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Philosophy Program

Philosophy Program Description

The Philosophy Program offers a rich curriculum with an emphasis on the history of ideas and the practical application of those ideas to contemporary issues. The course offerings cover all the major branches and periods of philosophical study.

Given the fundamental nature of philosophical questions (e.g. the study of existence, the study or knowledge, and the study of right action), and philosophy’s reliance on critical reasoning and analysis, students who have the opportunity to study philosophy are well versed in the art of critical thinking and should be able to apply this skill to other areas of their lives. The value of philosophy can be seen in the exploration of humanity’s most basic questions and in making oneself a better thinker.

The Philosophy Program is dedicated to developing and maintaining an environment that nurtures intellectual growth and prepares students for lifelong learning.

Why should I study philosophy?

Philosophy Minor

Students who wish to earn the Philosophy Minor must complete 18 semester hours of philosophy courses with a “C” grade or higher. Students are required to complete both PHIL 0201 and 0202. In addition, students must meet the “Depth Requirement” of 9 credit hours in Upper Division Courses (300-level courses).

Philosophy Minor Curriculum Balance Sheet (pdf)

Outstanding Philosophy Minor Award (coming soon)

For more information contact one of the Philosophy Minor Advisors:

Dr. Brett Coppenger

Dr. Samuel Taylor


Full Time Faculty

Dr. Brett Coppenger
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Samuel Taylor
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Adjunct and Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Gregory Gray
Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Religion and Society
Office Location: Chapel
Office Phone: 334-727-8702

Dr. Stephen Sodeke
Professor of Allied Health
Office Location: 44-116 John A. Kenney Hall
Office Phone: 334-727-8210


The Practical Value of Philosophy

The Practical Value of Studying Philosophy

The skills that are developed in philosophy courses apply well beyond the classroom. Philosophy is focused not on teaching student’s what to think but rather how to think. You will learn how to analyze, comprehend, and evaluate arguments. You will also be required to develop, clearly articulate, and defend your own arguments. Philosophy courses will thereby help you develop your logical reasoning, critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, and your ability to clearly articulate and defend your own views. These analytical skills are crucial to success no matter your chosen career.

Improved Graduate Entrance Exam Scores

Studying philosophy could help raise your entrance exam scores. These exams test the logical and critical reasoning skills that are necessary for success in any graduate program. Philosophy students are consistently top performers on standardized graduate entrance exams. See the following links for the data:

Improved Career Opportunities

Studying philosophy will often result in a well-paying career. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 78% of graduates with a BA in philosophy were either employed or continuing their education six months after graduation. Moreover, the average starting salaries and mid-career salaries are quite good. See the following links for the data:

Improved Interdisciplinary Understanding

Studying philosophy can enhance other aspects of your education. You will inevitably run into philosophical issues in any field you decide to study, and studying philosophy will give you the philosophical tools that are needed to deal with them well. See the following links for examples of how studying philosophy can often help in a variety of other fields:

Outstanding Philosophy Minor Award

Students who are actively working towards the completion of the Philosophy Minor and have completed at least 9 units of Philosophy credits at Tuskegee University are eligible to apply for the Outstanding Philosophy Minor Award. The Outstanding Philosophy Minor Award will be administered each semester. The winner of the award will receive a book scholarship (the amount of the scholarship will vary depending on the funds available).

Application Instructions

Email each of the following required documents to one of the Philosophy Minor advisors by the end of the second week of classes each semester:

1- Application Form.
2- An unofficial copy of your Tuskegee transcript.
3- A sample of philosophical work from a Tuskegee philosophy course.

Brett Coppenger

Dr. Brett Coppenger
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information:

Office Location: 70-428 John A. Kenney Hall
Office Phone: 334-725-5489

Personal Information:

Dr. Coppenger grew up in Long Beach, CA. He attended Biola University (B.A. in Philosophy), Western Michigan University (M.A. in Philosophy), and the University of Iowa (M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy). Before teaching at Tuskegee Dr. Coppenger was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his primary research areas Dr. Coppenger is interested in discussions of the relevance and importance of philosophical reasoning to practical problems for popular-level audiences. When not working Dr. Coppenger loves spending time outside with his wife and daughters.

Research Interests:

Epistemology (especially issues involving skepticism and memory), Philosophy of Science (especially issues involving Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesian Confirmation Theory), Philosophy of Religion (especially cumulative case arguments for God’s existence and the problem of evil).

Representative Publications:


Intellectual Assurance: Essays on Traditional Epistemic Internalism (with Michael Bergmann), Oxford University Press.

Recent Professional Articles and Book Chapters:

“Internalism, Memory, and Skepticism” in The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations, eds. McCain and Poston, Brill.

“Traditional Internalism: An Introduction” in Intellectual Assurance: Essays on Traditional Epistemic Internalism, eds. Coppenger and Bergmann, Oxford University Press.

Recent Popular-Level Articles and Book Chapters:

“How to Build a Conspiracy Theory” (with Jushua Heter) in Conspiracy Theories: Philosophers Connect the Dots, eds. Greene, Richard and Rachel Robinson-Greene, Open Court.

“Self-Knowledge and Skepticism” in Westworld and Philosophy, eds. Heter, Joshua and Richard Greene, Open Court.

“Close Possible (Dystopian) Worlds, Truth Tracking, and Knowledge” in The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy, eds. Heter, Joshua and Bruce Krajewski, Open Court.

“Is Justified True Bluth Belief Knowledge?” (with Kristopher Philips) in Arrested Development & Philosophy, eds. Phillips, Kristopher and Jeremy Wisnewski, Blackwell.

Samuel A. Taylor

Dr. Samuel A Taylor
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information:

Office Location: 70-314 John A. Kenney Hall
Office Phone: 334-725-2314

Personal Information:

Dr. Taylor is originally from Minnesota. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and then completed his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Dr. Taylor previously taught at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and Auburn University before coming to Tuskegee in the Fall of 2018. He has a strong interest in discussions concerning the value of philosophical education such as what the proper role is for philosophy in higher education, how philosophers can fruitfully engage with and aid research in the sciences, and how studying philosophy helps one’s individual development as a person. He also has many interests outside of philosophy including board games, traveling, reading, and just spending time with his spouse and children.

Research Interests:

Epistemology (especially issues about skepticism, inference, epistemic agency, and intellectual humility). Metaphysics (especially issues concerning the nature of personhood, and the philosophy and science of free will). Metaethics (especially issues concerning moral knowledge and practical agency)

Representative Publications:

Professional Articles:

"Is Justification Easy or Impossible? Getting Acquainted with a Middle Road.” Synthese 192 (9): 2987-3009.

“What Seemings Seem to Be.” Episteme 12 (3): 363-384.