Degree Program

Philosophy, Plato tells us, begins in wonder. In the same way, our introductory courses invite you to join in discussing deep philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge and reality, what makes an individual or a society good, and the significance of human life itself. You will learn how to interpret philosophical arguments and write papers that explore fundamental questions from different perspectives.

As you continue your studies, our program emphasizes the study of influential philosophical texts (classic, non-canonical, and non-Western) that will challenge and expand your cultural horizons. Our program also focuses on the acquisition of formal and informal reasoning skills, which you will put into practice in courses on ethical, social, and political issues such as health care, climate change, and artificial intelligence.

Finally, the last year of the program features seminars in which you can further sharpen your critical skills, engage in sustained conversations around more specialized topics, and pursue original avenues of research. If you choose our honors degree, you will have the opportunity to conduct independent research under the supervision of a professor on a subject of particular interest to you.

Over the four years of our BA, you will acquire reasoning and argumentative skills unmatched by any other discipline, as well as the ability to listen sensitively and work sympathetically with others who might disagree with you – vital skills to have in any workplace or group setting.

See the University Calendar for the general Faculty requirements for a major or minor as well as Philosophy specific requirements.

 

Breadth and Depth of Knowledge

● You will demonstrate an understanding of the nature and historical development of current philosophical theories, methods, and concepts, such as theories of ethics, aesthetics, logic, science, social justice, mind, metaphysics, and epistemology.

● You will be able to apply these theories, methods, and concepts to practical problems, such as those regarding science, politics, healthcare, artificial intelligence, animals, and the environment.

● You will recognize the value and limits of diverse philosophical methods, approaches, and traditions.

 

Proficiencies

Critical Reasoning: You will be able to analyze arguments presented in academic, popular, and social media, identifying key ideas, evaluating evidence, and formulating carefully reasoned responses. Using these skills, you will be able to reflect upon and critically assess your evidence and arguments for your own beliefs, values, and principles.

Communication: You will be able to synthesize and communicate complex ideas persuasively in oral and written communications, visual presentations, and other media to a variety of audiences, including colleagues, academics, and the general public.

Problem solving: You will be able to analyze problems from different perspectives, anticipate adverse effects of possible responses, and develop original and fruitful solutions.

Interpersonal skills: You will be open to new ideas, worldviews, opinions and values, and able to mediate between conflicting positions and offer respectful, constructive feedback in collaborative settings.

Research Integrity: You will employ discipline-appropriate methods in conducting inquiries, acknowledge and avoid potential sources of bias, and ensure fairness and impartiality in your assessments and conclusions.