Inver Hills Philosophy courses can be applied toward transfer at Minnesota State universities

The Philosophy department at Inver Hills offers courses that introduce you to the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence. The department's mission focuses on facilitating your learning in the problems and history of philosophy, including the key areas of ethics, logic, scientific thought and world religions. As a philosophy student, you will develop your reasoning, critical thinking and analytical skills related to influential ethical theories as well as major philosophical theories of reality.


Contact Information

Shane Stroup
Philosophy Instructor

Chuck Stieg
Philosophy Instructor

Admissions Team
College Center

All philosophical discourse in your coursework emphasizes cultivating your desire to understand the complexities of existence with the goal to cease accepting and memorizing claims about existence and think for yourself.

As a well-rounded student of philosophy, you will learn to think logically and ethically to better appreciate human thought and the seemingly infinite ways our minds can see the world. If you are willing to read, think and engage in philosophical discussion, you can and will change your life.

Symbolic logic is included in PHIL 1220 Logic, a course that meets the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) Goal 4 Math requirements. Credits you earn taking Philosophy courses at Inver Hills can be applied toward transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree in philosophy or a related field.

"The unexamined life is not worth living."—Socrates

To learn more, including in-depth course information, visit the Philosophy department’s main website.

Think hard!

Course Descriptions

PHIL 1110  Introduction to Philosophy   3.0 cr

Contends with some of the basic issues in the history and problems of philosophy, such as theories of knowledge, reality, value and society. All required course content will be available online, for free.

PHIL 1112  Ethics   3.0 cr

Examine major classical and contemporary ethical theories, and in light of these theories, addresses some current contentious topics. All required course content will be available online, for free.

PHIL 1120  Logic   3.0 cr

Examines the principles that separate good from bad reasoning: distinguish arguments and nonarguments, deduction and induction, categorical and propositional systems of analysis.

PHIL 1125  Thinking Critically About Contemporary Issues   3.0 cr

An introduction to basic principles of informal logic and critical thinking. Emphasis on different kinds of arguments, methods of argument evaluation, and the analysis of arguments as they arise in various contexts such as political debate, advertising, science, law, and ethics. Each course will include a focus on some contemporary issue chosen by the instructor.

PHIL 1140  Philosophy and World Religions   3.0 cr

Examines the historical and cultural development of the world's major religions including, but not limited to: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism. This course is intended to explore these religions in terms of philosophical questions such as the meaning of self-knowledge, virtue, justice, etc.

PHIL 2110  American Mind   3.0 cr

Presents a philosophical and cultural exploration of the emergence and continuing development of ideas and pluralistic traditions within the United States. Imparts an awareness of the richness and diversity of American heritage, which may include the study of race, ethnicity, political empowerment, religious belief, gender, the environment, and science. Readings may include works from Puritans, Native Americans, and the founding fathers to Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr. and contemporary thinkers.

PHIL 2120  Philosophy and Scientific Thought   3.0 cr

Examines the question "what is science" by exploring philosophical issues concerning the nature of scientific knowledge. Topics may include the nature of scientific methodology and explanation, the confirmation and falsification of scientific theories, the status of unobservable entities in scientific theories, the relationships between different scientific fields, the relationship between science and other forms of knowledge, and the impact of science and technology on society. No specific background in a scientific field is required.

PHIL 2130  Environmental Philosophy   3.0 cr

Examines current and traditional accounts of the environment including the impact of human activity, natural events, geographical changes, etc. This course will also explore a range of philosophical topics within the area of environmentalism and its role in human development. (Students having already taking PHIL 1130 cannot take PHIL 2130 for credit).

PHIL 2140  Eastern Philosophy   3.0 cr

Critically engages and explores the rich tradition of Eastern philosophy. This course examines the wide range of Eastern thought, including but not limited to, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism.

PHIL 2250  Special Topics in Philosophy   cr

Studies prominent philosophers, themes, periods, or methods. Topics will be determined in advance by the instructor and published in the class schedule. This course may be repeated under different topics.

Meet the Faculty

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Employment Information

Knowing how to think vs learning what to think

Philosophy majors ask the toughest questions and find their own answers. They become disciplined thinkers by exploring the fundamental concepts of existence:

  • Right and wrong
  • Truth and falsehood
  • Meaning of life
  • Nature of reality
  • Essence of knowledge
  • Purpose of society

Skills for life

The skills you develop by studying philosophy prepare you for a variety of rewarding career paths in fields such as law, business, religion, diplomacy, teaching, health care, writing and public service. The modern workplace rewards competent decision-making, troubleshooting and problem-solving based on critical and creative thinking. Philosophy encourages you to hone the following skills:

  • Generating approaches and solutions for diverse problems
  • Revealing assumptions and proposing alternatives
  • Distinguishing subtle differences while spotlighting similarities
  • Analyzing, formulating and delivering logical arguments
  • Clarifying decision outcomes
  • Examining topics from multiple perspectives
  • Writing and speaking clearly and effectively
  • Interpreting complex theories

As a formally educated philosopher, you will have built a solid, transferable skill set. Strong reasoning, analysis and ideation abilities are vital in the following occupational fields:

  • Law
  • Banking
  • Public relations
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Corporate management
  • Library science
  • Counseling
  • Marketing
  • Consulting
  • Research
  • Social work
  • Teaching
  • Foreign service
  • Policymaking
  • Government service
  • NGO administration
  • Ministry

Additional resources

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your Philosophy course obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. You will receive an outstanding education with one-on-one interactions with philosophy faculty
  2. You will develop the strong foundation you need to pursue career in a variety of professional fields
  3. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

Additional resources

Academic Calendar