Does Philosophy Still Deserve a Special Role in Catholic Higher Education?

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Gregory Bassham, Ph.D

Abstract

This paper (1) explores the reasons why philosophy was accorded a special role in Catholic higher education in the United States in the decades prior to Vatican II; (2) explains why many of those reasons are now widely seen as attenuated or obsolete; (3) briefly discusses recent changes to the environment of Catholic higher education that have led many to question whether philosophy should still be seen as a high-priority discipline; and (4) makes a case that it should. The author argues that, for all the tectonic shifts that have occurred in higher education in recent decades, philosophy continues to make a special and indeed indispensable contribution to a number of mission-related goals of Catholic universities.

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Author Biography

Gregory Bassham, Ph.D, King's College

Gregory Bassham is Professor of Philosophy at King’s College, Pennsylvania.