Philosophy


 
It's sometimes difficult to determine whether philosophy is more respected or maligned. On the one hand, philosophy is respected as the ultimate repository of answers to such big questions as "What is the meaning of life?" and is considered to be the only repository available by those people no longer able to look to religion for the ultimate resolution to their existential crises. On the other hand, philosophy is maligned as a frivolous pursuit detached from the realities of the life whose meaning it purports to explain and interpret, rather more like a benign old alchemist pharmacist dispensing prescriptions to soothe troubled souls in the modern age.
Such polarization of opinion is hardly surprising in light of the notorious difficulties surrounding attempts to define philosophy. The concepts of philosophy employed by philosophers and by non philosophers are equally impoverished because they bear so few points of contact with each other, but we may avoid gross injustice to either party by describing philosophy as the rigorous examination of issues which cannot be resolved through empirical procedures such as observation or experiment. This definition has the virtue of being broad enough to encompass both the narrowly technical work of professional philosophers and the sweeping philosophical concerns of non philosophers.
Philosophy really is, in part, that inquiry whose special concern is to think seriously about such questions as "Is there a God?" "Are values objective?" and "Is your mind distinct from your brain?" It isn't a fund of final answers to these questions. It is, instead, a way of raising and answering them. By posing such questions, philosophy enables us to understand what we believe. By providing us with the intellectual tools necessary to tackle these questions, philosophy helps us to open our beliefs to scrutiny and teaches us how to reason well about issues that are important to us. By acquainting us with the variety of ways in which these questions are answered, philosophy helps us to formulate provisional positions on pressing issues, while stretching our capacity to tolerate uncertainty and live with the open-endedness of critical dialogue.
 
In the final analysis, philosophy is neither alchemist nor pharmacist. It is, instead, the means by which we may prepare our own solutions to the puzzles of existence, and attain the balance of intellectual self-reliance and mental flexibility necessary to function in our increasingly complicated world.
 
SPRING 2015 PHILOSOPHY BROCHURE
 
  
  
 

 Philosophy Major - Effective Fall 2013

 

​Philosophy Major (Bachelor of Arts)

EFFECTIVE FALL 2013

 
Consists of a minimum of 35 credits including:
1. Logic: PHIL 322
 
2. HIST: PHIL 325, 326, and 327. This (in conjunction with PHIL 490) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
3. Value theory: One course from PHIL 302, 303, 305, 307, 315, 335, 336, 350.
 
4. Metaphysics/Epistemology: One course from PHIL306, 310, 312, 320, 345, 360, 385.
 
5. Seminar: PHIL 490. This will satisfy the Capstone Experience requirement and (in conjunction with PHIL 325, 326, and 327) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
6. Electives: At least 6 additional credits in philosophy which may include either 100 or 101, but not both.
 
7. Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy: Complete a two-semester sequence of university entry-level world language courses (101, 102). The requirement may be fulfilled through equivalent coursework or other language acquisition as demonstrated through a test-out policy (including Native American languages and American Sign Language). If your native language is not English and you can document formal high school or university study of your native language, then you may use ENGL 101 and 202, or ENGL 150 as a means of fulfilling this foreign language requirement.
 

Philosophy Major (Bachelor of Science)

Consists of a minimum of 30 credits including:
 
1. Logic: PHIL 322
 
2. HIST: PHIL 325, 326, and 327. This (in conjunction with PHIL 490) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
3. Value theory: One course from PHIL 302, 303, 305, 307, 315, 335, 336, 350.
 
4. Metaphysics/Epistemology: One course from PHIL 306, 310, 312, 320, 345, 360, 385.
 
5. Seminar: PHIL 490. This will satisfy the Capstone Experience requirement and (in conjunction with PHIL 325, 326, and 327) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
6. Electives: At least 6 additional credits in philosophy which may include either 100 or 101, but not both.
 
7. Bachelor of Science in Philosophy: Take three additional credits from the GEP Social Science or Natural Science categories.
 
 

 Philosophy Major - Prior to Fall 2013

 

Majoring in Philosophy

 The philosophy major consists of a minimum of 27 credits including:

  1. Logic - One Course (3 credits): Phil 322 (Symbolic Logic).

  2. History of Philosophy - Three Courses (9 credits): Phil 325 (Ancient Greek Philosophy), Phil 326 (17th and 18th Century Philosophy), and Phil 327 (19th and 20th Century Philosophy).

  3. Value Theory - One Course (3 credits) selected from: Phil 302 (Ethics and Medicine), Phil 303 (Philosophy of Art), Phil 305 (Ethics), Phil 307 (Science and Value), Phil 315 (Philosophy of Law), Phil 336 (Political and Social Philosophy).

