The Philosophy Department at Middlebury College seeks to promote the following skills among its students.

  1. The ability to recognize, analyze, and evaluate structures of arguments, e.g., by identifying the key assumptions, theses, and justifications for a given position.
  2. The ability to compare views, to formulate arguments, and to communicate clearly in speech and writing, particularly in the service of creative and critical problem solving.
  3. Familiarity with the central figures and texts in the history of philosophy, both ancient and modern.
  4. Broad acquaintance with, and thoughtful reflection upon, contemporary philosophical topics and practices.
  5. The capacity for independent research and critical inquiry.
  6. The ability to engage in discussion of alternative positions with intellectual honesty and respect.