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Description of Program

The study of philosophy attempts to develop a student’s understanding of the presuppositions underlying the main areas of human inquiry, an awareness of the range of reasonable answers to the ultimate questions individuals ask themselves, and a habit of critical reflection concerning the student’s own convictions about belief and conduct. The major is designed to permit broad interdepartmental studies and interdisciplinary synthesis. It provides a desirable background for graduate study and work in human relations, law, literature, the social sciences and theology.

In addition to the possibilities that the study of philosophy itself offers, we have much to offer as a department. Our size affords us the luxury of really getting to know our students. We take seriously Drake’s commitment to collaborative learning between faculty and students. As faculty, we value time we spend with students beyond the classroom, engaging in conversation, mentoring students, and building community.

Requirements for Major

33 credit hours.

Required Courses (18 hrs)

  • Introductory (3 hrs):
    • PHIL 21 Introduction to Philosophy
  • Ethics (3 hrs):
    • PHIL 90 Ethics
  • Western Traditions (6 hrs):
    • PHIL 104 Ancient Philosophy
    • PHIL 106 Modern Philosophy
  • Non-Western Traditions (3 hrs; any one of the courses listed below)
    • PHIL 064 Introduction to Buddhism
    • PHIL 107 China: The Way of the Sage
    • PHIL 111 Eastern Philosophy
    • PHIL 115 Contemporary Japanese Philosophy
    • PHIL 121 Comparative Religions
    • PHIL 125 Philosophy of Religion
  • Senior Capstone (3 hrs):
    • PHIL 197 Senior Capstone

Elective Courses (15 hrs)

Students have two options for completing elective credits:

  • Concentrate. Students who choose this option will complete all 15 credit hours in one of the following three areas of study:
  • Area A. Mind, Language, and Knowledge. Courses include:
  • PHIL 110 Phenomenology and Existentialism
  • PHIL 112 Postmodernism
  • PHIL 114 Symbolic Logic
  • PHIL 120 Language and Interpretation
  • PHIL 126 Theory of Knowledge/Belief
  • PHIL 128 Language and Reality
  • PHIL 129 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 130 Minds, Brains, and Computers
  • PHIL 139 Moral Truth
  • PHIL 140 Neuroscience and the Law
  • Area B. Society, Politics, and Values. Courses include:
  • PHIL 091 Contemporary Ethical Problems
  • PHIL 110 Phenomenology and Existentialism
  • PHIL 115 Contemporary Japanese Philosophy
  • PHIL 117 Health Care Ethics
  • PHIL 118 Feminist Ethics
  • PHIL 122 Aesthetics
  • PHIL 124 Health and Social Justice
  • PHIL 137 Rights and Responsibilities
  • PHIL 140 Neuroscience and the Law
  • PHIL ### Environmental Justice
  • Area C. Comparative Philosophy. Courses include:
  • REL 062 Religions of India
  • PHIL 064 Introduction to Buddhism
  • PHIL 107 China: The Way of the Sage
  • PHIL 111 Eastern Philosophy
  • PHIL 115 Contemporary Japanese Philosophy
  • PHIL 121 Comparative Religion
  • PHIL 125 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 122 Aesthetics
  • Generalize. Students who choose this option will complete at least 3 credit hours in each of the three above areas of study.

Special Notes

  • A special topics course (PHIL 151) will count as an area course if it is designated as an area course the term it is being offered.
  • A non-department course will count towards the major only if a student submits a written application that explains how the course contributes to the student’s overall work in philosophy.
  • Individual requirement may be waived with departmental approval only if student has taken additional courses outside the major that substantially strengthen the student’s major and only if the courses waived do not weaken the student’s major experience. This should happen only in extraordinary circumstances.

Requirements for Minor

15 credit hours

Required Courses (6 hrs):

  • PHIL 90 Ethics OR PHIL 021 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 104 Ancient Philosophy OR PHIL 106 Modern Philosophy

Elective Courses (9 hrs):

  • At least two 100+ level courses
  • A student may take both PHIL 90 Ethics and PHIL 021 Introduction to Philosophy, in which case one of the courses will count as an elective credit.
  • Non-department courses will not count towards the minor.
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