Philosophy

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Faculty: Kara Barnette, Nicholas D. More, Michael A. Popich

Program Goals

  • To become effective analytical and critical thinkers, and to communicate such thinking orally and in writing.
  • To gain familiarity with philosophical and its central issues.
  • To think and write in the form and by the method proper to the discipline of Philosophy, i.e., rational argumentation in support of a significant thesis.
  • To pursue in depth one field of philosophy, either theoretical or applied.
  • To produce a substantial piece of original scholarship in Philosophy.
  • To become more reflective of the human condition, and the effect of globalization and diversity; to understand the relevance of philosophical thinking to one’s own life and public policies and practices.

Objectives

The Philosophy Program offers an academic major in philosophy leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as an academic minor. It provides students with the critical and philosophical thinking skills necessary to examine human systems of value, knowledge, and belief, and to make rational analyses of ideas fundamental to living thoughtfully in the world. Philosophy is an excellent choice of study for pre-law students, as preparation for graduate school in philosophy, as a minor or second major for liberal arts students preparing for graduate school, and for anyone who would benefit from a discipline of clear thinking, writing, and problem solving in the pursuit of wisdom.

Students majoring in Philosophy who plan to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in the field should plan for graduate school, with the assistance of the Philosophy faculty, no later than the second semester of their junior year. Students intending to pursue a degree in theology are advised to major in English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, or any broad liberal arts program. The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada recommends that students have a background in history, religions of non-western cultures, and a world language.

Students majoring or minoring in philosophy with a GPA of 3.5 overall and in philosophy coursework may be invited to become members of Phi Sigma Tau, the international undergraduate Philosophy Honor Society. Westminster College’s Utah chapter is the oldest in the state.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.3 GPA in courses required in the Philosophy major.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Philosophy major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Philosophy Major—Bachelor of Arts Degree

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Philosophy majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Lower Division Philosophy Courses 18
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking (4)
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years PHIL 102
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years PHIL 102
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics (3)
III. Upper Division Philosophy Courses 8
PHIL 390 Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)—offered fall only senior standing, consent of instructor
PHIL 490 Research Seminar in Philosophy (4)*—offered spring only PHIL 390; senior standing, consent of instructor
*PHIL 390 is required before PHIL 490 for Philosophy majors.
IV. Electives 14
Additional 14 credit hours of coursework in Philosophy
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 6
300-level coursework in History or another discipline as approved by the student’s advisor in Philosophy (6)
TOTAL HOURS FOR BACHELOR OF ARTS PHILOSOPHY MAJOR 54

Philosophy Major—Bachelor of Science Degree

For a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy, students must fulfill the same requirements as for the Bachelor of Arts degree, except that students are required to take eight credit hours of a laboratory science in lieu of the history requirement.

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Philosophy majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world
language.
II. Lower Division Philosophy Courses 18
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking (4)
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years PHIL 102
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years PHIL 102
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics (3)
III. Upper Division Philosophy Courses 8
PHIL 390 Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)—offered fall only senior standing, consent of instructor
PHIL 490 Research Seminar in Philosophy (4)*—offered spring only PHIL 390; senior standing, consent of instructor
*PHIL 390 is required before PHIL 490 for Philosophy majors.
IV. Electives 14
Additional coursework in Philosophy
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 8
Two semesters of a laboratory science (8)
TOTAL HOURS FOR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE PHILOSOPHY MAJOR 56

Recommended Plan of Study (B.A. or B.S.)

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year Language I
PHIL 100/100D
PHIL 102 (or in Spring)
Language II
PHIL 206/206D
Sophomore Year

PHIL 201 (or in Junior year)
PHIL elective (upper div.)
Science Lab course (BS)


PHIL 202 (or in Junior year)
PHIL elective (upper div.)

Junior Year

PHIL elective (upper div.)


(Or) PHIL elective (upper div.) Science Lab course (BS)

Senior Year

PHIL 390
PHIL elective (upper div.)


PHIL 490 Thesis II
(Or) PHIL elective (upper div.)

* It is recommended that students take 2 hours of PHIL 300 during May term for all four years.

Philosophy majors can take a combination of upper division courses in order to meet the catalog requirements for 14 (minimum) elective hours in Philosophy for a Bachelor’s degree. For example, in their sophomore and junior years they could take 2 or 3 courses as 300-level electives (offered in the Fall and Spring semesters) and then take several 2-credit May Term Philosophy 300 special topics courses.

Or, mutatis mutandis, the student could take several 300-level electives in their junior and senior years and several 2-credit Philosophy 300 special topics May Term courses over their sophomore, junior and senior years in order to reach the 14-hour (minimum) electives requirement in Philosophy.

Honors students who complete HON 201 and HON 202 can have two of the three lower-division philosophy major course requirements waived. To meet the lower-division requirement, Honors students may take any one WCore course offered by the department, including PHIL 124: Ethics and the Profit Motive; PHIL 207: Humor and Philosophy; PHIL 208: The Philosophy of Love and Sex; PHIL 209: Poverty and Global Justice; and PHIL 216: Ethical Issues in Health Care. Or students may take one of the following: PHIL 206D, PHIL 100D, PHIL 102.


Philosophy Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 18
PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking (4)
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics (3)
PHIL 390* Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)
Choose one of the following courses:
  • PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)—offered alternate years
  • PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)—offered alternate years
PHIL 102
PHIL 102
*Please see PHIL 390 course description regarding Philosophy minors.
II. Electives 6
Additional 6 credit hours of coursework in Philosophy
TOTAL HOURS FOR PHILOSOPHY MINOR 24

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