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Philosophy B.A.

Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2015
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 32 to 38
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
This program familiarizes students with the broad range of foundational theories that arose in the history of philosophy and helps students develop problem-solving skills using critical thinking. Beginning courses provide a comprehensive introduction to the methods and procedures of analytical reasoning by examining issues concerning logic, the nature of knowledge and reality, the existence of freedom, and the character of right and wrong. Advanced courses focus on special historical periods (e.g., Greek philosophy, early modern philosophy) and specific problem areas (e.g., philosophy of psychology, medical ethics, philosophy of language). Principles that emerge from the study of philosophy concern basic theories and concepts, and the nature of reasoning as it applies to all areas of investigation within the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. As a result, studying philosophy enhances all majors and minors. Honors Requirements: Candidates must be philosophy majors with a 3.30 GPA in the major. Students complete PHIL 5991 and write a substantial paper or significantly rewrite a paper submitted for another philosophy course. Students must notify the department head of their intent to participate in the honors program by the end of the first week of the semester of graduation and the paper must be approved by a faculty member at least 30 days before the end of the term. The paper is presented orally in a department colloquium with the approved manuscript submitted to the department head at least one week before presentation. Contact the department head for more information.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. A second field of study (either a minor or another major). 2. Majors with sub-plans must be declared through the CLA Advising & Academic Services office. 3. PHIL 3900 - Colloquium for Majors. Students attend 12 department approved philosophy lectures/discussions over a 4-year period and register for PHIL 3900 only during the semester they attend their 12th lecture; contact the department for details.
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans. (Note for the Twin Cities and Morris campuses: The honors sub-plan does not meet this requirement. Honors students are required to complete one sub-plan plus the honors sub-plan. Please see an adviser if no honors sub-plan is listed for the program.)
General
The General sub-plan emphasizes the history of philosophical thought and metaphysics and theory of knowledge.
Core (12 cr)
PHIL 1001 - Introduction to Philosophy [LE CAT7, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
PHIL 1018 - Logic [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (4.0 cr)
PHIL 3900 - Colloquium for Majors (1.0 cr)
PHIL 4900 - Seminar in Philosophy (4.0 cr)
History of Philosophy Electives (8 cr)
Students are required to take 3301 OR 3303, and at least one additional course from the list below. It is recommended that students take both 3301 and 3303, and either 3319 or 3320.
Take one of the following courses:
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy (4.0 cr)
Take one additional Hist of Phil course:
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 3319 - 19th Century Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 3320 - 20th Century Philosophy (4.0 cr)
Electives (8 cr)
Alternative courses taken within the History of Philosophy Electives may apply here. (Three different philosophy elective courses may satisfy this requirement, but at least two of the courses must be at the PHIL 2xxx level or above.)
Take 3 or more course(s) from the following:
· PHIL 1xxx
· PHIL 2xxx
· PHIL 3xxx
· PHIL 4xxx
· PHIL 5997 - Intern Teaching Assistantship (2.0 cr)
· FORS 2025 - HIST 2025 History in Greece (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
The advanced writing requirement may be satisfied with one additional PHIL 3xxx-4xxx course. Take one of the following:
WRIT 31xx or PHIL 3xxx-4xxx
Applied Ethics
This emphasis familiarizes students with major ethical theories and their applications in a number of fields and work situations. Beginning courses provide a framework for ethical thinking and decision making from a variety of theoretical orientations, along with introductory applications to social problems. Advanced courses apply this thinking to complex issues generated within specific fields such as medicine, technology, and the environment. Principles that emerge from the study of applied ethics can complement a variety of majors and minors, as well as enhance students' moral education and theoretical literacy for handling ethical problems that may emerge in a variety of careers and leadership roles in law, politics, and service organizations.
Students choose upper division electives from other disciplines to shape the major to their specific interests and postbaccalaureate plans.
