Department of English and Philosophy
Majors & Minors
With a true appreciation of our diverse world, English majors are prepared to negotiate the problems facing twenty-first-century leaders. The study of literature moves beyond simple awareness of other perspectives and equips students with the skills they need to engage with other cultures. The resulting understanding of humanity and culture is a vital contributor to success in the military profession. The study of literature fosters essential leadership skills including critical thought, clear and persuasive communication, creativity, and ethical awareness. By engaging with the diversity that characterizes the human condition, English majors are ready to solve problems creatively and also to communicate their ideas and solutions clearly and persuasively—talents essential to a meaningful life of service.
- 2018 USMA English Major Brochure
- 2018 English Course Descriptions
- Article: The (Forgotten) Utility of the Humanities
Contact Professor Tony McGowan: Gerard.McGowan@westpoint.edu
Philosophy is the original home of Critical Thinking, rigorous analysis, and systematic argumentation. Its work demands clarity, objectivity, sound reasoning, fairness, and good writing. The study of Philosophy builds conceptual skills exportable to any branch of the Army and to all professions, skills essential to leadership.
Philosophy provides the future officer a rational framework in which to understand the ethical principles behind duty and right conduct. Philosophy both trains the mind and enlarges the self.
Philosophy reveals the mind and values of distant cultures: ancient Greece and Rome (seeking the good life); the Far East (the goal of inner happiness); early Modern Europe (science in conflict with religion). Philosophy study develops an appreciation of the universal character of humanity.
Education for Life
Philosophy enriches the self. Its concerns are fundamental, enduring, and important: the place of the mind in physical nature; moral value; the problem of evil; the limits of human knowledge; freedom and necessity; state and individual; the existence of God.
- 2018 USMA Philosophy Major Brochure
- 2018 Philosophy Course Descriptions
- Article: Why Study Philosophy to Challenge Your Own Point of View
- Article: Why Philosophy Majors Rul
Contact Professor Richard Schoohoven: