The Program in Philosophy at Stevens provides the opportunity to explore all the traditional fields of philosophy with the unique advantage of doing so at an institution renowned for advances in science and engineering. That means students are not only able to understand the impact of technological innovation on those perennial questions at the heart of philosophical inquiry, but equally important, can apply philosophical analysis to practical and societal issues.
In addition to the foundational courses in the history of philosophy, our unique offerings include:
Ethical Issues in Science and Technology
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Biology
Philosophical Issues of Quantum Theory
The Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
What distinguishes the philosophy program at Stevens is our emphasis on the Philosophy of Science. Known throughout the world as a premier center for research in the areas of science, engineering, and technology, Stevens provides the ideal milieu for an in-depth consideration of the following questions:
- What defines a science?
- What distinguishes science from pseudo-science?
- What is the difference between scientific explanation and any other explanation?
- Is there such a thing as scientific method?
- How do scientists justify their claims?
- How do we account for change in scientific theory?
- What is the relationship between accepted scientific theory and the world it purports to describe?
- How accurately does nature science describe the world 'as it really is'?
- What role do cultural, sociological and psychological factors play in the scientific enterprise?
- What is the impact of technology on the world?
- Is technology 'value-laden'?
- What is the relationship between technology and 'applied science'?
- What is the responsibility of the scientist, technologist, and engineer toward the environment?
The Philosophy Major
“Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.”
The philosophy major at Stevens offers the opportunity to delve deeply into all the questions listed above as well as the option of specializing in any one if you so choose. You can opt for a single major in philosophy or a double major in another discipline from across the other schools at the Institute, such as engineering, computer science, biology, physics, or technology management. A major in philosophy is especially useful for students considering medical school or law school, or any post graduate study that requires critical thinking and analytic skills. Moreover, our emphasis on applied ethics—whether it be bio-ethics, legal ethics, environmental ethics, or computer ethics—provides an opportunity to consider the more far-ranging implications of your chosen field of study, not to mention a more conscientious performance in the workplace.
Our Focus on Technology, Policy & Ethics
The philosophy program at Stevens recognizes the need to reflect upon and analyze the impact technologies continue to have on contemporary society. Working within a technological university allows our faculty and students not only to critically assess the social ramifications of new technology, but also to help develop and refine such innovations to make them more sustainable. Classes at Stevens offer inspiring reflection and analysis of real-world scenarios that teach students, together with scholars in the related fields, to apply ethical perspectives to the practical world and to learn about the foundations of policy-making. In addition to policy courses, classes are taught in the following areas of applied ethics:
Information and Computer Ethics
Global and International Ethics
Stevens now also offers a Master of Arts in Technology, Policy & Ethics. Click for more information.
Student Centered Activities
“Thinking is talking of the soul within itself.”
The Philosophy Program at Stevens supports the Stevens Philosophy Club as well as the Philosophical Debate Team. These groups are open to all Stevens students interested in engaging in philosophical discussion and debate in a more informal setting. Club events include move nights, book discussions, colloquia, and field trips to museums and plays, just to name a few.
The High School Ethics Bowl is a yearly event specifically for high school sophomores and juniors, where they can discuss and explore key ethical questions in a competitive setting. This half-day event taking place each spring, serves to help introduce participants to careful thinking about ethical issues posed by our increasingly scientific and technological world. Prizes are awarded to the team that provides the best case analysis and problem solution.
The Annual Stevens Symposium on Science Technology and Values
Each year, the Philosophy Program at Stevens hosts an interdisciplinary symposium on some topic having to do with the intersection of Science, Technology and Values. The two-day conference held each April brings together scholars from across the globe to present papers and discuss current research in these areas.
"I have gained this by philosophy. That I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law"