Philosophy and Religion Minor

Why study philosophy?

“The unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)

The best reason for studying philosophy is that philosophy is intrinsically amazing.  Specifically, philosophy engages the most basic and important questions in human life, and thereby helps one think more clearly and better understand oneself and the world. Examples of philosophical questions include:

  • Does God exist? Why is there evil if there is God?
  • What is it to be a person? Are we the same persons over time?
  • What is the nature of consciousness? Does the soul exist?
  • What is the relation between the mind and the brain? Can computers think?
  • What is knowledge? How can we know we are not in the Matrix?
  • What are religious beliefs about? How can we understand differences among religions?
  • What is science? Is science compatible with religion?
  • What is right or wrong? Is abortion/ euthanasia/ capital punishment/war/ same-sex marriage right or wrong?
  • Why do we need government? What is the best form of government?
  • What is a just society? Why should we obey the law?
  • What is a meaning of life? What is happiness? Is death good or bad?

Philosophy is also incredibly practical.  Much of what you learn from philosophy can be applied in any field as it enhances your skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, writing, and argumentation.  For more information about the uses of philosophy, see Philosophy: A Brief Guide for Undergraduates

Another example of practical values of philosophy is that philosophy can provide a strong preparation for graduate and professional schools. Armed with the above skills, philosophy students consistently have the highest mean composite scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the highest average scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and outperform most majors, including business, on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).  For the test data and other practical values of philosophy, including its marketable value in a rapidly changing economic climate, check this out: The Practical Values of Philosophy

Philosophy and Religion Minor Requirements
Courses [Philosophy and Religion]


“Studying philosophy is the perfect minor for curious minds.  All of my philosophy classes served as mini vacations classes for me in a day full of copying down notes.  I was able to exercise a different part of my brain and linking my personal experiences to the readings…. Finding out that studying philosophy strengthens critical thinking skills was a plus for me knowing I would soon be attending graduate school.  Also, with medical school still open as an option ethics class caused me to think about the hard questions in our medical communities.” 

Xavia Bree Alloway, Political Science Major and Philosophy Minor
Read her achievement.

"Coming into my Junior year at Troy University, I was still undecided on a minor as nothing had yet really captivated my attention when I had taken courses for different fields of study. That semester the university hired two new professors to reform the Philosophy section of the Department of History and Philosophy. Having sat in on both of these new professors interview lectures, I knew I had found something fun, new, and challenging. This led me to sign up for the minor and begin exploring what classes there were to take. Each class in the minor was something new to me, and the professors expertise guided the classes smoothly while making sure each student had a challenge they could conquer. From Ethics to Logic and from Politics to Religion there is a class for any area of philosophy a student might be interested in, and I can promise you won't be disappointed."

Jeremy Burgess, History Major and Philosophy and Religion Minor

"Intro to Philosophy was the first class that I took where I wasn't challenged to memorize information but I was challenged to actually think for myself. After that class I started reading Ancient Greek philosophy. At first, I was just intrigued, but that quickly turned into a full-blown addiction. I couldn't get enough; my inquisitive mind yearned for more. I immediately declared a philosophy minor. It changed the way I think and observe the world around me, I think differently about problems and interactions.

So, it is hard to give just one example of where I use philosophy in my daily life. I have been forever changed by my philosophical education, Dr. Lim and Dr. Valentine are deeply compassionate about the department and the program at Troy. The knowledge I gained from them is immeasurable and I would not be who I am today without it. I guess a better way to say it might be, that everything I do and say are examples of how I use philosophy in my daily life."

Justin Wooten, Theatre Major and Philosophy Minor

"If you want to learn how to think take a philosophy class. I took my first philosophy class my junior year. After being in class a couple of days I knew I wanted to take more classes so I added philosophy as a minor. I enjoyed the way philosophy classes challenged my worldview. It also equipped be to tackle tough questions and arguments. I believe everyone can benefit for these types of classes. Philosophy classes are also especially helpful for those wanting to pursue law school. I took the LSAT and concepts and skills needed to do well on the test are also taught in philosophy classes."

Cassidy Counter, Economics Major and Philosophy Minor


Troy University Philosophy Society Facebook


Joungbin Lim (Ph.D., University of Virginia)

  • Research interests: metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, epistemology
  • Courses taught at Troy: Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Logic, Western Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

Jay Valentine (Ph.D., University of Virginia)

  • Research interests: World Philosophy, World Religions, Philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism
  • Courses taught at Troy: Introduction to Political Philosophy, World Religions, Ethics, Applied Ethics, Non-Western Philosophies

Rick Garlikov (ABD, University of Michigan)

  • Courses taught at Troy: Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Critical Reasoning, Bioethics, The Meaning of (the Concept of) Love
  • Research Interests: Ethics, Medical Ethics, Business Ethics, Philosophy and Ethics of Economics, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Analytic Philosophy of a variety of concepts, including "Love"
  • Essays and books online free at:

Study Abroad Opportunity

Dr. Jay Valentine will be leading a trip to India, where he conducted research in 2007 and 2008.  It is a three week adventure beginning May 16th, 2017 and ending June 6th, 2017. Destinations include the Red Fort in Delhi, the Birthplace of Yoga in Rishikesh, the Burning Ghats of Varanasi, the sites of the Buddha’s enlightenment and first teaching in Bodhgaya and Saranath, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the Deserts of Jaipur.

Students can complete the study abroad with or without the accompanying three-credit course entitled “Travel Study in Philosophy and Religion.”  This will be a 2000-level course that will fulfill general studies requirements.

The study abroad program cost is $1,048, including accommodations, travel within India, and breakfasts.  This cost does not include air fare, lunches or dinners.

For more information, contact Dr. Jay Valentine:
Or contact Troy Abroad: