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The philosophy major serves the interests of a wide range of students seeking the skills and understanding appropriate to a philosophical perspective on issues of concern to them. These issues range from specific topics in biomedical ethics to highly abstract issues about knowledge, reality, religion, and morality. The major requires work in the various areas of philosophic study: logic, history of philosophy, normative philosophy, and metaphysics and epistemology. Because of its emphasis on careful reading, conceptual thinking, and well-reasoned writing, the major provides excellent training for a variety of careers, including law and business as well as teaching.
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in philosophy are expected to:
- Read and understand sophisticated philosophical texts;
- Critically evaluate philosophical arguments;
- Construct and defend philosophical arguments in well-organized, clear, and concise prose;
- Demonstrate mastery of basic philosophical concepts and methods, both orally and in writing;
- Apply critical-thinking and argument-evaluation skills to the philosophical issues and arguments that present themselves in everyday life;
- Engage in rational, civil discourse about complex and emotionally laden topics in a manner that is respectful of others.
Grade C or better required in PHIL courses used to satisfy requirements of the major.
Those who think they might want to apply to graduate school in philosophy should consult with the philosophy advisor as early as possible about additional course recommendations.
The philosophy department believes that the prescribed major provides a solid grounding in philosophy, useful for students with widely varied interests. However, the department also recognizes that some students may be in special circumstances which warrant deviation from the requirements as specified on the junior audit. The requirements can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students in such cases. Early consultation with the undergraduate advisor is essential.
- Six hours chosen from: PHIL 2020, 2110, 2120, 3110, 3310, 4110, 4120
- Three hours chosen from: PHIL 2040, 2180, 3020, 3120, 4240, 4250
- Three hours chosen from: PHIL 2300, 3100, 3160, 3300, 4060, 4140, 4310, 4330
- At least 8 hours in PHIL electives (consult with the philosophy advisor)
* At least 2 courses in PHIL at the 3000 or 4000 level.