May 27, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy website

Philosophy, Department of

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Department Chair

Emily S. Lee

Department Office/Website

Humanities 230


Matthew Calarco, Amy Coplan, John Davis, Joshua DiPaolo, Brady Heiner, Andrew Howat, Emily S. Lee, JeeLoo Liu, Ryan Nichols


Philosophy began when people first questioned the accounts poets and priests had handed down about the structure of the world and the meaning of human life. Since then, philosophers have helped create and explore virtually every aspect of our cultural life, including science, religion, art and politics. To study philosophy, therefore, is to engage in a classic form of liberal education in which reasoning and conceptual analysis are explicitly developed. The study of philosophy includes: (1) the development of critical thinking and writing skills; (2) the investigation of conceptual problems encountered in the course of reflecting about experience; (3) the assessment of assumptions underlying other sciences and arts; and (4) the exploration of political and ethical theory. Philosophy is not a “high unit” major. It is possible for many students to obtain the benefits of a philosophically based liberal education while also majoring in another discipline. The Philosophy Department also encourages minors, which can be tailored to the student’s individual interests or other fields of study. Majoring or minoring in philosophy is an excellent way of preparing for law school and other careers that involve facility in reasoning, analysis and information processing.

Degree Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy provides comprehensive learning experiences for the conceptual development of periods of historical philosophy, major currents of 20th century philosophical investigation and methodologies employed by philosophers. Specifically, the program provides opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and skills so that they will have the credentials for entering graduate programs in philosophy, in other disciplines, in law schools or for advancement in their chosen career paths. Students with philosophy training can present themselves as articulate reasoners with advanced critical thinking and logical analysis. They will also be exposed to issues of culture, ethnicity and gender, and will be able to cultivate a global perspective. Students shall have the ability to examine and critically assess normative standards governing social relations, practices and institutions, including a wide range of human activities dependent upon value judgments.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Transfer Credit

Work completed in philosophy at other institutions may be counted toward the major, subject to the rules of the university and the following departmental rules: (1) only seminars can fulfill the seminar requirement; (2) only upper-division work can fulfill upper-division requirements; (3) in no case can more than six units of lower-division work taken at another institution count toward the major requirement of 39 units. Six units of philosophy taken at another university may be counted toward the minor.

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsNon-Degree



      Courses are designated as PHIL in the class schedule.

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