Bachelor of Arts

About Philosophy

The study of Philosophy offers a vital contribution to the humanistic education and acquaints students with the significant philosophical concepts in Western thought providing training in the major currents of contemporary philosophical investigation. This field deals with the various ways in which human beings have tried to understand and give expression to the nature and meaning of reality, knowledge, the self, values, and human temporality. Philosophy students gain a heightened ability to think critically and develop well-reasoned arguments. They learn how to devise meaningful and intuitive questions, read and interpret complex texts and cultures, and write and communicate clearly and effectively.

Stress is placed on philosophy as an activity, combining knowledge of important philosophical issues with the basis for developing an analytical judgment that is both critical and productive. Conducting independent research is not uncommon within the program.

Related Programs and Degrees

  • Major (B.A.)
  • Minors
    • Philosophy
    • Ethics
    • Philosophy and Religion
  • Philosophy Honors Program

Philosophy Honors Program
Departmental majors will be eligible for honors in Philosophy by fulfilling the following special requirements in addition to the regular requirements:

  • Obtain a 3.5 grade-point average in the courses required for the departmental major and a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in the entire undergraduate program.
  • Enroll in an Independent Study in Philosophy (730:495, 496) and prepare an acceptable honors thesis of approximately 20-30 pages (length to be coordinated with faculty adviser).
  • See information regarding process for Independent Study proposals and enrollment.

In recognition of the satisfactory completion of the Honors Program, a student’s permanent academic record will receive the notation Honors in Philosophy.

Learning Objectives

Students in Philosophy courses should learn to:

  • think critically and creatively,
  • read and interpret complex and significant texts,
  • write clearly and effectively,
  • make clear and convincing arguments, including in response to arguments of others, and,
  • develop oral communication skills through effective and well-organized presentations and productive classroom participation.

Sample Courses

  • Symbolic Logic
  • History of Philosophy I & II
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Ethics of War and Conflict
  • Mind, Knowledge, and Reality
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Evil