Dictionary photo of the word philosophy
Philosophy books on a shelf
Student holding Augustine
Dr. Mancha teaching
Dr. Vaughan teaching

Why Philosophy?

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Why Choose ASHLAND for Philosophy?

  • The AU Philosophy Department consists of 100%, full-time, tenured, and research-experienced faculty who are completely hands-on in the classroom.  This demonstrates the commitment our faculty have to the success of our students.
  • The Philosophy major requires only 24 hours, so you have the opportunity to add a double major or a minor and enhance your learning and career prospects.  Philosophy is a program that adds significant qualitative value to your educational experience.

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Philosophy News

2019 Essay Contest Winners

The Philosophy Club, in conjunction with Phi Sigma Tau , sponsored our 2nd Annual Essay Competition this year. We requested short essays that clearly argued… Read more

2019-2020 Phi Sigma Tau Inductees!

Ashland University's PHI SIGMA TAU, Ohio Mu Chapter , honors students who have demonstrated academic excellence in philosophy. Membership is by invitation , based on… Read more

Department Colloquium: Dr. Dahm on Virtue

The Philosophy Department and the AU Philosophy Club proudly sponsor the following presentation “Instant Virtue: A Thomistic Account of One Act Habit Formation” by Dr… Read more

Social Media Directory

Department Info

Administrative Assistant:
Lindsay Brandon-Smith
203 Center for Humanities, Bixler (CFHB)


Department e-mail: au-philosophy@ashland.edu

Support the Department

Give TodayBy donating any amount you're making a big difference in our department's future. To designate your gift to the philosophy department, select “Other” in the "Designated Options" and type the department's name in the associated box.

Alumni Spotlight

Frederick T. Bills
Fred is a 2005 graduate of AU. After graduation, he attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and is currently an Associate AttorneyRead more

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Mancha
Joined Ashland University faculty in 2003 and serves as chair of the Department of Philosophy Has taught 13 different courses, four of which have variable...Read more

Welcome to the Philosophy Department!

Philosophy: Love of Wisdom.  Get some!

books philosophy wisdom truth

It's one thing to make a living, and another to learn how to live well...The study of Philosophy can help you to do both.

Philosophy equips you to analyze, think creatively, and critically examine your beliefs and those of others.  It expands your conceptual horizons.  You consider profound questions and in the process develop intellectual tools to expand your understanding.  Through your study, you also will gain fundamental communication skills and problem solving abilities that will help you succeed in a wide range of fields and occupations, or in graduate school.


What is Philosophy For?

Questions! Questions!! Questions!!!

Consider each of the following questions:

  • If the President of the United States reserves the sole right to authorize torture, and if all legitimate governmental powers derive from the governed, then doesn’t it follow that I must have the right to torture?  If so, what are the exact conditions under which I may torture my roommate (please, wait one moment while I grab an extra sheet of paper, since I have to imagine that the list is quite long)?
  • If you cheat in class or in sports and you don’t get caught, aren’t you way ahead of people who don’t cheat or people who do cheat and do get caught?  Isn’t it better to be a clever cheater than an honest loser?
  •  If God exists depending on whether I believe in him or not, then doesn’t that sort of make me a god, since my wishes bring divine beings into and out of existence?  And if this is true, is there any way that I can avoid the horrible implication that my brother is also a god?
  •  What is love anyway?

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Student Opinions

See what people are saying about our programs.
Rachel Scheiding
Philosophy affects my work in complementing the ethical standards upheld by the psychology and social work professions. I also find that philosophical ideas about human nature are often in agreement with psychological theories about human behavior.
Rachel Scheiding (Crisis Case Coordinator, Westbrook Health Services)
Amy Proulx
Studying philosophy taught me how to take ideas and thinkers seriously. It improved my analytical abilities, but moreover I realized the value of being part of an intellectual community. My time at Ashland inspired me to continue on this path.
Amy Proulx (Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University)
Rebecca Civittolo
My philosophy education has been invaluable to me, though, because it taught me how to think in a way that I would not necessarily have learned otherwise. I use the reasoning skills and concepts that I learned in philosophy classes every day in order to make stronger arguments myself and... more
Rebecca Grimm (Community Transitions Specialist, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services)
Keith Darsee
My critical reasoning skills & my ability to independently and objectively evaluate difficult texts have given me a qualitative advantage over my fellow law students who did not have the advantage of an Ashland University philosophy education.
Keith Darsee (Student, Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law)
Will Payne
Philosophy definitely helped me become more analytical. It helped me sort out some of the problems I had with religion, and, perhaps most importantly, it made thinking fun for me again.
William Payne (Staff Attorney, Louisville Metro Public Defender Corporation)
Sean Templeton
My Ashland University philosophy degree is the engine of my ministry providing both analytical tools and incomparable insight into Human Nature.
The Rev. Sean Templeton (MDiv, Vicar, Lakewood Anglican Mission)
Fred Bills
Communication skills and the ability to think quickly are vital to successful litigation. Studying philosophy at Ashland University, especially given the exceptional staff, developed my abilities in these areas. The study of philosophy is a challenge, and confronting minds much greater than... more
Frederick Bills (Associate Attorney at Weston Hurd LLP)
Andrew Tucker
My time as a philosophy major at Ashland University not only prepared me for the rigors of graduate study; at a most foundational level, it enriched my life.
Andrew Tucker (Pastor, Campus Minister, and Lecturer, Christ Lutheran Church)
Matt Mingus
Enrolling in my first philosophy course, and eventually becoming a philosophy major, has had a lasting impact on my competitiveness in graduate school and in the workforce.
Matt Mingus (Assistant Professor of History, University of New Mexico-Gallup)
Dan Oliver
Learning philosophy will enrich everything else you study. Grad schools and employers will know you're a serious thinker.
Daniel Oliver (Crisis Intervention Specialist, NC)
Kara Mumea
Doing philosophy has strengthened my mind, enriched my understanding, and drastically improved my ability to make and grasp arguments. My teachers made an enormous impact on my life as well, and broadened my horizons of thought in a way I never thought possible.
Kara Mumea (Client Relations, Prevail Wealth Management)
Jacob Westfall
My education in philosophy has been and will continue to be essential to me in nearly everything I do. It has equipped me with critical reasoning and analytic skills necessary for determining the proper course of action for any situation.
Jacob Westfall (student, University of Toledo College of Law)
Steven Forbush
The AU philosophy department has helped me become a better thinker and a better writer. It really sparked my interest as a student, and it made me understand all positions, which in turn strengthened my own. I am very glad that I took philosophy classes for grad school because I am much better... more
Steven Forbush (grad student in Political Theory, Hillsdale College)
Kate Brickner
My experience in the Ashland University philosophy department has helped to inform who I am as a member of society, as a member of the work force, and most importantly, as a human being. The skills I learned from my philosophy professors have enabled me to search for purpose which enriched... more
Kate (Brickner) Rossman (Legislative Fellow at the Ohio Senate)
Brent Rossman
Philosophy has not only allowed me to come closer to understanding the truth, but it has also enlightened me to the great gift of thought. Through dialectic, with my classmates and with the great thinkers throughout history, I learned to think seriously in an earnest pursuit of truth. My... more
Brent Rossman (Legislative Fellow at the Ohio House of Representatives)