Study of Philosophy

Learning goals:

  • Read texts/arguments in a reflective and critical manner.
  • Write in a coherent and persuasive manner.
  • Understand and apply logical thinking skills in evaluating arguments.
  • Be literate with respect to ancient and modern Western philosophical thought concerning ethics, metaphysics and epistemology.

Requirements for the Major in Philosophy. Philosophy majors complete, with a grade of C- or better, at least 36 hours in philosophy. In order to graduate with a philosophy major, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their philosophy courses. To ensure that students acquire adequate breadth and depth, they consult with a major adviser to select a balance of upper- and lower-level courses. Requirements include at least one course each in symbolic logic, ethics (may be a Central Curriculum ethics course but must have a PHIL prefix), ancient philosophy, modern philosophy, 19th- and 20th-century philosophy, and at least two 300-level courses, one of which must be either PHIL:310, PHIL:312 or PHIL:350.

Minor in Philosophy. The philosophy minor completes, with a grade of C- or better, at least 20 semester hours in philosophy. Students consult with a minor adviser to select courses and are expected to take a balance of upper- and lower-level courses.

Capstone Requirement. Students majoring in philosophy are expected to take the senior capstone requirement in the appropriate subject. A student with a double major may fulfill the university capstone requirement in a major outside of this department. Any student who elects to fulfill the capstone requirement in this manner must complete the philosophy major by successful completion of an additional four-semester-hour course, or the equivalent, in the relevant subject. Any student wishing to qualify for philosophy departmental honors must fulfill the appropriate capstone as provided by the philosophy department in addition to any capstone requirements imposed in a second major.

The course description for the departmental capstone states that it is “to serve [students] as a culmination of all their studies, allowing them to address a particular topic, issue or thinker in philosophy through the lens of their total undergraduate education.” Philosophy majors are encouraged to develop capstone projects that also draw on knowledge and strengths they have acquired in declared minors. Primary oversight of such projects will rest with the appropriate faculty supervisor in philosophy, although students will also be expected to work with an appropriate adviser from their minor area(s) of study.

Honors. The honors program in philosophy encourages and commends outstanding academic work. To graduate with departmental honors in philosophy, students must do the following:

  • Complete requirements for the major,
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 overall and at least 3.5 in philosophy, and
  • Perform outstanding academic work in at least one course of directed readings and research in philosophy.