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Welcome to West Valley’s Philosophy Program

The West Valley College Philosophy Program offers a large number of courses in philosophy and introductory religious studies.

The Philosophy Program encourages clarity and rigor of thought and expression. All philosophy courses work to empower the student with critical thinking and reasoning skills, so the student's own arguments become more precise and persuasive, and the student develops greater resistance to invalid or illogical arguments.

Students apply philosophy's analytical approach to people's most basic assumptions about the world and human experience. For example, many people think they can tell reality from unreality, knowledge from ignorance, sense from nonsense, mind from matter, and persons from things. They think they know the fate of a person after death, what counts as a good society and a good life. Philosophy scrutinizes basic assumptions such as these and tries to arrive at the conclusions best supported by reason and common sense.

The Philosophy Program strives to convey the vitality and relevance of classical philosophical debates to contemporary life, while encouraging students to add their voices to the debates. Students will increase their multicultural understanding, particularly through the study of world religions. The comparative study of the great religions of the world invites students to share world-views vastly different from ordinary Western habits of mind.

In summary, the Philosophy Program challenges the students to think and write well, ponder their most basic assumptions, see themselves as participants in the vital history of ideas, and grow in spirit to become generous and responsible citizens of the world.

Last Updated 3/11/19