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Philosophy

The Philosophy concentration offers courses covering subjects from the philosophy of religion to the philosophies of science and literature. It also provides survey courses on various periods in the history of philosophy. Concentrators can expect to strengthen their knowledge of and skills in ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, logic, epistemology and metaphysics. Students are asked to identify an area of specialization. There is also a related, but separate concentration in physics and philosophy. 

Standard Concentration 

10 courses total, of which no more than one may be below PHIL 0350, and at least three must be at or above PHIL 0990.

A. Five Area Requirements:
One course in Ancient Philosophy, e.g.1
Ancient Philosophy
Aristotle
Plato
Myth and the Origins of Science
One course in Early Modern Philosophy, e.g. 1
Early Modern Philosophy
Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Others
17th Century Continental Rationalism
Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
One course in Epistemology or Metaphysics, e.g.1
Metaphysics
Epistemology
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
One course in Ethics or Political Philosophy, e.g.1
Moral Philosophy
Political Philosophy
Ethical Themes in the Contemporary American Short Story
Ethics in the Novel
The Nature of Morality
Moral Theories
One course in Logic, e.g.1
Logic
Mathematical Logic
Advanced Deductive Logic
B. Five further courses, chosen to include an item under each of the following three headings: 5
1) One seminar: a course from the PHIL 0990 series or a seminar at the 2000-level
2) Either a Specialization: Three related courses from one single area of philosophy: e.g., logic and language; philosophy of science; epistemology; philosophy of mind; moral philosophy; political philosophy; ancient philosophy, etc. See Notes below for further details.
Or: a broader selection of courses chosen with the approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)
3) Capstone: One of the following four options
a. Reading Course (PHIL 1990): a reading course for one semester involving one professor and one student, leading to the preparation of a substantial resarch paper on a particular topic. The Reading Course may accompany a 1000-level course being taken concurrently. In this case, the 1000-level course would provide a general overview of the topic and the reading course would consist of a deeper foray into the topic. A one-semester Reading Course may also be a first step towards writing an Honors Thesis.
b. Senior Seminar (PHIL 0990 or 0991): Seminars aimed primarily at advanced undergraduates, on varying topics each year, requiring the completion of substantial research and writing.
c. Graduate Seminar (PHIL 2000-level): seminars mainly aimed at graduate students, but also open to advanced undergraduates, requiring the completion of substantial research and writing. (A 0990- or 2000-level seminar taken as a Capstone also fulfills requirement (B, 1) for a seminar).
d. Honors Thesis: a piece of work expected to be more substantial than the above-mentioned research papers, typically researched and written over the course of the entire senior year (with enrollment in PHIL 1995 Senior Thesis for two semesters) under the supervision of a thesis advisor (possibly, though not necessarily, the specialization advisor). See also Honors Requirements below.
Total Credits10

Notes:

  • Up to two courses from departments other than the Philosophy department may be included among the ten courses required for the Concentration; no more than one of these two outside courses may count toward the three specialization requirements.
  • One course, but not more, may fulfill both an Area Requirement and a Specialization requirement.
  • The specialization and the courses that will fulfill it are standardly declared at some point in the course of the Junior year. Those making a Concentration Declaration at an earlier time (e.g. at the end of their Sophomore year) may make a provisional choice of courses which can be revised at a later date with the approval of the department's DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies). 

Honors Requirements:

  • Philosophy GPA must be greater than 3.5.  (This refers to the GPA at the beginning of the senior year in all philosophy courses, and including at least six courses, five of which were taken for a letter grade).
  • Thesis: for further details, see "Senior Year Options" and "Thesis" on the Departmental website.