American University of Beirut

Department of Philosophy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut has a long tradition of introducing students to the study of philosophy by way of a wide range of topics and issues, as well as a considerable variety of authors and texts.

Courses offered cover all main areas of philosophy, from ethics to logic, and from aesthetics to epistemology. Texts and authors include the main Western and Middle Eastern traditions, from the pre-Socratics to Ibn Rushd, and from Descartes to Rawls.​​​

The department consists of eight full-time faculty members and approximately 20 students, including undergraduates studying for a B.A. in philosophy and graduates pursuing an M.A. in philosophy. In addition to offering a philosophy major, the department also offers a philosophy minor.

AUB graduates in philosophy have gone on to pursue a range of different career paths, having benefited from a broad-based liberal education. Some of our graduates have pursued careers in journalism, law, management, education, and information technology, among others.

Why Study Philosophy?​​​​

​People study philsophy because of its enormous and enduring interest. It also nearly inescapable. All of us have to answer, for ourselves, questions about what we should believe, what we should desire, and how we should live. Philosophy students learn to ask these questions well and how to formulate possible answers to them. ​

Philosophy emphasizes foundational intellectual skills (such as the discernement of similarity and difference, the evaluation of cogency, and clarity of thought and expression) that are highly transferable and indispensable for successul intellectual inquiry generally. 

General Problem Solving

Many different problems share a common structure or 'bottom out' in a common concern. Philosophy will teach you to identify those patterns​ and to analyze fundamental concepts. It will teach you to organize ideas, sort the relevant from the irrelevant, and to identify what is essential.​​

Persuasion, Writing, and Effective Communication

In your philosophy classes you will confront difficult texts and be asked to get the bottom of them. You will be required to extract ideas from these texts, many of which will be alien to you, and you will have to analyze and evaluate them as clearly as possible in your own writing. Philosophy students learn to charitably compare contrasting viewpoints, to describe them with detail and rigour, to analyze them with clarity and depth, and hence to develop and communicate their own views as persuasively as possible. 

Understanding the Wider Intellectual World

​All fields of knowledge employ reasoning and operate according to standards of evidence. Philosophers learn to examine those very tools and thus bring a valuable perspective to any field of inquiry. Moreover, each intellectual discipline has its own set of foundational concepts, and stands in its own relations to other disciplines, which bear philosophical examination.​​​​​

Philosophy Prepares You for Future Study

Philosophy Majors with Profile

​​Why Minor in Philosophy?

The philsophical skills outlined above complement a broad range of other courses of study. ​Check out the minor requirements here

Enrollment in the philosophy minor at AUB is also trending up! (Data forthcoming.) 


Contact Us

For various questions, please try contacting us via social media first!
read more

Privacy Statement

We take data privacy seriously and adhere to all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.
read more

Copyright and Disclaimer

Written permission is needed to copy or disseminate all or part of the materials on the AUB website.
read more

Title IX, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Discriminatory Harassment

AUB is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment to all members of its community.
read more