement of goals and objectives goes on to say that “philosophy and theology are key disciplines in the development of this awareness and are firmly rooted in the tradition of Jesuit education.” Without a doubt, the study of philosophy has been a hallmark of Catholic and Jesuit education since its inception. The Philosophy Department is keenly aware of the integral role it must play in supporting and furthering the mission, goals and educational objectives of the University as a whole.