Georganne Jadhon, Staff Writer
Utica College offers various majors based on students’ interests and future goals. The philosophy department is favored by many students on campus. Professor Christopher Riddle chose to teach philosophy because he genuinely values intellectual inquiry.
“I find the challenging of intuitions and the supporting of positions thorough reasoning to be fascinating,” Riddle said. “To watch students improve the reasons they have for holding some of their deeply held convictions is incredibly rewarding. I feel that philosophers teach skills that are necessary to flourish in life, more often than not, irrespective of what path one finds oneself on.”
The major itself aims to provide students with an array of philosophy courses that give students the foundation needed in order to pursue their career.
“I think the proper aim of education is to provide students with the ability to think and to learn, and our major is designed to equip students with the ability to reason through problems thoroughly and effectively,” Riddle said.
Riddle also said that the field allows students to emerge themselves into many different industries.
“Philosophers are proud of the skills and abilities instilled in our students and while there are more traditional career paths for majors such as graduate school, law or government positions,” he said. “ In the media and society more broadly there has been an increased emphasis on the value of a philosophy degree and how it translates across fields.”
Having a degree in philosophy gives students the opportunity to obtain various skills they can use in their future careers. Students can thrive and succeed at any given opportunity with the skills of a philosophy major, especially with all of the courses offered throughout the program.
“There are some breadth requirements, students are free to explore upper-level electives in obviously applied fields like the ‘Philosophy of Law,’ ‘Political Ethics,’ ‘Healthcare Ethics’ or ‘Ethical Issues in Contemporary Science and Technology,” Riddle said.
He also explained how there are many unique concepts studied in some of these courses.
“We also offer courses in the ‘Philosophy of Mind,’ Metaphysics’ and ‘Epistemology.’ Questions range from whether computers can have minds, or if we exist within a computer simulation, to whether morality corresponds to the law, if drone surveillance is an unjust intrusion of privacy, or whether assisted dying ought to be permissible,” Riddle said.
Viktoria Yudchits used to be a biology major until taking a course with Riddle.
“Just after a few weeks of class, I quickly realized how different this course was from my other courses because it required a different way of thinking,” Yudchits said.
She also explained how the faculty in this program have had an impact on how she views her major.
“Two philosophy courses was all it took to get me hooked. Having said that, the professors in the philosophy department are the main reason for why I chose to major in philosophy,” Yudchits said. “ They have such a passion for teaching and are always willing to go above and beyond to help their students succeed.”
After taking a few classes with these professors, Yudchits knew to change her major to what she loved.
“They show interest in the personal success of their students and it was through them that I had the opportunity to land the internship of my dreams, as well as travel abroad to a third world country to help those in need,” Yudchits said.
Ultimately, Yudchits is grateful for her experience at UC, especially after switching to philosophy.
“All in all, if it was not for my philosophy major, I would have never had these opportunities presented to me and I would not be where I am today,” she said. “ I am truly grateful for core requirements because one core class has changed my life in more ways than I could ever begin to imagine.”