The Department of Philosophy, "through a varied and extensive program of courses, presents students with past and present attempts to think critically and reflectively about fundamental questions of knowledge and value in order that they will be led to examine their own views. The study of philosophical problems in the spirit of free inquiry requires the student to develop and exercise the powers of precise discrimination, creative imagination, logical organization and evaluative judgment."
According to 1947 article in The Flat Hat, the Philosophy Department is the oldest department at the College of William and Mary.  Whether or not this is the case, the department is one of the six original chairs established at the college. During the colonial period, the college president taught philosophy. There were four different branches of philosophy taught at this time: logic, metaphysics, ethics and psychology. (Haserot)
- Philosophy Department webpage, http://web.wm.edu/philosophy/, accessed 25 February 2009.
- Francis Samuel Haserot, "Philosophy at William and Mary," Alumni Gazette7.2 (1939): 8-9, 31-33.
- “Miller to Read from Royal Grant; Cox to Present 1700 Proclamation,” The Flat Hat, February 4, 1947, 1, accessed 4 March 2009.
- "Passage of Years Brings Changes to W-M Campus," The Flat Hat, February 4, 1947, 10, accessed 4 March 2009.