Lower Division Core (10 cr)
PHIL 1001 - Introduction to Philosophy [LE CAT7, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
PHIL 1003 - Ethics and Society [LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, HUMANITIES, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
PHIL 1008 - Critical Thinking [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 1018 - Logic [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (4.0 cr)
Upper Division Core (13 cr)
PHIL 3281 - Ethical Theory (4.0 cr)
PHIL 3900 - Colloquium for Majors (1.0 cr)
PHIL 4900 - Seminar in Philosophy (4.0 cr)
PHIL 3291 - Current Social Political Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or POL 3600 - Political Concepts (4.0 cr)
History of Philosophy Elective (4 cr)
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy (4.0 cr)
Upper Division Application Areas (7 cr)
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· PHIL 3025 - Philosophy of Race and Racism (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3222 - Medical Ethics (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3231 - Law and Punishment (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3242 - Values and Technology [LE CAT8, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 3325 - Environmental Ethics [HUMANITIES, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
· FORS 2025 - HIST 2025 History in Greece (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
The advanced writing requirement may be satisfied with one additional PHIL 3xxx-4xxx course. Take one of the following:
WRIT 31xx or PHIL 3xxx-4xxx
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD.
PHIL 1001 - Introduction to Philosophy (LE CAT7, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01432 - Phil 1001/1101
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V5V
Introduction to philosophical heritage through examination of several classic philosophical problems such as the existence of God, nature of knowledge, free will versus determinism, and the relation of mind to body.
PHIL 1018 - Logic (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01433 - Phil 1018/1118
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Introduction to symbolic logic. Nature of language, species of arguments, informal versus formal arguments, techniques of translation, methods of sentential logic, and methods of predicate logic.
PHIL 3900 - Colloquium for Majors
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Lectures and discussion groups on variety of philosophical topics; required reading; places and topics to be announced. prereq: Phil major/minor, department consent ; attendance at 12 dept-approved lectures/discussions over 4-yr period; regis only during semester of 10th lect
PHIL 4900 - Seminar in Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Detailed examination of major topics or philosophical works. See department for details. prereq: 12 cr Phil or instructor consent; no grad credit
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Greek philosophy from the pre-Socratic era through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Neoplatonism and the rediscovery of Aristotle. Philosophy of nature, theories of persons, possibility of human knowledge, happiness, and the good life. prereq: 30 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Impact of science and secularity on the rationalism of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and the empiricism of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. prereq: 30 cr, course in phil, hist, pol sci or lit or instructor consent
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Greek philosophy from the pre-Socratic era through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Neoplatonism and the rediscovery of Aristotle. Philosophy of nature, theories of persons, possibility of human knowledge, happiness, and the good life. prereq: 30 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Impact of science and secularity on the rationalism of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and the empiricism of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. prereq: 30 cr, course in phil, hist, pol sci or lit or instructor consent
PHIL 3319 - 19th Century Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Survey of the main issues and philosophers of the 19th century. prereq: Min 30 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3320 - 20th Century Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Survey of the main issues and philosophers of the 20th century. prereq: Min 30 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 5997 - Intern Teaching Assistantship
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V5V
Practical experience in assisting teaching of philosophy. Application deadline one week before beginning of registration for the following semester. prereq: instructor consent
FORS 2025 - HIST 2025 History in Greece
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02240 - FORS 2025/HIST 2025
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 5E
Taught on site in Greece. Examine the history of ancient Greece and how the image of Greece affected Western Europe through the Renaissance and Enlightenment. prereq: Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.
PHIL 1001 - Introduction to Philosophy (LE CAT7, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01432 - Phil 1001/1101
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V5V
Introduction to philosophical heritage through examination of several classic philosophical problems such as the existence of God, nature of knowledge, free will versus determinism, and the relation of mind to body.
