9.25. Philosophy

Programs offered:
B.A. in Philosophy
Minor in Philosophy (TU)

Philosophy, in the broadest meaning of this term, is the attempt to think clearly about the world and the place of human beings in it. This activity is a response to questions which arise because the various areas of human life, such as science, art, morality and religion, often do not seem to be intelligible in themselves or to fit with one another. A philosophical world view, such as the philosophy of Plato or the philosophy of Descartes, represents an attempt to think through these difficulties and to arrive at a single, coherent vision of how reality is and how human beings should relate to it.

The study of Philosophy is a noble and worthwhile activity in its own right for the enlightenment which it can provide about questions which should be of interest to everyone. It is important, however, that the Philosophy major also be effective at imparting those general skills which are crucial for most professions.

The Philosophy department believes that graduates should be “humane generalists” with the intellectual adaptability which is needed to function successfully in changing and often unpredictable job situations. The Philosophy program accomplishes this goal by fostering those abilities of critical thinking and intellectual flexibility required in virtually any professional career. Philosophy students learn how to read and understand abstract and often very difficult arguments. They also learn to think critically and independently, to develop their own views and to express their insights in clear, articulate spoken and written prose. Such skills are important for almost any profession and are especially useful for business and law.

Philosophy courses need not be taken in a rigid sequence. Any Philosophy course should improve a student’s overall philosophical abilities and thereby strengthen the student’s performance in any subsequent Philosophy course. The courses are, however, classified by the difficulty of the reading involved and the amount of philosophical training and background which is advisable.

B.A. in Philosophy (see Sec. 8.5.1. for a complete list of B.A. graduation requirements)

  1. Completion of one course in Symbolic Logic from among the following:
    PHI 201 Formal Logic
    MAT 241 Proof & Logic
    Other courses may apply. Departmental pre-approval is required.
  2. Completion of one course in Ethics from among the following:
    PHI 102 Ethical Theory
    Other Courses may apply. Departmental pre-approval is required.
  3. Completion of two courses in History of Philosophy,one focused on Ancient Philosophy and the other on Modern Philosophy, chosen from the following:
    PHI 204 Plato
    PHI 205 Aristotle
    PHI 206 Modern Philosophy
    POL 341 Political Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval
    POL 342 Political Philosophy II: Modern
    Other courses may apply. Departmental pre-approval is required.
  4. Completion of two courses concerned with Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind,chosen from the following:
    PHI 302 Epistemology
    PHI 304 Philosophy of Mind
    PHI 306 Metaphysics
    PHI 406 Philosophy of Language
    Other courses may apply. Departmental pre-approval is required.
  5. Completion of two courses to provide depth by examining a major figure or movement, chosen from among the following. At least one of these courses must be a figure or movement critical of the classical paradigm (indicated by * in the following list):
    *PHI 305 Nietzsche
    *PHI 307 Existentialism
    PHI 490 Advanced Special Topics in Philosophy: Philosophers
    Other courses may apply. Departmental pre-approval is required.
  6. Completion of two elective Philosophy classes. One of these may be a cognate course in another discipline. Each such cognate course from another discipline requires departmental pre-approval. However, the following list of cognate courses has been pre- approved:
    CRS 101 Theories of Communication and Rhetoric
    CRS 280 Gender, Culture, and Communication
    CRS 480 Rhetoric of Human Rights
    ENG 101 Ancient Literature
    ENG 103 18th and 19th Century Literature
    ENG 340 Advanced Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies
    HIS 201 Ancient Greece
    HIS 202 Roman History
    POL 201 Constitutional Law
    POL 211 War
    POL 441 Seminar in Political Philosophy
    PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
    PSY 204 Social Psychology
    PSY 307 Cognitive Psychology
  7. Completion of PHI 405 20th Century Analytic Philosophy.
  8. Additional requirements and things to note:
    1. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses contributing to the major.
    2. No course can satisfy more than one of the requirements listed above.

Minor in Philosophy (TU)

  1. Completion of PHI 201 Formal Logic
  2. Completion of one of the following courses:
    PHI 204 Plato
    PHI 205 Aristotle
  3. Completion of one of the following courses:
    PHI 206 Modern Philosophy
    POL 342 Political Philosophy II: Modern
  4. Completion of one of the following courses:
    PHI 302 Epistemology
    PHI 306 Metaphysics
  5. Completion of two additional Philosophy electives.
  6. Additional requirements and things to note:
    1. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses contributing to the minor.