Philosophy seeks answers to such fundamental questions as: What is ultimately real? What is the nature and extent of our knowledge? What is the source and nature of our moral obligations? What form of government is the best? Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder? Our aim is to assist students (1) in developing an appreciation of the various answers to these questions and (2) in formulating their own answers in a way that can be defended in the arena of reasoned controversy. Philosophy draws on material from all areas of human endeavor -- science, the arts, religion, politics. Many of our students are double majors because they find that the study of philosophy and the study of the particular discipline (such as psychology or biology) are mutually enhancing.
The major consists of eleven courses (no more than five at the 100 and 200 level) and it is designed to meet the varied interests of our students. Every student takes a total of six courses in the core areas of philosophy including one in logic, two in the history of philosophy, one in ethics or political philosophy, and two in either the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind/psychology, or philosophy of language. There is a wide area of choice both within those six core area courses and among the five additional electives. Students are able to explore in depth the issues that are most interesting to them.
Undergraduates interested in majoring in philosophy are encouraged to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Download the Philosophy Major Booklet.
All students are assigned an advisor within the department to assist them in determining which set of courses best suits their needs.
The department offers students the opportunity to graduate in philosophy with departmental honors. The requirements to achieve this distinction are that, at graduation, a student have an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 and a grade point average within philosophy of at least 3.5, that the student have a grades of B+ or higher in four 400 level courses and have obtained approval of a philosophy paper as an honors thesis by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of the department.
A minor in philosophy consists of six courses at least three of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.
Category for the Philosophy Honor Society.
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