"Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves."
— Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979)
The University of Hartford Philosophy Department is committed to the following principles:
- Respect for the history of philosophy. While we cannot repeat the past, we can learn from it. Even those philosophical positions that have not been found workable may reflect some insight that we can use.
- Philosophical pluralism. While the members of the department have their own philosophical standpoints, we recognize that the others are not simply wrong, but are worthy of respectful attention.
- Relevance to human life. Philosophy has a place in the University curriculum precisely because it makes a difference. Methodologically, it promotes clear, systematic thinking. Ethically, it emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one's views and of carrying on respectful dialogue with those who disagree with us. Most importantly, it helps satisfy the human need for understanding and the constructive use of intelligence and imagination.
- A global outlook. While the department has offered courses in non-European philosophy for some time, we are still working on expanding our curriculum in this direction.
- Respect for students. We treat our students as fellow learners, and attempt to give them the help and encouragement they deserve.