Philosophy and Religion Minor

Philosophy and Religion Minor

Why study philosophy and religion?

“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


“ Dr. Lim not only helped me realize what my ethical beliefs are, but he taught me how to hold polite and civil discussions about touchy issues. And Dr. Valentine not only provided me with a baseline for my belief system, but helped me to understand others on their terms – evaluating their arguments from a stance of compassion, not just trying to win. For anyone who enjoys critical thinking, for anyone who wants to be more informed about our moral reasoning, for anyone at all, actually!- I would highly recommend Troy University’s Philosophy minor. ”

Avery Wilson  |  Communications Major and Philosophy  and Religion Minor

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


“ 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 and Religion Minor



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

“The classes that are offered in this minor forced us as students to formulate our own opinions and to think of opposing scenarios that could help in future occupations. Critical Thinking was the first class that I took under this minor and from the first day I genuinely wanted to learn more. Both professors that I took, Dr. Joungbin Lim and Dr. Jay Valentine, shared valuable information through their coursework and cared for the success of each student that was in their classes. If you want to be able to enhance your thinking skills and take a deeper look into various philosophical topics, then this is the minor for you.”

Breanna Guice  |  Psychology Major and Philosophy and Religion Minor

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:

 Academic Catalog