Philosophy Concentration

Our Philosophy Department works together with the Department of Classics and the Department of Religious Studies to form the Humanities Degree Program. We offer a concentration in philosophy within an undergraduate Humanities major. This concentration is equivalent to a traditional philosophy major. Students may also minor in Philosophy.



We offer a wide variety of courses, those listed in the catalogue as well as alternative and new courses. We teach introductions to ancient and modern philosophy (separate courses), and middle-level courses on current trends in philosophy, philosophy of sex, philosophy of art, ethics, comparative (eastern and western) philosophy, logic and interpretation, philosophy of science, philosophy of feminism, philosophy of sexual orientation and gender, and American philosophy. Our most advanced courses include upper-level ancient and modern philosophy courses, metaphysics (the most basic nature of reality), theory of knowledge, political philosophy, existentialism, philosophy of history and culture, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of logic. Alternative courses include advanced directed readings agreed on by teacher and student(s), courses suggested by students, and courses which focus on slowly reading one or two great philosophical books.

We require, for a major, eleven courses (thirty-three hours): six of these are prescribed courses, the other five are the student’s choice. The combination that each student gradually settles on is recorded and kept track of on a “contract” sheet maintained by the student and her/his advisor. The six prescribed courses include three interdisciplinary core courses, which are team-taught with one or both of the other Humanities departments. The last of these is our capstone course, where we try to pull together the skills and insights developed in our program. The other three prescribed courses are an introductory Philosophy course, Classics course, and Religious Studies course. There is more detailed information on the Humanities Major page.

We also offer a minor in Philosophy. This requires fifteen hours, and does not include the team-taught courses.