Academics

Why philosophy?

In the second century A.D. Justin Martyr set out to find peace and union with God. He thought he could find what he needed in philosophy. As he reports in his Dialogue with Trypho, he sought that peace from a Stoic, from a professional philosopher, from a Pythagorean, and from a Platonist.

After long years of studying (especially Plato), Justin was approached by a venerable old man, someone who knew God firsthand. "In ancient times," the old man explained, "long before the day of these pretended philosophers, there lived certain men, happy, just, and beloved by God, who spoke by the Holy Spirit and foretold many things that have since come to pass. We call them prophets--their writings still remain and those who read them with faith draw great benefits, concerning the beginning and the end of all things, and all a philosopher ought to know--for above all demonstration they were worthy witnesses to the truth."

At these words Justin says that his heart burned within him. As he writes, "That is how and why I became a philosopher. I wish that everyone would make a resolution like my own, and not keep himself a stranger to the words of the Savior."

This is how and why philosophy is practiced at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Each and every philosophy course at WLC is an invitation and an opportunity to join in the Great Conversation. For centuries, thoughtful people have been asking questions about goodness and God, immortality and the soul, what we can know and how we know it, how to make sense of our world, and more. All philosophy classes provide the opportunity to participate in that ancient discussion.

Throughout, students work diligently to be CHRISTocentric, biblical, confessional. This is how and why we practice philosophy! A student of philosophy is participating in an ancient and always relevant discipline. He or she is also practicing philosophy with a strong apologetic purpose. Writing in the first century A.D., the apostle Peter urges us, "Always be ready to give a reason (an apologian, a carefully-thought-out explanation) to everyone who asks you to give an account of that hope you have among yourselves" (1 Peter 3:15).

The philosophy courses have been crafted to serve the student in whichever discipline(s) one is majoring and to help him or her to become an even more interesting and interested human being - no matter what vocation or which graduate courses one follows after college. For the undergraduate who is especially interested in philosophizing, both a minor and a major in philosophy are offered.

A major in philosophy is highly recommended as preparation for law, theology, business, management, medicine, journalism or other careers and areas of service that require the ability to think in a creative and disciplined manner about questions that are new or whose method of solution is debated.