  4. Metaphysics/Epistemology - One Course (3 credits) selected from: Phil 306 (Philosophy of Science), Phil 310 (Metaphysics), Phil 312 (Epistemology), Phil 320 (Philosophy of Religion), Phil 345 (Philosophy of Nature), Phil 350 (Feminist Philosophy), Phil 385 (Philosophy of Ecology).

  5. Senior Seminar – One Course (3 credits): Phil 490 (Topics Vary).

  6. Electives – Two Courses (6 credits) in Philosophy, which may include either Phil 100 (Introduction to Philosophy) or Phil 101 (Contemporary Moral Problems), but not both.

Academic Standards: To be accepted and retained as a major or minor, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in courses counted toward the major or minor, including transfer credits and regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. Courses taken pass/fail or with a grade lower than C- may not be counted toward the major or minor.

Four Year Sequence

The following distribution of courses depends reflects one possible way in which a student may complete the major in four years. The path that any particular student will take toward the degree may vary and will depend upon which courses are offered in any given semester.

​Fall I ​Credits
​First Year Experience ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring I ​Credits
​General Education / Electives ​15 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 

​Fall II ​Credits
Introduction to Philosophy ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring II ​Credits
​Exploring Philosophy ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 

​Fall III ​Credits
Symbolic Logic ​3 cr
​History of Philosophy ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring III ​Credits
​History of Philosophy ​3 cr
​Metaphysics / Epistemology ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 

​Fall IV ​Credits
​History of Philosophy ​3 cr
Value Theory ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr

​Spring IV ​Credits
​Senior Seminar ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 

 Environmental Ethics Major - Effective Fall 2013

 

Environmental Ethics Concentration for Philosophy Major (Bachelor of Arts)

EFFECTIVE FALL 2013

Consists of a minimum of 41 credits including:
 
1. Logic: PHIL 121 or 322.
 
2. HIST: PHIL 325, 326, 327. This (in conjunction with PHIL 480) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
3. Value theory: One course from PHIL 302, 303, 305, 307, 315, 335, 336, 350.
 
4. Environmental ethics: PHIL 380 and 480. PHIL 480 will satisfy the Capstone Experience in the Major requirement and (in conjunction with PHIL 325, 326, and 327) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
5. Tier 1 electives: 3 credits from PHIL 303, 306, 307, 310, 315, 320, 350, 351.
 
6. Tier 2 electives: 9 credits (at least 6 must be 300 level or higher, and no more than 6 credits may be in philosophy) from: ANTH 350, 372; BIOL 305, 308, 311, 353; CLS 395; COMM 230, 240, 280; ECON 342; ENGL 248, 348, 358, 363, 365, 392; FOR 232; GEOG 100, 340, 371; GEOL 330; HIST 204 (formerly 260), 280 (formerly 366), 304, 380 (formerly 394); NRES 150, 151, 320, 323, 330, 370, 395, 412, 458, 459, 460, 491; PHIL 345, 381, 385; POLI 304, 305; SHP 330; SOC 355.
 
Other courses not listed here may count with approval of the Environmental Ethics concentration director.
 
7. Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – Environmental Ethics: Complete a two-semester sequence of university entry-level world language courses (101, 102). The requirement may be fulfilled through equivalent coursework or other language acquisition as demonstrated through a test-out policy (including Native American languages and American Sign Language). If your native language is not English and you can document formal high school or university study of your native language, then you may use ENGL 101 and 202, or ENGL 150 as a means of fulfilling this foreign language requirement.
 

Environmental Ethics Concentration for Philosophy Major (Bachelor of Science)

Consists of a minimum of 36 credits including:
1. Logic: PHIL 121 or 322.
 
2. HIST: PHIL 325, 326, 327. This (in conjunction with PHIL 480) will satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
3. Value theory: One course from PHIL 302, 303, 305, 307, 315, 335, 336, 350.
 
4. Environmental ethics: PHIL 380 and 480. PHIL 480 will satisfy the Capstone Experience in the Major requirement and (in conjunction with PHIL 325, 326, and 327) satisfy the Communication in the Major requirement.
 
5. Tier 1 electives: 3 credits from PHIL 303, 306, 307, 310, 315, 320, 350, 351.
 
6. Tier 2 electives: 9 credits (at least 6 must be 300 level or higher, and no more than 6 credits may be in philosophy) from: ANTH 350, 372; BIOL 305, 308, 311, 353; CLS 395; COMM 230, 240, 280; ECON 342; ENGL 248, 348, 358, 363, 365, 392; FOR 232; GEOG 100, 340, 371; GEOL 330; HIST 204 (formerly 260), 280 (formerly 366), 304, 380 (formerly 394); NRES 150, 151, 320, 323, 330, 370, 395, 412, 458, 459, 460, 491; PHIL 345, 381, 385; POLI 304, 305; SHP 330; SOC 355.
 
