The study of philosophy is based on the recognition that all human beings are engaged in a collaborative search for meaning and values with which to interpret their experiences and give order to their lives. Respectful raising of questions about meaning and values and the pursuit of possible answers to these questions through the study of philosophy is an essential part of a liberal arts education, for the liberally educated person wants to know not only how to make a living but what she/he is living for. In this process, Clarke’s philosophy program advances the Catholic BVM tradition of the College through study of Catholic Christian conceptions of God, ethics, justice, and metaphysics.
For the above reasons, within the liberal studies component at Clarke, philosophy is an area in itself and all students are required to take at least six hours in philosophy. In order to best serve the needs of all Clarke students, the philosophy program tries to focus attention on those philosophical areas which are of concern to all, such as the meaning of human existence, ethical theory and problems, and contemporary philosophical thought. In addition, the philosophy program seeks to supplement various professional programs by applying philosophical methods to them, particularly in the area of ethics and values.