Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Sunday, March 24, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2015-2016 Course Catalog

Period: 2018-20192017-20182016-20172015-20162014-2015

This catalog was created on Sunday, March 24, 2019.


Opportunities for non-majors

Courses in philosophy develop skills for reading and thinking analytically and critically, and for arguing cogently. In addition, they provide students with invaluable insights into many of the intellectual issues confronting Western civilization.

Students tend to find that taking two or three philosophy courses significantly enhances the quality of their work in their own fields. We urge students to discuss the relationship between philosophy and other disciplines with any member of the philosophy department and with their own major advisors.

Philosophy department faculty members will gladly discuss with majors and potential majors the specific ways in which their work can best prepare them for careers in academe, business, government, law, and medicine, among others.

Note that, with the consent of the instructor, students may take an intermediate course in philosophy without having taken an introductory course. (Intermediate courses are numbered 200 through 440. Courses numbered above 440 are advanced courses.)

The philosophy major

Students are introduced to philosophy through a study of logic or through a course in which substantive problems are raised by an examination of selected writings of important philosophers. Students may continue their study through a variety of courses in the history of philosophy, in the systematic study of traditional problem areas within philosophy, and in the philosophical examination of other disciplines.

The historical courses enable students to become familiar with the thinking of the most influential philosophers in our tradition and with the historical contexts in which they worked. The systematic courses encourage students to confront contemporary statements of central philosophical questions and to investigate some of the more promising answers to them. The courses engaged in the philosophical examination of other areas encourage students to bring methods of philosophical analysis to bear on the methods and presuppositions of other areas of inquiry.

Required for the philosophy major

A student majoring in philosophy is required to take a minimum of nine six-unit philosophy courses. Those nine courses will include:

  1. A minimum of eight courses numbered above 149
  2. PHIL 150 or 420 (Majors are strongly encouraged to satisfy this requirement early in their careers.)
  3. At least three courses from PHIL 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 275, 280 (including at least two from PHIL 200, 210, 220)
  4. At least one course from PHIL 300, 305, 310, 330, 400, 405, 410
  5. At least one course from PHIL 320, 325, 350, 360, 385, 430, 440
  6. PHIL 600

Advanced students of philosophy are invited to do tutorial and honors work independent of the course requirements.

Required for the philosophy minor

  • Five six-unit courses in philosophy, at least two of which must be in the history of philosophy (PHIL 200, 210, 220, 230, 240) and at least two of which must be from among courses numbered 200 or above but not among PHIL 200-240.
  • Students pursuing a minor in philosophy are encouraged to choose a member of the philosophy department as an informal advisor.
  • A C average in the minor is required.

Senior Experience in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy's Senior Experience is PHIL 600: Studies in Philosophy. This is an advanced seminar (the topic for which varies from year to year) in which students critically analyze each other's original research.

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