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Curriculum

The Philosophy major is designed to provide students with a background in the history and problems of philosophy. Students in this major develop critical thinking, close reading, and analytical writing skills. A philosophy major prepares students for graduate study in philosophy and a wide variety of careers in such fields as education, law, business, and government.

Learning Outcomes

A philosophy graduate is expected to:

  1. Distinguish philosophical from non-philosophical forms of inquiry;
  2. Explain important debates in the history of philosophy;
  3. Critically evaluate arguments for philosophical positions.

Curriculum Requirements

At least 18 credits in the major must be at the 3000/4000 level.

General Education Requirements (30 credits)

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours as part of the General Education Program.

Philosophy Major Requirements (36 credits)

PHIL 1010 - Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

An introduction to the nature of philosophy, philosophical thinking, major intellectual movements in the history of philosophy, and specific problems in philosophy. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H.

PHIL 1400 - Introduction to Logic (3 credits) OR PHIL 2400 - Symbolic Logic (3 credits)

PHIL 1400 - Introduction to Logic (3 credits)

A study of the principles and evaluation of critical thinking including identification and analysis of fallacious, as well as valid reasoning. Traditional and symbolic logic will be considered and foundations will be laid for further study in each area. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

PHIL 2400 - Symbolic Logic (3 credits)

Rigorous analyses of the concepts of proof, consistency, equivalence, validity, implication, and truth as exemplified in propositional logic and predicate logic. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

PHIL 3510 - Ancient Philosophy (3 credits)

A study of the classic works of philosophy focusing on Plato and Aristotle, and might include discussion of various Pre-Socratic and Hellenistic philosophers. The emphasis throughout will be on understanding, analyzing, and evaluating arguments of the philosophers. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, 2010, or 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 3520 - Modern Philosophy (3 credits)

A study of the classic works of philosophy focusing on the rationalists, the empiricists, and Kant. The emphasis throughout will be on understanding, analyzing, and evaluating arguments of the philosophers. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, 2010, or 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 4100 - Metaphysics (3 credits) OR PHIL 4200 - Epistemology (3 credits)

PHIL 4100 - Metaphysics (3 credits)

This course will examine the nature of metaphysical inquiry in general and the specific arguments advanced by philosophers to resolve or clarify fundamental metaphysical problems. The course may include topics such as the nature of existence, the debate between realists and antirealists, the nature of truth, the relationship between conceivability, possibility, and actuality, the status of substances and properties, the persistence of entities through change, and the problem of free will. Prerequisite: one PHIL course and COMP 2000, 2010 or 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 4200 - Epistemology (3 credits)

This course will examine the nature of the philosophical study of human knowledge in general and the specific arguments advanced by philosophers to resolve or clarify fundamental epistemological problems. The course may include topics such as skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, the status of a priori knowledge, and theories of justification, memory, and perception. Prerequisite: one PHIL course and COMP 2000, 2010 or 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 4900 - Special Topics in Philosophy (3 credits)

A careful and critical study of one or more of the outstanding works in philosophy and/or an in-depth study of one philosophical issue. May be repeated once for credit if content changes and with written consent of department chair. Prerequisites: one PHIL course; and COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020. 

Select 18 credits from the following courses that are not used as required courses:

PHIL 1400 - Introduction to Logic (3 credits)

A study of the principles and evaluation of critical thinking including identification and analysis of fallacious, as well as valid reasoning. Traditional and symbolic logic will be considered and foundations will be laid for further study in each area. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

PHIL 2000 - Moral Issues (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of important ethical concepts, such as ethical theory, relativism, egoism, and virtue. Topical moral problems such as world hunger, abortion, and animal rights (among others) will be used as illustrative examples. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason and that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H.

PHIL 2400 - Symbolic Logic (3 credits)

Rigorous analyses of the concepts of proof, consistency, equivalence, validity, implication, and truth as exemplified in propositional logic and predicate logic. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

PHIL 3010 - Ethical Issues in Communication (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major ethical problems in communications, such as those encountered by media professionals; conflicts of interest, morally offensive content, media influences on anti-social behavior, confidential sources, privacy, truth and honesty in reporting, among others. Student will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3180 - Biomedical Ethics (3 credits) OR PHIL 3180H - Biomedical Ethics Honors (3 credits)

PHIL 3180 - Biomedical Ethics (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in biomedical ethics, such as abortion, euthanasia, allocation of resources, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, confidentiality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3180H - Biomedical Ethics Honors (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in biomedical ethics, such as abortion, euthanasia, allocation of resources, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, confidentiality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason, that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. Honors students only. 

