Overview of the Philosophy Degree
Philosophy (love of wisdom) explores fundamental issues that have intrigued and perplexed human beings for millennia, including the nature of reality, human knowledge and truth, mind and personal identity and the application of ethical principles to moral problems. The study of philosophy fosters the ability to think critically, to identify and analyze complex problems, to use higher-order reasoning skills through the consistent application of deductive and inductive logical principles, to comprehend multiple perspectives on a specific topic, to communicate effectively and persuasively and to formulate solutions and evaluate possible outcomes on a wide range of subjects. Students of philosophy learn the value of living an examined life, not only by studying the great thinkers of the past, but also by articulating and defending their own carefully formulated ideas.
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (36 hours)
The major in philosophy consists of 36 semester hours with at least 18 semester hours of advanced courses (at least 12 semester hours at the 300-level and at least six semester hours at the 400-level).
Students completing the philosophy major must take the following courses:
Introductory level courses: PHI 153, 163, 223
History of Philosophy courses: PHI 310, 311
Topics courses: PHI 390 (twice on different topics), PHI 490
Students must fulfill the semester hour requirement for the philosophy major by taking at least four additional courses drawn from the philosophy course offerings; at least one of these must be a 400-level course. With the approval of the division director, the following courses also may be used to fulfill this semester hour requirement:
Six hours from: PSC 335, PSC 336
Minor in Philosophy
A minor in philosophy consists of 18 semester hours with at least nine semester hours in advanced courses. Students completing the philosophy minor must take the following courses:
Introductory level courses: PHI 153, 163, 223
Students must fulfill the semester hour requirement for the minor in philosophy by taking at least three courses drawn from the advanced philosophy course offerings. With the approval of the division director, one of the following courses also may be used to fulfill this semester hour requirement:
Three hours from: PSC 335, 336
Some philosophy courses fulfill general education requirements in the humanities. They provide intellectual breadth not only for prospective teachers and liberal arts students but also for students planning careers in other professional and vocational fields.
COURSES IN PHILOSOPHY (PHI)
153. Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1301) - In addition to a concern with the goals, nature and methods of philosophy, this course also focuses on issues concerning philosophical theories of knowledge and reality, drawing on ideas from a variety of disciplines. Possible topics: the nature of philosophy, the problem of scepticism and knowledge, mind and personal identity, and the nature and existence of God. Emphasis on the nature of philosophy and its relation to education, logic and critical thinking.
163. Introduction to Logic (PHIL 2303) - Introductory course in logic with strong emphasis on critical thinking. Examination of the goals, nature and methods of philosophy, critical thinking and logic, as well as the nature of reason and the use of rational techniques. An overall focus on identifying and evaluating reasoning along with examining how reasoning can go wrong.
223. Introduction to Ethics (PHIL 2306) - Focus on moral theories and issues, drawing on ideas from a variety of disciplines. Emphasis on moral reasoning and moral theories.
243. Contemporary Moral Issues - A development of techniques of moral analysis and their application to ethical problems that have a bearing on contemporary society and American culture. Topics may include abortion, immigration, capital punishment, euthanasia, embryonic adoption and stem-cell research, genetic engineering, sexual behavior and welfare.
310. Classical Philosophy - Development of Western philosophy from pre-philosophical mythology through the collapse of classical Antiquity.
311. Modern Philosophy - Development of Western philosophy from the Renaissance period through the 19th century.
320. Philosophy of Love and Sex - Explores the philosophical foundations of our attitudes toward love, sex and related issues over a range of historical periods and through a range of theoretical perspectives.
333. Philosophy in Science Fiction - Focus on philosophical ideas as explored in science fiction short stories, TV shows and movies.
350. Medical Ethics - Application of ethical theories and moral principles to issues associated with medicine and health care.
360. Philosophy of Religion - Analysis of the general philosophical problems that arise in connection with religion and religious beliefs. Topics may include the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, mysticism and the meaning and validation of religious utterances.
390. Special Topics in Philosophy - An upper-level course with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and writing. Addresses topics such as religion and the nature and existence of God; the philosophical underpinning and diverse expressions of human sexuality; philosophers such as Plato, Augustine, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard; issues such as sadism/masochism, pornography, homosexuality; and philosophy of the environment, the philosophy of biology, philosophy and animal rights, etc. May be retaken when the topic changes.
400. Philosophical Issues in World Religions - Surveys of the philosophical and theological foundations of the beliefs and practices of the major world religions.
410. Philosophy of Science - Philosophical problems and issues concerning the methodologies of the natural sciences. Prerequisite: PHI 153 or permission of the instructor.
475. Independent Study: Philosophy - Individual instruction, conference and research for advanced students. Prerequisite: permission of the division director.
480. Philosophy in Media - An upper-level topics course focusing on the philosophical issues that arise within contemporary media. Topics may include: digital media and perceptions of reality, focusing on metaphysics and epistemology; digital rights management and the philosophical basis of copyright; and philosophical issues having to do with cyberspace. May be re-taken when the topic changes.
482. Ethics, Technology and Society - An upper-level course focusing on the ethical issues arising from the interplay between technology and society. Topics may include: perspectives on technological society; globalization, economics, and human rights; computers, robotics and information technology; biotechnology and genetic engineering; and population, energy and the environment.
490. Advanced Studies in Philosophy - A course in the advanced study of periods, movements and philosophers from classical times to the present, such as classical philosophy of Greece and Rome, Medieval philosophy, 17th century Rationalism, 18th century Empiricism, 19th century German Idealism and 20th century American Pragmatism.
COURSES IN LATIN (LAT)
131. Elementary Latin I (LATI 1311) - Introduction to the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of classical Latin, with attention to historical, cultural and literary background.
132. Elementary Latin II (LATI 1312) - Further development of Latin morphology, syntax and vocabulary; reading of selected texts. Prerequisite: LAT 131 or permission of the instructor.
231. Intermediate Latin I (LATI 2311) - Review and expansion of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax learned in LAT 131 and 132, with an increased emphasis on translating Latin passages. Prerequisites: LAT 131, 132 or permission of the instructor.
232. Intermediate Latin II (LATI 2312) - A continuation of LAT 231. Prerequisites: LAT 131, 132 and 231 or permission of instructor.
495. Independent Study: Latin - Reading and discussion of excerpts from the works of a classical author of the instructor's choice; if the work chosen is poetry, scansion of Latin verse. Prerequisites: LAT 131, 132, 231 and 232 or permission of instructor.