PHIL 1003 - Ethics and Society (LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, HUMANITIES, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Classic theories addressing questions of whether morality is subjective or objective, cultural relativism versus universal rules, how right and wrong should be determined. Moral issues such as euthanasia, the environment, population and birth control, nuclear deterrence, alternative life styles, and capital punishment in their international dimension. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for CLA 1101
PHIL 1008 - Critical Thinking (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Patterns of reasoning encountered in everyday life, including advertising, editorials, and politics. Use of language in formulating arguments; differences between deductive and inductive arguments; how to detect and avoid mistakes in reasoning.
PHIL 1018 - Logic (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01433 - Phil 1018/1118
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Introduction to symbolic logic. Nature of language, species of arguments, informal versus formal arguments, techniques of translation, methods of sentential logic, and methods of predicate logic.
PHIL 3281 - Ethical Theory
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9E
Characteristics and criteria of value statements; justification of moral standards; some 20th-century ethical theories. prereq: 1001 or 1003 or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for CLA 1101
PHIL 3900 - Colloquium for Majors
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Lectures and discussion groups on variety of philosophical topics; required reading; places and topics to be announced. prereq: Phil major/minor, department consent ; attendance at 12 dept-approved lectures/discussions over 4-yr period; regis only during semester of 10th lect
PHIL 4900 - Seminar in Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Detailed examination of major topics or philosophical works. See department for details. prereq: 12 cr Phil or instructor consent; no grad credit
PHIL 3291 - Current Social Political Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Detailed philosophical analysis of recent writings about social and political concepts such as freedom, democracy, socialism, communism, fascism, and anarchy. prereq: 1001 or 1003 or instructor consent
POL 3600 - Political Concepts
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Fundamental political themes and concepts in political theory, including but not limited to justice, liberty, equality, power, democracy, political obligation, and community. Perspectives of diverse political philosophies and cultures may be addressed. prereq: 45 credits or instructor consent
PHIL 3301 - Greek Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V
Greek philosophy from the pre-Socratic era through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Neoplatonism and the rediscovery of Aristotle. Philosophy of nature, theories of persons, possibility of human knowledge, happiness, and the good life. prereq: 30 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3303 - The Birth of Modern Philosophy
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Impact of science and secularity on the rationalism of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and the empiricism of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. prereq: 30 cr, course in phil, hist, pol sci or lit or instructor consent
PHIL 3025 - Philosophy of Race and Racism
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 3T
This course will examine the origins, current causes, and consequences of racism but only after addressing these more fundamental questions: Is race a biological phenomenon? What is it if it is not biological? Is race nothing at all? Given the real facts about race, how should we approach questions about racism? It will examine various metaphysical positions that have been offered to explain race - realist, constructivist, relativist, and nihilist - and the moral/political ramifications of each of these types of theories. prereq: minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
PHIL 3222 - Medical Ethics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 3T
Values underlying the health care professions and ethical dilemmas in medical contexts. Patients' rights and autonomy, medical paternalism, confidentiality, truth-telling, euthanasia.
PHIL 3231 - Law and Punishment
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 3V
Nature of law, natural law theory, and legal positivism and their relationship to traditional and contemporary theories of punishment; deterrence, reform, retribution, rehabilitation, social defense, restitution. prereq: 1001 or SOC 1301 or CRIM 1301
PHIL 3242 - Values and Technology (LE CAT8, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Problems related to science and technology. Application of moral theory to issues raised by technology, such as distribution of power, effects on environment, labor and social life, privacy, intellectual property rights, product liability, and professional codes of ethics. prereq: 60 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3325 - Environmental Ethics (HUMANITIES, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Moral dimension of relationship between humans and earth's natural environment. Pollution, energy policy, economics, law, and environment; endangered species; rights of nonhumans; preservation and conservation; obligations toward future generations; ethical theory and environment. prereq: 30 cr or instructor consent
FORS 2025 - HIST 2025 History in Greece
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02240 - FORS 2025/HIST 2025
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 5E
Taught on site in Greece. Examine the history of ancient Greece and how the image of Greece affected Western Europe through the Renaissance and Enlightenment. prereq: Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.