Philosophy addresses fundamental questions that engage all reflective people, but which apparently cannot be answered by the empirical sciences. Its main subfields include ethics (addressing the nature of morality, value, and right action), political philosophy (addressing justice, liberty, and the state), metaphysics (addressing the nature and structure of reality), epistemology (addressing the nature and limits of knowledge), logic, the philosophy of mind (addressing the nature of consciousness, cognition, and emotion), and the philosophy of language (addressing the nature of meaning and reference).
The study of philosophy at UCSB comprehends both the cutting edge of current philosophical research and the rich history of philosophy tracing back thousands of years.
The department offers a B.A. program and a Ph.D. program (incorporating a M.A.). In our undergraduate major there is a choice between a ‘Core Philosophy’ track and an ‘Ethics and Public Policy’ track. Both tracks offer training in analytic thinking and the sort of disciplined, rigorous argument that characterizes serious philosophical reflection, and which makes a Philosophy degree an excellent preparation for careers in the law, medicine, public policy, public administration, management, advocacy, finance, computer science, and for graduate work across the humanities and social sciences.