Michelle McDaniel, BA, '20
Fort Worth Diocese Social Media Specialist and Writer/Designer for North Texas Catholic
Mary Starnes, BA, '20
Attending the Dominican House of Studies for her MA in Washington D.C.
Sam Beattie, BA '19
Managing Director, Fidelity Investments
BA philosophy, 2017. Working as an Assistant Broker for Burns & Wilcox Brokerage.
Bridget Safranek, BA, '17
Completing her PhD at Catholic University of America.
Martin Sentmanat, BA, '17
Attending medical school at Texas A&M.
Javier Secaira, BA, '16.
Attending Harvard Law School.
What can you do with a philosophy degree?
What Is Philosophy?
“Are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and
honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom and truth
and the best possible state of your soul?”
So Socrates addressed his contemporaries, and so philosophy addresses us today, inviting
us to care for truth, wisdom, and virtue above all else.
At the University of Dallas, we take seriously this Socratic summons, and we think
philosophy is best able to pursue its natural interests in dialogue with imagination,
faith, and tradition.
The Interests of Reason
Kant writes that four questions animate him, “What can I know? What should I do? For
what may I hope? What is man?” In doing so, he expresses something of the peculiarly
human quest for truth, goodness, and beauty.
Our core courses on classical ethics, the human person, and philosophy of being shape
a discourse about things that takes its bearing from the fact that things are intelligible,
they fulfill us, and their existence points beyond themselves to God.
Reason and Imagination
Among the Greeks, philosophy begins by turning from story-telling (mythos) to reason (logos), justifying the truth of its claims through experience and argumentation rather
than appeals to authority or inspiration.
At UD, we repeat this original differentiation of philosophy from literature, but
we nonetheless regard reason’s quest to understand the natures of things as continually
enriched by the imagination and its works.
Faith and Reason
Medieval philosophy had the stimulating task of harmonizing the Greek tradition and
the startling Christian claim that the origin of rationality, the first cause of all
things, became incarnate. Unlike theology, philosophy reconciles the two from the
standpoint of reason, and hence its investigations remain open to all, believers and
At UD, we endeavor to recover and renew the Christian intellectual tradition and its
harmony of faith and reason; its formulas take on new life through our concrete investigations.
Reason and Tradition
Phenomenology memorably expresses philosophy’s aim “to return to the things themselves,”
that is, to lay aside prejudice in order to get at the truth of the matter.
At UD, we pursue topical questions with classic philosophical texts in hand, returning
to the things themselves through a thoughtful appropriation of the insights of great
philosophers. As Thomas Aquinas writes,
“The study of philosophy is undertaken in order to know not what some have thought,
but how the truth of things actually stands.”
The treatises of Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, as well as philosophers
such as Nietzsche and Heidegger, remain common reference points for our department’s