Our curriculum is grounded in the careful study of primary texts from the history of philosophy and the rigorous examination of contemporary ethical problems.
Our mission is to foster a critical, reflective and interrogative attitude towards values and beliefs, and to cultivate the intellectual skills, ethical capacities, and affective dispositions necessary for developing this attitude, through a critical understanding of the significant and enduring questions, arguments, and texts of the history of philosophical thought and through the rigorous examination of contemporary ethical problems.
Philosophy has been traditionally understood as a love of the truth. It strives for the truth in its most broad and fundamental forms, not merely as one field of knowledge. Philosophy seeks to exacerbate the questionability of what is questionable and to reveal that what seems obvious or beyond question most demands interrogation into its nature and legitimacy.
The department understands the cultivation of this attitude as the primary goal of an education in philosophy. The department also believes that philosophy specifically, though certainly not exclusively, is equipped to teach, train, and develop it. To cultivate this attitude, there are determinate skills and fields of mastery that are necessary, ranging from analytical, exegetical, and evaluative skills to the understanding of the major philosophical theories and arguments advanced throughout the twenty-six hundred year tradition of philosophy. In doing this, philosophy seeks to raise the most fundamental and enduring questions about ourselves, our obligations and our world.
The ethics minor engages students through the study of ethical theory and moral issues; the development of critical thinking and reflection skills; application in their major areas of study; and service. The minor is designed to enhance any student’s education by enriching awareness of ethical issues, developing abilities to reflect critically and by connecting awareness and reflection to opportunities for action.
Hiram students are creative, focused and passionate about their area of study. The creative writing major allows students to live out their personal passion for creativity while maintaining a rigorous course of study. In fact, students must take at least two advanced writing workshops (most programs only require one) and will often complete graduate-level work, which means they are better prepared to enter Master of Fine Arts programs and/or the workforce. Hiram is also one of the few programs in Ohio to highlight creative nonfiction while also offering advanced coursework in fiction, poetry and screenwriting.
The study of history is critical for our understanding of the human experience. Through the study of history, we develop an understanding of who we are, where we came from, how and why our society has changed over time and how humans have interacted with each other and with the natural world. Hiram’s history major prepares students for active citizenship and for informed, thoughtful decision-making throughout their lives.