University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu



The study of Philosophy involves the critical reflection and evaluation of cultural and individual belief systems. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in Philosophy will learn to articulate an understanding of, and appreciation for, the ideas and systems of thought that have influenced cultures and societies throughout history. The study of Philosophy involves contemplating right and wrong in moral issues, and the practice of forming an argument for debate. A Philosophy major reads and writes extensively and is able to discern and present valid arguments persuasively. Courses are taught in-class and through distance learning instruction.


A Philosophy degree prepares students for a variety of careers that involve presenting oral or written arguments, drafting clear policies, adjudicating ethical dilemmas or providing alternative conceptual schemes. Philosophy graduates possess excellent research, writing and problem-solving skills, and have well-developed critical thinking abilities for analyzing and evaluating information.

Undergraduates are increasingly choosing to major in Philosophy, a discipline that develops the critical thinking, reading and writing skills that are extremely useful in any workplace.

Potential career paths include journalism, marketing, finance, health care, social work, property development, advocacy and education. Students may also pursue graduate degrees in law, medicine, library studies, political science and philosophy.

According to the Higher Education Statistic Agency in the UK, the number of Philosophy graduates employed either full-time or part-time has gone up by 13 percent compared to 9 percent for all graduates between 2002-2003 and 2005-2006. The highest increase in employment opportunities for Philosophy majors was in business-related fields such as finance and property development.


PHIL 210 Social and Political Philosophy
Introduction to classical, modern and contemporary social and political theories, as well as issues in a global context.

PHIL 312 Ethical Studies
Students will study the major ethical theories such as Virtue Ethics, Deontology, Utilitarianism, Existential Ethics, and Care Ethics as well as contemporary ethics issues such as abortion, death penalty, same-sex marriage, and bio-ethics.

PHIL 418 Feminist Philosophy
This course focuses on the contemporary developments of feminist philosophy in various areas such as, but not limited to, history of philosophy, ethics, epistemology, phenomenology, science, and religion.

PHIL 439 Philosophy and Film
This course addresses the unique properties of the film medium and how they have been exploited, through the viewing and analysis of a number of films, both American and foreign. Also studied will be the particular aesthetics of film from the points of view of technique, style, and content; film analysis and criticism; and the social and commercial context of film-making and viewing.

PHIL 470 (Alpha) Studies in Asian Philosophy
Covered in this course will be an examination of the philosophy and practice of selected philosophical schools of Asia. Emphasis is upon those schools which present living options and schools that may enrich and enhance Western ways of thought and action. A:Buddhism; B: Confucianism; C: Daoism.

PHIL 482 Environmental Ethics
This course will examine the history of philosophical and ethical systems and their implications for human interactions with the Earth’s environment. This course will be centered around readings and discussions of selections from historically important works in the field (such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold) in the context of current controversies involving environmental ethics


The UH West O‘ahu Humanities Club promotes arts and culture within the context of the campus and the community at large. Its specific objectives include support for senior projects in the Humanities, preparation for graduate school, and facilitation of local employment and internship opportunities. The Humanities Club also organizes activities that foster a sense of cohesion among UH West O‘ahu faculty and students, and provides a wonderful venue for an increased understanding of the study of Humanities and an opportunity to meet and learn from fellow students.


Dr. Li-Hsiang Lisa Rosenlee, Professor
(808) 689-2356