The Philosophy Major

What is philosophy? Philosophy is the attempt to answer certain persistent human questions. These questions fall into three traditional categories:
  1. Axiology: the theory of value. Characteristic questions: What is good or right? What is evil or wrong? What is a just society like? What is beautiful?
  2. Epistemology: the theory of knowledge. Characteristic questions: What is knowledge? What is truth? Can humans know anything? If so, how?
  3. Metaphysics: the theory of being. Characteristic questions: What is real? What basic kinds of things exist (e.g. physical objects, souls, God)? Are human actions determined by factors outside human control?

Why major in philosophy? By studying what the great philosophers have to say about questions such as those above, one can learn to think more deeply about every aspect of human life. Philosophy majors also learn to see the connections between very different fields of thought such as science, religion, and ethics. And philosophy majors develop very strong skills in writing, in argumentation, and in the communication of complex ideas. For some interesting information about the strong critical thinking skills correlated with the philosophy major, try out the following website: http://www.okstate.edu/artsci/philosophy/page2.html

What are the requirements for the philosophy major?  

  • Students in majors other than philosophy are encouraged to consider philosophy as a second major. Double-majoring is a good way to get the most out of your experience at the university. With the approval of the philosophy department, those who take philosophy as a second major may obtain a 5 credit reduction in the requirements for the major.To obtain a major, students must take 55 credits; 25 of which must be upper division. Courses listed below are 5-credit courses unless marked otherwise, e.g., [3] indicates a 3-credit course.
  • It is recommended that prospective majors take (a) an introductory course and (b) the logic sequence (PHI 1001 & PHI 2001) prior to taking other courses in the major.
Application for the Philosophy Major
Applicants for a major in philosophy must display a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0=A) in all college work applicable to the degree, or 3.0 in the 45 credits immediately preceding application to the major.
Application for the Philosophy Major (PDF Document)

Requirements for the Philosophy Major
(55 credits; 25 upper-division)

Introductory Course (choose one)  
PHI 1100 Faith & Philosophy 5
PHI 1002 History of Ethics 5
PHI 1004 Survey of Western Philosophy 5
History Courses  
PHI 3601 Ancient Philosophy 5
PHI 3602 Medieval Philosophy 3
PHI 3633 Early Modern Philosophy 5
Systematic Courses  
PHI 1001 The Power of Logic 5
PHI 2001 Advanced Logic 3
PHI 3651 Contemporary Ethical Theory 5
PHI 4652 Contemporary Metaphysics 5
PHI 4653 Contemporary Epistemology 3
Capstone  
PHI 4899 Senior Capstone in Philosophy 2
Electives (14 credits)  
PHI 2801/3801 C.S. Lewis and Values 3
PHI 2999 Aesthetics 3
PHI 3606 Continental Philosophy 3
PHI 3702 Social Ethics 3
PHI 3770 Topics in Political Philosophy 3
PHI 3900 Advanced Philosophy of Religion 5
PHI 4661 The Best of C.S. Lewis 3
PHI 4920 Directed Readings and Research 1-9
PHI 4930 Philosophy Practicum 1-2
PHI 4950 Special Topics in Philosophy 1-5

USCH 1113, HIS 3435, THEO 4401, and UCOR 3000 may be taken as elective courses.

 
Total 55

Students who choose philosophy as a first or second major must take at least one of PHI 1100 or PHI 3900. Students who choose philosophy as a second major must earn a total of 50 credits, 25 of which must be upper division. The distribution of the 50 credits among the various areas is similar to the above. However, the student may omit 5 credits from the history, systematic or elective courses with the approval of the philosophy faculty.

All students who complete the philosophy major must be proficient in a foreign language. Proficiency is established upon satisfactory completion of the third quarter of a first year college-level foreign language or its equivalent. For alternative ways of satisfying this requirement, see the general education section of the Catalog. Language proficiency is not satisfied as part of the community college direct transfer degree unless the transcript records the completion of foreign language coursework.

It is recommended that prospective majors take (a) an introductory course and (b) the logic sequence (PHI 1001 & PHI 2001) prior to taking other courses in the major.

Requirements for Philosophy Major
Description and Classes for Philosophy Major
Requirements for Philosophy Minor
Description and Classes for Philosophy Minor
Requirements for Philosophy Double Major
Description and Classes for Philosophy Double Major
Application for the Philosophy Major or Minor (PDF)
What Can You Do With a BA in Philosophy?
From general reflections to concrete possibilities.
Thinking About Graduate School in Philosophy?
Some thoughts to get you started...
Resources
Outside links for more information concerning Philosophy 
Faculty
Philosophy Faculty
Department of Philosophy
Homepage

 

   
Stephen Layman, Ph.D.
(206) 281-2220
clayman@spu.edu


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