Philosophy Program

The Philosophy department at Hardin-Simmons University seeks to contribute to the liberal arts education of students by developing analytical and critical thinking, broadening perspectives, and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and truth in all areas of life. This involves exploring the perennial questions (and preeminent answers) that humans encounter in contemplating existence and seeking to live wisely. Underlying these goals is the aim to help students develop their own philosophical approach within a trustworthy world-view, together with an awareness of the relevance of philosophy to the fundamental methodology and perspectives of other disciplines.

Why study Philosophy?

Because it prepares graduates for success and adaptability over a lifetime of changing marketplaces and personal challenges. Philosophy students learn to think and communicate with clarity, breadth, and precision, learn how to ask the questions and solve the problems that enable one to succeed. Thus the study of philosophy provides a solid foundation for both the workplace and advanced study in all academic and professional fields, including law, theology, education, science, and business. As a major or minor the study of philosophy complements and enhances all areas of study. But most importantly, the study of philosophy at HSU is a wisdom-seeking enterprise operating under the conviction that Christian faith is relevant to all of life while recognizing that wisdom may be found in unexpected places.

Integrating Christian Faith

The program strives to offer excellent courses, calls for excellent work from students, thoughtfully considers Christian doctrines and values both directly and in comparison with other worldviews and value systems, and encourages students to live a life of Christian faith and values. Because Philosophy as a discipline delves into the ultimate questions, philosophy courses “naturally”—when taught by a thoughtful Christian professor—engage the students in considering foundational Christian doctrines and values.

Furthermore, there is a conscious effort on the part of our department head to encourage students to seek to have integrity in their world-views. This integrity stems from applying critical thinking skills along with self-examination to the ultimate questions of life. The philosophy program does not proselytize, but it does challenge students to passionately live for ideals that exceed the mundane secular approach so common in the present age.

Contact Us

Dr. Bryan Yorton

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Head of Philosophy Department 325-670-5864

Majors

  • Philosophy (B.A.)

Minors

  • Philosophy Minor (B.A., B.B.S.)

Why study Philosophy at HSU?

HSU student sitting outside in foreign country

Exposure

Our program provides extensive exposure to a rich diversity of intellectual and cultural perspectives and traditions difficult to come by elsewhere. This exposure is complemented by training not only in the exposition of existing material, but also in the active, creative production of theories and critical assessments.

HSU student sitting outside in foreign country

Synthesis

HSU's Philosophy program offers a meaningful interdisciplinary synthesis. Take philosophy and suddenly you are better equipped to appreciate and engage other discourses - science, aesthetics, literature, psychology, religion, theology, ethics, etc.

HSU student sitting outside in foreign country

Reflection

Our program encourages serious, practical, self-reflection. It provides the conceptual tools to grapple with personally-relevant worldview questions and transcend cultural boundaries to assess globally relevant problems in a systematic and comprehensive way found in no other discipline.

Program Details

Philosophy Major:
A major in Philosophy is available only on the Bachelor of Arts degree and requires a minimum of 30 hours, which must include the following:

  • PHIL 2350 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 3320 Logic or PHIL 1310 Critical Thinking
  • Three of the following courses:
    • PHIL 3300 History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
    • PHIL 3310 History of Modern Philosophy
    • PHIL 3315 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
    • PHIL 3326 Existentialism
  • Nine advanced semester hours in Philosophy

Philosophy Minor:
A minor in Philosophy, consisting of 18 semester hours in Philosophy, is available on the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Behavioral Science degrees.

All HSU students are eligible for this program.

What can you do with a Philosophy degree?

Anything you want! Philosophy students consistently score at or near the top in all graduate school entrance exams. If you already have specific career goals, it is the ideal minor or second major (it is one of the smallest majors at HSU) to complement those future endeavors. If you are currently undecided, it prepares you to succeed along any path you may choose because it trains you to think critically and creatively. And, because you have delved deeply into fundamental questions, it can enhance your life as a whole, enabling you to live wisely, mindful of what really matters to you and to those around you.

The Philosophy program will produce individuals of high integrity, outstanding critical thinking skills, and the ability to explore answers to the ultimate questions of life, leading to deeply satisfying professional and personal lives.