Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, April 19, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2017-2018 Course Catalog

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

This catalog was created on Friday, April 19, 2019.


Courses in philosophy develop skills in reading analytically, thinking critically, and arguing cogently. In addition, they provide students with valuable insights into many of the major issues confronting us in a rapidly changing world.

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

  1. PHIL 150 or 420 (majors are strongly encouraged to satisfy this requirement early in their careers)
  2. At least two core courses in the history of philosophy (from PHIL 200, 210, 220, 227, 230, 275)
  3. One course in epistemology (from PHIL 300, 305, 330, 332, 405)
  4. One course in metaphysics (from PHIL 310, 340, 400, 410)
  5. One course in ethics (from PHIL 280, 320, 325, 347, 350, 360, 365, 370, 375, 380, 385, 430, 440)
  6. PHIL 600
  7. Four additional six-unit courses in philosophy, or a second major and two additional six-unit courses in philosophy.
    1. Two of these additional courses may be numbered 149 or below.
    2. Philosophy majors who do not prefer a second major may, in consultation with their advisor and subject to the approval of the Department of Philosophy, substitute selected courses not offered by the department for no more than two of the four additional courses.
  8. One Philosophy Dimensions of Diversity course (this may also satisfy one of the above requirements)

Required for the philosophy minor

  1. Six six-unit courses in philosophy
    1. At least two courses in the history of philosophy (PHIL 200, 210, 220, 227, 230, 275)
    2. At least three courses outside the history of philosophy numbered 250 or above
  2. C average in the minor

Students pursuing a minor in philosophy are encouraged to choose a member of the philosophy department as an informal advisor.


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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