Other courses not listed here may count with approval of the Environmental Ethics concentration director.
 
7. Bachelor of Science in Philosophy – Environmental Ethics: Take three additional credits from the GEP Social Science or Natural Science categories.
 

 Environmental Ethics Major - Prior to Fall 2013

 

Majoring in Environmental Ethics

The philosophy major with a concentration in environmental ethics consists of a minimum of 33 credits including:
  1. Logic – One Course (3 credits) selected from: PHIL 121 or 322.
  2. History of Philosophy – Three Courses (9 credits): PHIL 325, 326, 327.
  3. Value theory – One Course (3 credits) selected from: PHIL 302, 303, 305, 307, 315, 335, 336.
  4. Environmental ethics – Two Courses (6 credits): PHIL 380 and 480.
  5. Tier 1 electives – One Course (3 credits) selected from: PHIL 303, 306, 307, 310, 315, 320, 350, 351.
  6. Tier 2 electives – Three Courses (9 credits) selected from: ANTH 350, 372; BIOL 305, 308, 311, 353; CLS 395; COMM 230, 240, 280; ECON 342; ENGL 248, 348, 358, 363, 365, 392; FOR 232; GEOG 100, 340, 371; GEOL 330; HIST 204 (formerly 260), 280 (formerly 366), 304, 380 (formerly 394); NRES 150, 151, 320, 323, 330, 370, 395, 412, 458, 459, 460, 491; PHIL 345, 381, 385; POLI 304, 305; SHP 330; SOC 355. Other courses not listed here may count with approval of the Environmental Ethics concentration director. (At least 6 must be 300 level or higher, and no more than 6 credits may be in philosophy.)
 
 
 
Academic Standards: To be accepted and retained as a major or minor and approved for graduation, you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 in courses counted toward the major or minor, including transfer credits and regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. Courses taken pass/fail or with a grade lower than C- may not be counted toward the major or minor.
 

Four Year Sequence

 
The following distribution of courses depends reflects one possible way in which a student may complete the major in four years. The path that any particular student will take toward the degree may vary and will depend upon which courses are offered in any given semester.
 
 
 
 
 
​Fall I ​Credits
​First Year Experience ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
​Spring I ​Credits
​General Education / Electives ​15 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 
​Fall II ​Credits
Introduction to Philosophy ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 
​Spring II ​Credits
​Environmental Ethics (PHIL 380) ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​12 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 
​Fall III ​Credits
Critical Thinking or Symbolic Logic
(PHIL 121 or PHIL 322)
​3 cr
Tier 1 Elective (PHIL 303, 306,
307, 310, 315, 320, 350 or 351)
​3 cr
History of Philosophy
(PHIL 325, 326 or 327
​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​6 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 
​Spring III ​Credits
​History of Philosophy (PHIL 3325, 326, or 327) ​3 cr
​Tier 2 Elective ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 
​Fall IV ​Credits
History of Philosophy (Choose
from PHIL 325, 326 or 327)
​3 cr
Value Theory (Choose from PHIL
302, 303, 305, 307, 315 or 336)
​3 cr
Tier 2 Elective
​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​6 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
​Spring IV ​Credits
​Tier 2 Elective ​3 cr
​Advanced Environment Ethics (PHIL 480) ​3 cr
​General Education / Electives ​9 cr
​TOTAL ​15 cr
 
 

 Philosophy Minor

 

Minoring in Philosophy

The philosophy minor consists of a minimum of 18 credits including:

  1. Logic - One Course (3 credits) selected from: Phil 121 (Critical Thinking), Phil 322 (Symbolic Logic).

  2. History of Philosophy - Two Courses (6 credits) selected from: Phil 325 (Ancient Greek Philosophy), Phil 326 (17th and 18th Century Philosophy), and Phil 327 (19th and 20th Century Philosophy).

  3. One Course at 300 level or higher (3 credits), that may include Phil 322 (Symbolic Logic) if Phil 121 (Critical Thinking) is taken to fulfill the logic requirement. 

  4. Electives – Two Additional Courses (6 credits) selected from the Philosophy Curriculum.

 

 Philosphy Honors Program

 

Philosophy Honors Program

The Department of Philosophy offers an honors program for students majoring in philosophy, philosophy with a concentration in environmental ethics, or philosophy with a concentration in religious studies.

To apply for admission:

  1. Have at least 30 university credits.

  2. Have 6 credits in philosophy or religious studies with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

  3. Contact the department chair or department honors advisor.

Requirements for philosophy honors are:

  1. Complete all the requirements for the major with a GPA of at least 3.5 for courses in the major.

  2. Complete a minimum of 6 honors credits in philosophy and/or religious studies courses with a grade of "A Honors."

  3. Complete one credit "Independent Study: Honors Project" in Phil 399 or Rel Std 399.