Department ofPhilosophy

Department History

A distinguishing advantage of education at Santa Clara has always been the strength of its Philosophy Department. In earlier days a large number of courses were required of all students in a curriculum of fairly uniform Scholastic philosophy. Beginning in the late sixties, the philosophy requirement was loosened and the Department was transformed into a much stronger and philosophically more diversified faculty that now ranks among the finest in the University for its scholarship and its teaching excellence. A key figure through all of this was the Jesuit, Austin J. Fagothey, who taught at Santa Clara literally for 40 years until his death in May of 1975 and who chaired the Department for most of that time. He also found time to author a highly successful book on ethics,Right and Reason, which during his own lifetime went through five editions, each of which was an updated revision. It, and an accompanying anthology, are still in wide use.