Sometimes, just one class can make all the difference. That’s what happened for Anthony Garruzzo. He came to the College planning to study English, but then took the Intro to Philosophy course and discovered a passion there as well. “Now, I’m a double major, combining my interests in English and philosophy,” he says.
“I took that course my freshman year, and I was impressed by the way we combed through the texts and discussed them. The professor had us circle our desks and go page by page to analyze the texts. It quickly became my favorite class and I was hooked.”
Anthony also took a course entitled Philosophy, Law and the Arts. “We had to write three papers in that class,” he explains. “For each, the professor set out a question designed to lead us to a thesis relevant to all the reading we’d been doing. We had to take an argumentative stance on that, explore it and then defend it, but we had to do that in a limited word length. It was an interesting approach, and really productive for scholars.”
Since then, Anthony has truly immersed himself in this discipline. He arranged an independent study with one professor to examine metaphor as a philosophical concept. “I wanted to look at metaphor because I’m interested in the philosophy of language. How we understand language should influence the way we make arguments.”
That research culminated in a paper that Anthony will present at a national conference in Seattle. He also received funding from the South Carolina Humanities Council for different study. And, he secured a grant from the College to explore how pragmatist thought can help explain the distinctive style of Emerson in his essays. “All of these experiences I owe to the amazing support of the faculty, and I’m convinced that the preparation and opportunities that I’m getting at the College will do a lot to help me become a strong candidate for graduate school.”
Philosophy is an exciting and challenging discipline because it focuses on some of the deepest and most difficult questions we face: Is there any objective standard of moral rightness? Does God exist? Do humans have free will? The methods philosophers use to tackle these questions – imaginative thought and rigorous analysis of arguments – help students to build skills that are essential to a liberal arts education and to many professions.
❱❱ This major is important preparation for graduate school, and strong background for careers in law, public administration and education.
❱❱ Regularly taught courses include “Existentialism;” “Nature, Technology and Society;” and “Knowledge and Reality.”