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Philosophy

Basic Structure of the Department

  • The department offers a single major and five minors, and can be part of a modified major.
  • Within the major a student can focus on particular areas within philosophy, such as ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of the mind, theory of knowledge, logic, or the history of philosophy.
  • The minors include: Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Epistemology and Metaphysics, and Logic and Philosophy of Science.
  • The Philosophy department sponsors a Foreign Study Program to Edinburgh, Scotland in the fall.  Prerequisites are any two philosophy courses (unspecified).

Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore Philosophy

  • Introductory Courses:
    • PHIL 1 and 2 are both introductory courses designed to give an overview (arranged topically in PHIL 1 and historically in PHIL 2) for students who are just starting to explore philosophy.
    • PHIL 3 introduces students to informal logic and the analysis of arguments. PHIL 6 introduces them to formal logic.
    • For those who have a particular interest in ethics, either PHIL 8 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy) or  9 (Topics in Applied Ethics) is a good place to start.
  • Most of the following courses have a prerequisite of one introductory philosophy course or permission of the instructor:
    • One of the best ways to explore the discipline of philosophy is to study its history.  The history sequence includes:  PHIL 11 (Ancient Philosophy), 13 (Modern Philosophy: Continental Rationalism), 14 (Modern Philosophy:  British Empiricism), 15 (Modern Philosophy:  Hume and Kant), 16 (19th Century Philosophy), 17 (Phenomenology and Existentialism) and 18 (Contemporary Continental Philosophy).
    • PHIL 20-29 are courses that study the relationship between philosophy and another discipline, including women's and gender studies (PHIL 22), art (PHIL 23), law (PHIL 24), medicine (PHIL 25), computing (PHIL 26), the natural sciences (PHIL 27), and mathematics (PHIL 29).

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Studies in Philosophy

  • Students who think that they are likely to major in philosophy should try to take the following courses as soon as their schedules permit:
    • PHIL 1: Introduction to the Problems of Philosophy
    • PHIL 2: Introduction to Philosophical Classics
    • PHIL 3: Reason and Argument
    • PHIL 8: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy
    • These courses will provide them with the needed skills and will guide them in choosing higher-level courses.
    • PHIL 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9 is prerequisite for many upper-level philosophy courses

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Philosophy home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13