Applied Philosophy

At the heart of philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom.

The history of philosophy is a record of this pursuit, and philosophy students begin a quest for wisdom by studying thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pascal, Newman and many more. The applied philosophy major at Mount Mercy immerses students in the treasure of this intellectual heritage, giving them the framework to integrate all the other disciplines into a unified whole, and to form a foundation upon which to continue lifelong engagement in the intellectual life.

As part of a Catholic institution of higher learning, Mount Mercy’s philosophy department offers the possibility of studying the interaction of faith and reason in ways that other departments in eastern Iowa do not. Students may examine the question of God’s existence and nature, the problem of evil, and the possibility of life after death. Our department also emphasizes the importance of ethical thinking and action.

So that students can pursue their study of philosophy in the best and most personal way, the applied philosophy major at Mount Mercy has a flexible structure and is designed to be part of a double major. For example, some students also major in journalism, mathematics, nursing, sociology, and political science. Final senior writing projects are interdisciplinary so that they can discover the deeper connections between their two majors.

The ability to think logically, abstractly, deeply, and across disciplines helps philosophy students score higher on graduate entrance exams and gives them an advantage in graduate school. Past students have succeeded in graduate school not only in philosophy, but in theology, law, history, criminal justice, and government. A national poll of law school deans revealed philosophy and English as the two majors that best prepare students for law school. Other philosophy students have found that the thinking skills developed in their study of philosophy help them progress quickly in whatever fields they enter.

Mount Mercy’s small class sizes allow for frequent one-on-one discussions with philosophy professors. We have a small yet diverse group of philosophy majors and faculty who enjoy vibrant discussions.