Department of Philosophy
& Religious Studies

Communication Arts

Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

Some people are drawn to philosophical study because they find it inherently fascinating. Other people become interested because they face difficult questions in their lives which only philosophical study can answer. Most people who enjoy thinking deeply about important issues agree that philosophy is one of the most rewarding fields of study. However, one of the first questions people have is what can they do with a philosophy major or minor after they have left college. The answer is that philosophy is in fact a very useful and practical area of study for many. The main reason for this is that philosophical study is one of the best possible trainings in:

  • thinking clearly
  • understanding complex sets of ideas
  • formulating opinions about the truth or the best action when there is no clear answer
  • articulating one’s view both orally and in writing
  • showing the weaknesses in the ideas and reasoning of other people
  • working collaboratively with others when dealing with complex information
  • thinking creatively and independently.

People who have majored in philosophy perform extremely well in standardized tests such as GRE, GMAT and LSAT. People with philosophy majors typically go on to the following career paths:

  • administration/management – in such diverse areas as personnel; financial aid; or public relations. Employment settings might include college or university; prisons; hospitals; government agencies (county, state or federal); private companies
  • business – management, sales, consulting public relations, fund raising, systems analysis, advertising, banking
  • government – congressional staff member, federal agencies and bureaus, state and local governments, United Nations, foreign service, cultural affairs
  • insurance- agent, broker
  • journalism – reporter, critic (books, dance, film)
  • publishing/writing – sales, editing, management, freelance, technical writing for a company or government, script writer
  • pre-professional training – A philosophy major also provides excellent undergraduate preparation for law school, MBA programs, medical school and seminary:

If you are considering a major or minor in Philosophy at Dowling and you would like to talk it over with a faculty member, contact Professor Christian Perring, 631-244-3349 or email perringc@dowling.edu or any of our other faculty.

Classes offered in Spring/Winter 2016′

WINTER 2016

23520    PHL 1042C           Ethics                   ONLINE                Christian D. Perring

This introductory course covers both normative ethics, which is about how we should live and what makes a good life, and meta-ethics, about whether morality is objective, relative, subjective, or nonsense.

SPRING 2016

22292    PHL 1003C           Self and World                                 TR           01:00 pm-02:21 pm          Christian D. Perring

[This course used to be called “Introduction to Philosophy”] This introductory course addresses questions of whether human action is always selfish, whether we are free, our ultimate knowledge of the world, the nature of reality, and whether supernatural beliefs in gods or souls make sense.

21011    PHL 1042C           Ethics    ONLINE                                                               Theodore Metrakas

This introductory course covers both normative ethics, which is about how we should live and what makes a good life, and meta-ethics, about whether morality is objective, relative, subjective, or nonsense.

23523    PHL 1060C           Ethics in Criminal Justice              TR           10:00 am-11:21 am          Christian D. Perring

This introductory course spells out different moral theories and shows how they can help us address the morality of the police, lawyers, judges, courts, and prisons. It addresses controversial issues such as police brutality, the use of solitary confinement in prisons, and racial bias in sentencing.

24876    PHL 2100C           Media Ethics      MW       01:00 pm-02:21 pm          Christian D. Perring (P)

This is a brand new course, and it will be driven largely by student ideas and interest. It will address both how media professionals should incorporate morality into their choices, and what sorts of policies media companies should have. We can discuss TV, movies, theatre, gaming, news reporting, social media, blogging, and any other forms of media that interest the class.

22294    PHL 2150C           Philosophy of Sex and Love        TR           11:30 am-12:51 pm          Christian D. Perring

This is a popular course and being at the 2000 level, is at a more sophisticated level than intro-level courses, but there are no pre-requisites. It addresses many controversial issues, such the nature of true love, what counts as consent to sex and what counts as sexual assault, what the difference between seducing someone and pressuring them into sex is, what we mean by perversion and whether we can adequately define it, whether labels of straight, gay, bisexual and trans are helpful or confining, whether it is wrong to treat another person just as a sexual object and whether casual sex is immoral, whether pornography is degrading to people, and whether science can give us a full understanding of sexual experience.

24878    PHL 3120A           Moral Theory    MW       10:00 am-11:21 am          Christian D. Perring

This is an upper level course and is for students who have previously taken philosophy courses. We will address issues of personal autonomy and moral responsibility, discussing when people can be held responsible for what they do. We will explore the relations between responsibility, praise and blame, and when people may have reduced responsibility, such as due to dysfunctional childhoods, external coercion, cravings, impulsive behavior, disordered personality, or dependence on drugs or even some activities such as gambling.

SPRING LATE START 2016

21450    PHL 1042C           Ethics    MW       11:30 am-12:51 pm BLENDED FORMAT  Christian D. Perring (P)    02/27-05/16

This introductory course covers both normative ethics, which is about how we should live and what makes a good life, and meta-ethics, about whether morality is objective, relative, subjective, or nonsense.

 

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Faculty

Christian Perring

Professor of Philosophy
Department Chair

Office 330B RC
Office Phone: 631-244-3349
Email: perringc@dowling.edu
Full Bio