Webster's Third New International Dictionary lists thirteen distinct definitions of the word philosophy, but for the average person, two definitions of philosophy serve best. In one sense, a philosophy is a set of fundamental beliefs. In another, more academic sense, philosophy is a critical examination both of those fundamental beliefs themselves and of the grounds for them.

Overview

Calvin's philosophy department offers a program widely recognized as one of the finest undergraduate philosophy programs in the nation. In philosophy classes, you'll pursue a tradition of strenuous, systematic thought, lay hold of its insights and grapple with its conclusions. In the process, you will clarify not only what you believe, but why you believe it.

Careers in Philosophy

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  • Author
  • Editor
  • Professor
  • Public Relations Administrator

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Student involvement

Attend annual seminars and conferences like the Jellema lecture series sponsored by the philosophy department; write for the Chimes; join in on the student-led Philosophy Symposium where students engage in philosophical discourse.

Keep Exploring

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By the numbers

14
Faculty in the philosophy department who have a PhD in their field
2+
Annual lecture series sponsored by the philosophy department

Course Requirements 2013-14

Philosophy major

(33 semester hours)

  • PHIL-153 Fundamental Questions in Philosophy
  • One course from:
  • PHIL-205 Ethics
  • One course from:
  • PHIL-251 History of Western Philosophy I
  • PHIL-252 History of Western Philosophy II
  • One course from:
    • PHIL-340 Contemporary Continental Philosophy
    • PHIL-341 Contemporary Anglo-American Philosophy
  • One-300-level historical course:
  • One-200-level systematic course:
    • PHIL-201 Philosophy of Social Science
    • PHIL-202 Law, Politics, and Legal Practice
    • PHIL-203 Understanding Natural Science: Its Nature, Status, and Limits
    • PHIL-204 God and Philosophy
    • PHIL-207 Justice and the Common Good: Studies in Political Philosophy
    • PHIL-208 Philosophy of the Arts and Culture
    • PHIL-211 Philosophy of Gender
    • PHIL-212 Ethical Dimensions of Health Care
    • PHIL-215 Business Ethics
    • PHIL-225 Chinese Thought and Culture
    • PHIL-226 African Thought and Culture
    • or a 300-level with permission
  • One-300-level systematic course:
  • One course from:
    • PHIL-395 Philosophy Topics: Problems in Systematic Philosophy
    • PHIL-396 Philosophy Topics: Figures and Themes in the History of Philosophy

Philosophy—double major

(27 semester hours)

  • PHIL-153 Fundamental Questions in Philosophy
  • One course from:
  • PHIL-205 Ethics
  • PHIL-251 History of Western Philosophy I
  • PHIL-252 History of Western Philosophy II
  • One course from:
    • PHIL-340 Contemporary Continental Philosophy
    • PHIL-341 Contemporary Anglo-American Philosophy
  • One-200-level systematic course:
    • PHIL-201 Philosophy of Social Science
    • PHIL-202 Law, Politics, and Legal Practice
    • PHIL-203 Understanding Natural Science: Its Nature, Status, and Limits
    • PHIL-204 God and Philosophy
    • PHIL-207 Justice and the Common Good: Studies in Political Philosophy
    • PHIL-208 Philosophy of the Arts and Culture
    • PHIL-211 Philosophy of Gender
    • PHIL-212 Ethical Dimensions of Health Care
    • PHIL-215 Business Ethics
    • PHIL-225 Chinese Thought and Culture
    • PHIL-226 African Thought and Culture
    • or a 300-level with permission
  • One-300-level systematic course:
  • One philosophy elective

Philosophy minor

(18 semester hours)

  • PHIL-153 Fundamental Questions in Philosophy
  • One course from:
  • PHIL-251 History of Western Philosophy I
  • PHIL-252 History of Western Philosophy II
  • Two-200/300-level electives

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Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2013-14 academic year.

Bouwsma Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the philosophy department
Reverend Bernard Haven Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,600
  • first-year
  • HS GPA 3.0+
  • financial need considered; child of missionary
  • submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calvin.edu) describing your qualifications by February 1
Kenneth J. Konyndyk, Jr. Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,750
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.5+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the philosophy department
Alan and Jan Pauw Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,800
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required; majoring in history, philosophy, or a foreign language
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Clarence and Janice Walhout Scholarship
Martin P. and Florence DeGraaff Wiebenga Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • automatic consideration
Dr. Bernard Zylstra, S.J.D., Memorial Scholarship
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

David Billings

David Billings
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
HH 343
dbilling@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8611

Kevin Corcoran

Kevin Corcoran
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 349
kcorcora@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6636

Rebecca DeYoung

Rebecca DeYoung
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 345
rdeyoung@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6418

Ruth Groenhout

Ruth Groenhout
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 352
rgroenho@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6412

Matt Halteman

Matt Halteman
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 356
mch7@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6726

Lee Hardy

Lee Hardy
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 347
lhardy@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6417

Daniel Herrick

Daniel Herrick
Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 354
dh34@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6723

David Hoekema

David Hoekema
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 344
dhoekema@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6750

Gregory Mellema

Gregory Mellema
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 355
mell@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6414

Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga
Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
HH 356
acp8@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6087

James K.A. Smith

James K.A. Smith
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 342H
jks4@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6419

Christina Van Dyke

Christina Van Dyke
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 350
cvdyke@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6676

Stephen Wykstra

Stephen Wykstra
Professor
Department of Philosophy
HH 341
wyks@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6410

Talk to us

Ruth Groenhout Ruth Groenhout
Department Chair
Department of Philosophy
HH 352
rgroenho@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6412

Admissions

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