I started taking philosophy classes in high school. We were required to take a class called “Theory of Knowledge,” which absolutely changed my life. This class looks at answering broad questions and using different subsets of knowledge systems to answer them. This class structure helps me look at the questions life constantly throws at me. With this, I encourage everyone to take philosophy classes, because they can help you so much with your education and your personal life. This class also inspired me to minor in ethics, which will be a great help towards my future career as a hospital administrator.
At Penn State, I have taken three philosophy classes: “Feminist Philosophy,” “Ethical Leadership,” and “Knowing Right from Wrong.” All three of these classes provide a unique viewpoint of philosophy, and how it connects with modern societal problems.
In “Feminist Philosophy” (PHIL 114), we analyzed books that represent a view of what feminism really is. We then had various class discussions about how men have treated the women around us, what it means to be a mother, and how to situate your career to be women-oriented. I loved this class for a few reasons. First, we started classes every day with a centering activity, which was such a unique start to my day. Additionally, I loved this class because it was primarily girls in the class. This was so different than what I was used to, and it was really a safe space to discuss the things taught in class. Overall, I would highly recommend taking this class.
For “Ethical Leadership” (PHIL 119) I took a web, asynchronous class. In this class, we mostly read articles from philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle. Then we interpret what these articles mean to be a good leader. This class is informative, as it will help me in my career. I would most recommend taking this class if you have a busy schedule because you can work on it on your own time.
“Knowing Right from Wrong” (PHIL 120N) is also a great class. “Knowing Right from Wrong” is an interdomain class, combining both humanities (GH) and social and behavioral sciences (GS). In this class, we look at morality. We learn about different philosophers and studies that look at people’s gut reactions to being moral. I like this class, as it is interesting to think about how everyone has different perspectives about what being moral is. This class also looks at how we judge people who do things we do not agree with. We look at how even though an action is not morally wrong, we have preconceived biases. This class is perfect for gaining insight into how judgemental you are. Overall, the workload for this class is perfect. You could also take this class as a sociology class or as a psych class, depending on what you register under.
All the professors for these classes are so nice and insightful. The classes are usually not super difficult, but that depends on where your academic strengths and weaknesses are. If you are not super into reading or writing, I would probably avoid them. Overall, I think that these classes can help you in whatever major you are in.