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We, the faculty and staff in the Department of Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), are committed to the goals of a thorough liberal arts education, and therefore to excellence in teaching, to principles of access and opportunity for everyone, and to the service of a comprehensive university. At the same time we are dedicated to maintaining the high research standards of our two main campuses: Indiana University and Purdue University. We fully subscribe to IPFW’s vision statement that we “will be a nationally recognized regional university known for the excellence, value, and accessibility of our academic programs … , the scholarly and creative accomplishments of our faculty, … and our contributions to the quality of life of the region.”
The department has twelve full-time and seven adjunct faculty, and offers programs in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Ethics. It houses the IPFW Human Rights Institute and has ties to the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace. We are a pluralistic department. The interests of our faculty cover a wide range of topics within both the Analytic and Continental philosophical traditions and encompass many diverse philosophical view points. Our Religious Studies features experts in Islamic Studies, the American Civil Rights movement, and Middle East Politics. In the past three years our faculty have published a total of six books, 40 refereed articles and book chapters, and engaged in numerous other publishing activities, including writing book reviews, editing special issues of journals, translating seminal texts into English, in addition to contributing in other ways to the advancement of knowledge in their fields. During the same time period, our faculty made more than 50 presentations at national and international conferences, and (co-)organized seven conferences, three of which were held on the IPFW campus. Faculty members received a variety of internal and external funding from such national institutions as the NEH or the DFG, and have served in various professional functions (as editor, editorial board member, or officer in professional societies, etc.).
Our programs in Philosophy favor a contextual approach to philosophy in that philosophers are part and parcel of the social, political, and intellectual fabric of their times, seeking solutions for problems not only of great intellectual depth and complexity, but pressing for their contemporary relevance. In our history courses, therefore, we put the emphasis on understanding this bigger context and philosophy’s contribution to the history of thought and the human condition. We favor a multidisciplinary approach to philosophy; philosophical work must be informed by facts and results of cognate disciplines, the sciences, or the arts. In our topic courses philosophical explorations are based upon a foundation that is well-informed by facts and accepted theories.
Our program in Religious Studies is also multidisciplinary in approach and global in scope. We provide students with a firm grounding in the academic study of religion through informed investigation of the phenomenon of religion in diverse historical, social, cultural, and political contexts. The acquisition of a broad scope of knowledge about the world’s religious traditions—past and present—is coupled with a critical apprehension of the methods and tools scholars use to study them.
Although our programs are traditional humanities and liberal arts programs, the double focus on context and a multidisciplinary approach distinguishes them from, and makes them unique among, our peers in the Midwest. Our programs thus serve as an excellent preparation for further study at the graduate level and furnish our students with highly valued skills and knowledge in career paths as varied as law, social work, the ministry, education, the nonprofit sector, and journalism, to name a few.
We have approximately 60 students who major and 40 who minor in one of our programs. We are both pleased and proud that our graduates have been admitted to Masters programs at such prestigious institutions as Ohio University, the University of Toledo, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, the University of Southern Illinois, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Valparaiso University, Michigan State University, and DePaul University, to name a few. For current students, we have an active Student Philosophy Club that tries to engage students in different aspects of philosophy both academically and in everyday life.