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. Although Philosophy was one of the original six chairs, it was not taught until 1712, according to Francis Samuel Haserot. "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) A distinguishing fact about the College is that it was among a select few, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, to teach Philosophy during the eighteenth-century. (Haserot)
- Philosophy Department webpage, http://web.wm.edu/philosophy/, accessed 25 February 2009.
- Francis Samuel Haserot, "Philosophy at William and Mary," Alumni Gazette 7.2 (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.