/ Philosophy Department

Student Profiles

Are you considering becoming a philosophy major or minor? Here you can read what students are saying about majoring or minoring in Philosophy.

Class of 2021

Students graduating in 2021

Aidan Piwicki

Aidan Piwnicki

How has philosophy impacted you?

Philosophy has managed to impact nearly every aspect of my academic career and personal life. The essential foundation of critical thinking, creative argumentation and the capacity to comprehend complex literature all stem from my time learning philosophy. My viewpoints on reality, morals and ethics are constantly shaped by the teachings I've encountered studying philosophy. Without a question, I have grown spiritually and academically as a result of philosophy. Plus, it's an honest challenge beyond anything I've learned prior to college!

 Who is your favorite philosopher?

I'm going to cheat with this one and name two! I've always been fascinated by George Berkeley's idealistic explanations of reality and knowledge (especially relating to modern-day quantum mechanics!), and I admire Kant for his role in developing philosophical ethics.

 How do you see philosophy shaping your future?

Given what I have already experienced with the impact of philosophy, I can see myself applying what I learned about writing clearly and scrutinizing arguments to my career, whatever it may be. In a world that is rapidly changing into an automated workforce, with divisive rhetoric constantly increasing online, and a generation now rooted in advanced technology, philosophy is a path towards a strong foundation in any career or lifestyle. The teachings of logic-based authors are still applicable hundreds of years later for a reason: They work to explain mysteries which we all face at some point in our minds. By taking abstract ideas, such as the nature of our senses to the moral struggle of sustainability versus productivity, and making logic-driven conclusions about these ideas, it adds to the important conversations we see playing out in political, scientific and cultural theaters every day. Philosophy is the option which best prepares me to face these challenges and prepare for new ones in the future.

Zoe Gum
Zoe Gum

How has philosophy impacted you?

Philosophy has opened my mind to an entirely new world of thought. This subject has forced me to improve my analytical and conceptual thinking skills and, overall, it has made me a more thoughtful and deliberate person.

Who is your favorite philosopher?

Epictetus.

How do you see philosophy shaping your future?

I am hoping to pursue a career in environmental law. I believe that my background in the branches of logic and ethics will allow me to thrive in law school and throughout my future career.

CLASS OF 2023

Students graduating in 2023

Logan Pitsenberger

Logan PitsenbergerHow has philosophy impacted you?

Philosophy affects the way I process information, come to conclusions and consider reality. Overall, it has sharpened my thinking in all things. As our philosophical father once said, "Know thyself," and I've at least benefited from learning how little I do. As I also dabble in theology, philosophy is a useful handmaiden for that, too.

Who is your favorite philosopher?

The Apostle Paul

How do you see philosophy shaping your future?

Limited as I am, there is no way of telling how my future might be shaped by philosophy. Overall, it seems the study of philosophy will make me more thoughtful, prudent and prone to reasonable action instead of impulsive action. Simply thinking reasonably and prudentially would seem to guarantee some measure of future success unobtainable to less thoughtful individuals. I would argue a philosophy major highly increases an individual's employment desirability, and in truth the resourceful student of philosophy could surely do whatever he might desire except those specialized fields. Sure, you could grab a business major to go into business. But, what is desired in those places? People who can think critically, and I believe because of philosophy I will never be at a loss for employment. Of course, the student of philosophy might come to the conclusion accumulation of material wealth is rather paltry, unless hedonism is your thing. Anyway. What's to come is inscrutable, that I know.

Marvellous Ogudoro

Marvellous OgudoroHow has philosophy impacted you?

I got introduced to philosophy right before coming to the US for college and since then, I’ve been excited to dive deeper into what for me has become my academic home. Philosophy has exposed me to ideas and ways of thinking that I had never considered before and by doing so, the discipline helps me to become a more holistic thinker. Through class discussions and our readings, I get to engage with people who view the world differently but these individuals also share my thirst for learning. It is this ability to engage productively with those who think differently that I am most grateful to philosophy for.

Who is your favorite philosopher?

I’m a huge fan of Friedrich Nietzsche for his idea of Amor Fati which basically translates into “the love of one’s fate.” It’s an idea that sees everything happens to us as good or at least necessary. This means that both our joys and sorrows are needed for the continuation of our personal narrative and that only by coming to terms with our entire fate, do we move closer to wisdom.

How do you see philosophy shaping your future?

My goal is to continue to live my life in service of others, and studying philosophy has helped me to think critically about the ways I can use my gifts to serve globally. In our classes, book clubs and discussions at Hope, the question of how to think about the problems confronting our world comes up regularly. From these interactions, I always leave with a renewed conviction that critical questions are necessary if we are to help in the best way possible. I’m therefore excited to be in a discipline that teaches me how to structure the questions that matter and that ultimately get us closer to truth.