- Course Work
- Undergraduate Programs
- Graduate Program
Professors: Bergoffen, Rothbart
Associate professors: Cherubin, De Nys, Eckenwiler, Froman, Holman, Kinnaman (chair), Paden, S. M. Skousgaard
Adjuncts: D. Gregory, Oberoi, Sojka
This department offers all course work designated PHIL in the Course Descriptions chapter of this catalog.
The degree program in philosophy covers the major issues and areas in philosophy and serves the needs of students with various interests and career goals. Major emphases are available for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in philosophy or emphasize philosophy while acquiring a broad liberal arts education. Students can use this major as preparation for such professions as law or government service or complement other interests by taking a double major in philosophy and a related field of study.
In addition to university-wide general education requirements and requirements for a BA degree in CHSS, philosophy majors must complete at least 33 credits in philosophy earning a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. At least 21 credits must be at the 300 level or above, including at least 6 credits at the 400 level or above. The credits must be distributed among area requirements as indicated below. No course may be used to fulfill more than one such requirement.
- Logic (at least 3 credits): PHIL 173 or 376
- History of philosophy (at least 12 credits)
- Required: PHIL 301, 303, and 332 and either PHIL 336 or 337
- Theories of value (at least 3 credits):
- PHIL 311 Philosophy of Law
- PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory
- PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory
- PHIL 325 Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
- PHIL 326 Liberty, Equality, and Community
- PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory
- PHIL 338 Woman: The Philosophical Questions
- PHIL 355 Contemporary Ethical Theory
- PHIL 356 Philosophy of Art
- PHIL 470 Seminar: Philosophical Examination of Social Issues and the Law
- Reality, knowledge, and science (at least 3 credits)
- PHIL 312 Philosophy of Technology
- PHIL 337 Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
- PHIL 340 Hermeneutic Philosophy
- PHIL 357 Philosophy of the Social Sciences
- PHIL 371 Philosophy of Natural Sciences
- PHIL 373 Theory of Knowledge
- PHIL 374 Philosophy of Mind
- PHIL 375 Metaphysics
- PHIL 377 Darwin: Biology and Beyond
- PHIL 378 Reason, Science, and Faith in the Modern Age
- When the subject matter is appropriate and with the undergraduate coordinator's approval, PHIL 391, 392, 421, 425, or 426 may be used to fulfill the two requirements above.
- Philosophy electives
Students may choose a concentration in philosophy and law. The following philosophy courses fulfill the general education syntheses requirement: PHIL 309, 377, and 378. Students may choose a concentration in philosophy and law. See department for details.
The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. All senior seminars in philosophy are writing intensive. Philosophy majors should consult the undergraduate coordinator for other courses that can be taken to fulfill this requirement.
Minor in Philosophy
The minor is organized according to specific emphases, each one stressing a different aspect of philosophy. The emphasis in the history of philosophy is particularly useful to students in the humanities, especially those who wish to pursue graduate study. Students majoring in the human and natural sciences would benefit from the emphasis in reality, knowledge, and science; while those who hope to pursue a career in law or politics would be well-advised to complete the emphasis in social and political philosophy.
Students must complete 18 credits in philosophy with a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. No course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement. The credits must be distributed as follows:
- Logic: 3 credits chosen from PHIL 173, 180, or 376
- History of philosophy: 6 credits: PHIL 301 and 303
- Electives in philosophy: 9 credits of which at least 6 must be at the 300 level or above
Emphasis in history of philosophy
This emphasis requires at least 3 additional credits in the history of philosophy, plus 6 credits of electives. At least 3 credits in history of philosophy should be taken from PHIL 302, 325, 332, 335, 336, or 337.
Emphasis in reality, knowledge, and science
This emphasis requires at least 6 credits from courses in reality, knowledge, and science, plus 3 credits of electives (see list of courses under the major).
Emphasis in social and political philosophy
This emphasis requires at least 9 credits chosen from PHIL 311, 312, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 338, or 470.
When the subject matter is appropriate and with the undergraduate coordinator's approval, PHIL 391, 392, 421, 425, or 426 may be used to fulfill the emphasis requirements.
The department offers a minor in philosophy and law and coordinates the interdisciplinary minor in political philosophy. See the Interdisciplinary Minors section in this chapter for a description.
The department offers a master's degree in traditional and contemporary philosophy. The degree is designed for students who intend to go on to a doctorate in philosophy and those who seek the master's as a terminal degree to further their professional expertise. Students may pursue interests in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science. The department offers a concentration in professional ethics for those master's students interested in combining the study of ethics in a variety of career settings, as well as a graduate certificate in professional ethics.
In addition to fulfilling university admission requirements for graduate study, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of student goals in pursuing the degree, and a writing sample. GRE exams are not required. They are recommended, especially for those students planning to pursue a PhD in philosophy.
Students not in a designated concentration must successfully complete 30 credits, which may optionally include a project or thesis. Students need to identify an advisor on entering the program and meet regularly with that advisor during their course of study. With their advisor's approval, students may apply up to 9 credits from other departments toward the degree.
- 12 credits of required course work distributed as follows:
- 3 credits in ancient or medieval philosophy (PHIL 602, 604, or 681, or 691 where appropriate)
- 3 credits in modern philosophy (PHIL 605, 608, or 681, or 691 where appropriate)
- 3 credits in contemporary philosophy (PHIL 615, 616, 618, or 681, or 691 where appropriate)
- 3 credits in an advanced seminar (PHIL 720, 721, or 733)
- 18 credits of electives, including 3 to 6 credits of project or thesis
Concentration in Philosophy and Cultural Theory
In addition to fulfilling the 12 credits of required course work specified above, students in this concentration take CULT 802 Histories of Cultural Studies and 3 additional credits in cultural studies, which may include philosophy courses cross-listed with cultural studies. Students are encouraged to take 802 as early in the program as possible.
Concentration in Professional Ethics
Students in the concentration in professional ethics must complete 30 credits distributed as follows:
- 6 credits in the history of philosophy, including PHIL 640 (PHIL 691 may be taken to fulfill this requirement only with the written permission of the graduate coordinator.)
- 3 credits in professional ethics: PHIL 641
- 6 credits in applied ethics chosen from PHIL 642, 643, 643, 644, or 645 (Where appropriate, and with approval of the student's advisor, PHIL 691 and 721 may be used to fulfill this requirement.)
- 9-12 credits of electives
- 3-6 credits of project or thesis
Certificate in Professional Ethics
Students must be admitted to graduate study or approved for graduate course enrollment in nondegree status. Students who initially enroll in the certificate program as nondegree students must apply for admission to the graduate program no later than the second semester of study. The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any other graduate program in the university.
Students must successfully complete 15 graduate credits distributed as follows. In consultation with an advisor, students should select their courses to create a coherent program of study.
- 3 credits in the history of ethical theory: PHIL 640
- 3 credits in professional ethics: PHIL 641
- 6 credits in applied ethics chosen from PHIL 642, 643, or 644
- 3 credits of an elective (This requirement may be fulfilled by taking a course in philosophy, but students are encouraged to take courses in other disciplines.)