2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Philosophy, BA

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Director of Undergraduate Studies
541 Hall of Languages


Martin Abreu Zavaleta, Luvell Anderson, Kenneth Baynes, William “Ben” Bradley, Janice Dowell, Kevan Edwards, Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson, Samuel Gorovitz, Mark Heller, Josh Hunt, Karin Nisenbaum, Christopher Noble, Hille Paakkunainen, Kara Richardson, Michael Rieppel, Erica Shumener, David Sobel, Robert Van Gulick, Elise Woodard


Using reason and argument, philosophers seek to answer the most fundamental of questions: What am I? What can I know? What must I do? Because the study of philosophy so effectively sharpens and extends the mind, many students find it to be the ideal companion to other courses of study.

The philosophy curriculum has two principal divisions. The first division consists of studies that are central to philosophy proper. There are four core areas: ethics, logic, metaphysics and the theory of knowledge, and the history of philosophy. The second division includes courses devoted to the philosophical examination of other areas of inquiry and culture, such as mathematics, the natural and social sciences, language, politics and the law, the arts, history, education, and religion.

Students particularly interested in political philosophy should see the program description under that heading here .

Students particularly interested in logic should see the description of the logic concentration, included under “Interdisciplinary Minors” in this section of the catalog.

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain core philosophical concepts and theories and their historical development

2. Critically evaluate philosophical theories and arguments

3. Write clearly and concisely, and organize their writing effectively

4. Conduct independent research on a philosophical topic by finding, assessing, and employing relevant literature

Major Requirements

Students seeking a BA in philosophy are required to complete at least 30 credit hours in philosophy, at least 24 credits of which are numbered 300 or above. In order for a course to count towards a student’s major program, the student must receive a grade of C or better in the course. Each student must fulfill the following requirements:


*Other appropriate courses as approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies


*Other appropriate course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies


*Other appropriate course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies

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