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Undergraduate Catalog 2011

Philosophy

Faculty

View Faculty Details

Professors

Stephen E. Braude

Associate Professors

Jessica Pfeifer
Steven Yalowitz

Assistant Professors

Zena Hitz

Instructor

Roye S. Templeton
Richard L. Wilson

Courses in this program are listed under PHIL.

The philosophy major and minor emphasize critical analysis, problem-solving and the formulation and evaluation of arguments in oral and written contexts. Philosophy students learn to think logically and critically. The major also introduces students to a range of traditional philosophical issues and provides an opportunity to read carefully the works of some of the greatest thinkers in history.

Career and Academic Paths

The discipline provides a solid foundation for graduate study and work in professions requiring analytic, conceptual and expository skills. Philosophy majors tend to do very well in these areas and perform substantially better than average on graduate admissions tests. In recent years, graduates of the philosophy program have been admitted for graduate study in a variety of disciplines, including law, medicine and philosophy.

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Academic Advising

All students in the department are advised by full-time members of the philosophy faculty. Normally, the advising coordinator assists the student in the selection of a faculty advisor whose interests are similar to those of the student.

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Major Program

The philosophy major consists of at least 36 credits, including the following requirements:

One course in logic:

  • PHIL 346 Deductive Systems

One course in ethics from the following:

  • PHIL 350 Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 355 Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 356 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 358 Bioethics
  • PHIL 452 Advanced Topics in Ethics
  • PHIL 454 Animals and the Environment: Moral Theory and Its Application
  • PHIL 455 Applied Ethics

Two courses in the history of philosophy:

  • PHIL 321 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 322 History of Modern Philosophy

One course in metaphysics and epistemology from the following:

  • PHIL 371 Epistemology
  • PHIL 372 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 373 Metaphysics
  • PHIL 394 Philosophy of Biology
  • PHIL 395 Philosophy of Physics
  • PHIL 445 Philosophy of Language
  • PHIL 470 Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 472 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science

At least six credits at the 400 level and an additional six credits at the 300 or 400 level.

Prerequisites for all philosophy courses must be satisfied with no less than the grade of C. In fulfilling the major requirements in philosophy, students may submit no course in which they earn less than the grade of C.

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Minor Program

The philosophy minor consists of at least six courses, including the following requirements:

One course in logic from the following:

  • PHIL 248 Scientific Reasoning
  • PHIL 346 Deductive Systems

One course in ethics from the following:

  • PHIL 150 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 152 Introduction to Moral Theory
  • PHIL 350 Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 355 Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 356 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 358 Bioethics
  • PHIL 452 Advanced Topics in Ethics
  • PHIL 454 Animals and the Environment: Moral Theory and its Application

Two courses in the history of philosophy:

  • PHIL 321 History of Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 322 History of Modern Philosophy

Students may select two other courses from any area of philosophy. At least four of the six courses required for the minor must be 300- or 400-level classes. In fulfillment of the minor requirements in philosophy, students may submit no course in which they earn less than the grade of C.

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Honors Program

The honors program in philosophy allows philosophy majors to receive the B.A. in Philosophy with honors.

Eligibility Requirements: Students applying for admission to the Honors Program in Philosophy must apply no later than two weeks before the last day to add Independent Study courses for the first semester of their senior year. Applicants must have completed at least 45 credits of university course work and earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or above. Applicants must also have completed at least four 300 or 400 level courses in Philosophy with a grade point average in those courses of 3.5 or above. Transfer students must have completed at least two 400 level courses in Philosophy with a grade point average in those courses of 3.5 or above. Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements may petition the Honors Coordinator for admission to the Program.

Requirements of the Program: Candidates for graduation with honors must satisfy the following requirements.

  • They must have completed at least 36 credits (12 courses) in Philosophy with a grade of “B” or above.
  • They must have completed at least 18 credits (6 courses) in Philosophy at the 300 or 400 level, with a grade of “B” or above.
  • They must have completed the requirements for a major in Philosophy.
  • They must have an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and a grade point average in Philosophy of at least 3.5.
  • In his or her senior year, the candidate must complete PHIL 405 and PHIL 406 (“Honors Independent Study in Philosophy”), a two-semester sequence of courses devoted to the final project, normally an Honors paper. This two-semester course sequence of courses is to be taken starting in the first semester of the candidate’s senior year, and the Honors project must be completed at least six weeks before the end of classes in the second semester of the candidate’s senior year.
  • They must have fulfilled all university requirements for graduation and be a student in good standing.

The Honors Final Project: The final project, normally a paper, must be prepared in consultation with a faculty advisor and submitted for approval at least six weeks before the end of classes in the candidate’s graduating semester. After it is submitted, the paper will be read by two faculty members---the candidate’s Honors advisor and a reader. The candidate will then meet with the advisor and reader to discuss the paper. Upon their approval, the advisor and the reader will recommend to the Honors Coordinator no later than two weeks before the end of classes in the candidate’s graduating semester that the project be accepted for Honors.

The Honors Coordinator: The Department Chair shall act as Honors Coordinator. He or she shall recommend candidates to the Department faculty for admission to the Honors Program and shall assign an advisor and a reader to each Honors candidate.

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Special Opportunities

Independent studies at the 400 level, taught by faculty in their areas of expertise and research, are available to students with appropriate interests and preparation.

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Student Organizations

Philosophers Anonymous Council of Majors Philosophers Anonymous is the undergraduate philosophy society that is organized as a student club with the support of the Student Government Association and the Department of Philosophy. The group encourages membership from all those interested in philosophy and supports student receptions, lectures by philosophers from UMBC and other institutions, as well as student discussion groups and debates between and among students and members of the faculty on various topics of contemporary interest. Philosophers Anonymous acts as a council of majors and represents the interests of the students to the department.

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