New philosophy major on campus

New major to make ASU competitive with other schools

By Allison Price
On February 15, 2013

Buzz is growing among students about the new philosophy major that will be implemented next fall.  

"I am ecstatic about the philosophy major," graduate student Cayla Clinkenbeard said. "As an undergraduate, I took every philosophy course, and I would have majored in philosophy if it had been available. These courses have really benefitted me in other areas of study, and I'm sure that they will be interesting and useful for other students as well."

Dr. Susana Badiola, Associate Professor of philosophy, has been working with her colleagues and administrators for the past two years to make philosophy a major.

"When I first started working here in 2004, the major was just a dream," Badiola said. "The program has been growing steadily and it was really a student demand. It has been a long process and we had to overcome many obstacles but we have also had a lot of help."

Philosophy is the understanding of the world around us and who people are, Badiola said.

"Philosophy doesn't really attract the masses," Badiola said. "Once students start to hear more about philosophy and realize what it is then it will be very attractive to students."

Badiola said she is excited to see how students respond to the major and how many students will want to study philosophy.

"We have people who have already said that they will major in philosophy, and that is a fantastic start for us," Badiola said. "I certainly expect the major to be successful. The fact that the university is offering a philosophy major should be a matter of great news for everyone."

Badiola said that having a philosophy major is a great opportunity because few universities offer the same degree.

"We realized that this is a striking opportunity to offer [this degree]," Badiola said. "We could compete better with other universities and it is also a sign that ASU wants to promote programs that are not as popular to a society. It says a lot about ASU."

Junior and Philosophy Club president, Joshua Hansen, is looking forward to this new change because it is an ideal time for the major to come to ASU, he said.   
"Philosophy is different from most other fields of study in that in emphasizes critical thinking from the outset," Hansen said. "It teaches a methodology of rigorous analysis and logical problem solving which will be indispensable to me in my graduate studies. Also, it stimulates the intellect and keeps life exciting."

The philosophy club has been growing and is always accepting new members who are passionate about discussing new ideas, Hansen said.

"The philosophy club has been very active for the last couple of years," Clinkenbeard said. "Every week we have discussions about various philosophical issues including human nature, law, morality, reality and epistemology. We have optional readings that help us understand these problems."

ASU has already offered a philosophy program for many years and students were able to minor in philosophy, Badiola said.

"Even though I have already graduated, I'm considering returning as an undergraduate to pursue a degree in philosophy," Clinkenbeard said. "I think these extra courses will build my knowledge and writing skills."

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