PHIL 3200 - Ethics and Sport (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in sports, such as the nature of sportsmanship, drugs, violence, commercialization, and gender equality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3220 - Philosophy of Science (3 credits)

A study of the conceptual foundations of modern science. The course focuses on the philosophical analysis of scientific method and its basic concepts and assumptions. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, 2010, or 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 3360 - Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through the philosophical examination of major problems in environmental ethics, such as the relationship between human beings and living and non-living environments, controlling nature, and land use, assessing risk, responsibility to future generations, and the role of science, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 3660 - Philosophy of Law (3 credits)

A critical examination of basic analytic and normative questions pertaining to law. The course may include such topics as the nature of law, law and morality, legal responsibility, civil disobedience, and the justification of punishment. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3670 - Social and Political Philosophy (3 credits)

This course will examine significant philosophical contributions to an understanding of politics and society. Among the questions it will address are: What is the nature and basis of the state? Which form of government is best? How do we determine whether political institutions are just? What conceptions of human nature underlie various political philosophies? How are social goods and burdens justly divided? This course will draw from classical, modern, and contemporary sources in political philosophy. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, 2010, or 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 4100 - Metaphysics (3 credits)

This course will examine the nature of metaphysical inquiry in general and the specific arguments advanced by philosophers to resolve or clarify fundamental metaphysical problems. The course may include topics such as the nature of existence, the debate between realists and antirealists, the nature of truth, the relationship between conceivability, possibility, and actuality, the status of substances and properties, the persistence of entities through change, and the problem of free will. Prerequisite: one PHIL course and COMP 2000, 2010 or 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 4200 - Epistemology (3 credits)

This course will examine the nature of the philosophical study of human knowledge in general and the specific arguments advanced by philosophers to resolve or clarify fundamental epistemological problems. The course may include topics such as skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, the status of a priori knowledge, and theories of justification, memory, and perception. Prerequisite: one PHIL course and COMP 2000, 2010 or 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

No more than two of the following courses may be applied to the major:

PHIL 2000 - Moral Issues (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of important ethical concepts, such as ethical theory, relativism, egoism, and virtue. Topical moral problems such as world hunger, abortion, and animal rights (among others) will be used as illustrative examples. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason and that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H.

PHIL 3010 - Ethical Issues in Communication (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major ethical problems in communications, such as those encountered by media professionals; conflicts of interest, morally offensive content, media influences on anti-social behavior, confidential sources, privacy, truth and honesty in reporting, among others. Student will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3180 - Biomedical Ethics (3 credits) OR PHIL 3180H - Biomedical Ethics Honors (3 credits)

PHIL 3180 - Biomedical Ethics

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in biomedical ethics, such as abortion, euthanasia, allocation of resources, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, confidentiality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

PHIL 3180H - Biomedical Ethics Honors (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in biomedical ethics, such as abortion, euthanasia, allocation of resources, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, confidentiality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason, that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. Honors students only. 

PHIL 3200 - Ethics and Sport (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major problems in sports, such as the nature of sportsmanship, drugs, violence, commercialization, and gender equality, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

PHIL 3360 - Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through the philosophical examination of major problems in environmental ethics, such as the relationship between human beings and living and non-living environments, controlling nature, and land use, assessing risk, responsibility to future generations, and the role of science, among others. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason; that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, COMP 2010, or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires at least 24 credits of coursework from the following disciplines: ARTS, DANC, FILM, HIST, HUMN, LITR, MUSC, PHIL, and THEA, as well as an intermediate degree of competency in a foreign language (generally, a minimum of 6 credits or another demonstration of competency).

The academic program and curriculum requirements listed on this page are from the NSU Undergraduate Student Catalog. Students are bound by policies and curricula published in the catalog in effect the semester they enter the university, unless an agreement is made with appropriate NSU administration officials allowing them to abide by policies published in a later catalog.

View sample 4-Year Academic Plan

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