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Morris Campus

Philosophy Minor

Division of Humanities - Adm
Division of Humanities
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2015
  • Required credits in this minor: 24
  • This program requires summer terms.
The philosophy program provides an environment in which students receive rich, well-rounded instruction in philosophy, essential to a liberal arts education. Objectives--UMM's philosophy curriculum offers coursework in all major subfields of philosophy: the history of philosophy, metaphysics and logic, epistemology, and values. As a field of study, philosophy is at the core of a liberal arts education, as its skills encourage independent thought and interdisciplinary, integrated inquiry. Specifically, UMM's philosophy program offers students the opportunity to: * explore philosophy's fundamental questions and proposed answers; * cultivate their own philosophical powers, which include creativity, sensitivity, intellectual courage, open-mindedness and critical-mindedness, logical rigor, and analytical precision; * join the great conversation by contributing their own considered insights; * hone their ability to speak and write effectively.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
No grades below C- are allowed. Courses may not be taken S-N, unless offered S-N only. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the minor to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of "F" are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.
Required Courses
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PHIL 2101 - Introduction to Symbolic Logic [M/SR] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2111 - Introductory Ethics [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 1101 - Introduction to Philosophy [HUM] (4.0 cr)
or PHIL 1801 - THINK: An Introduction to Philosophy [IC] (4.0 cr)
Core Courses
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PHIL 3101 - Metaphysics [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3121 - Political Philosophy [SS] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3141 - The Theory of Knowledge [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3151 - History of Ancient Philosophy [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3171 - History of Modern Philosophy [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4111 - Ethical Theory [HUM] (4.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PHIL 2112 - Professional Ethics [E/CR] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2113 - International and Biomedical Ethics [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2114 - Environmental Ethics [ENVT] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2121 - Philosophy of Religion [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2141 - Analytic Feminism [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2151 - Philosophy of Mind [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2161 - Philosophy and Film [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2162 - Ethics of Love and Sex [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3112 - Free Will [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3131 - Philosophy of Law [SS] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3162 - The Scottish Enlightenment: Markets, Minds, and Morals [IP] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4000 - History of Philosophy Seminar [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4002 - Existentialism [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4100 - Moral Issues and Theories [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4121 - Philosophy of Language [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4130 - Contemporary Issues in Philosophy [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 4131 - Personal Identity, Proper Names, and Essences [HUM] (4.0 cr)
 
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PHIL 2101 - Introduction to Symbolic Logic (M/SR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
An introduction to formal or deductive logic, including basic concepts of logical argumentation; Aristotelian logic; and symbolic translations, truth tables, and theory of deduction. Samples from political speeches, philosophical essays as well as original LSAT questions are analyzed.
PHIL 2111 - Introductory Ethics (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
An introduction to philosophical accounts of what makes right acts right and wrong acts wrong, issues involving the concept of goodness, and arguments or debates about moral responsibility.
PHIL 1101 - Introduction to Philosophy (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01767 - Phil 1101/Phil 1801
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
An introduction to fundamental philosophical problems in areas such as metaphysics (what exists?), epistemology (what can we know? and how can we know it?), and ethics (what actions are moral and immoral? and what is the good life?), with an emphasis on developing the reading, writing, and analytical skills required for philosophical investigation.
PHIL 1801 - THINK: An Introduction to Philosophy (IC)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01767 - Phil 1101/Phil 1801
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
How should we live our lives? What happens after death? What is the relationship between the mind and body? Does God exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? Examine classical works in philosophy that address these big questions about human nature and its place in the universe. Authors include: Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Descartes, and Hume. Work on the development of philosophical writing, reading, and speaking skills. prereq: new college student in their first semester of enrollment at UMM
PHIL 3101 - Metaphysics (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Explores fundamental metaphysical issues such as the nature of reality, the notion of personal identity, the relationship between language, thought, minds, and the world. Philosophical works of both classic and contemporary philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Quine, Putnam, and Kripke are discussed. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 3121 - Political Philosophy (SS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Explores fundamental issues in political philosophy (e.g., political authority; distributive justice; nature, origin, and justification of the state; natural and civil rights) by, among other things, an examination of the works of philosophers such as Plato, Hobbes, Mill, and Rawls. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 3141 - The Theory of Knowledge (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Explores historical and contemporary views on the limits, justification, and nature of human knowledge. Topics include experiential versus a priori knowledge, the nature of belief, skepticism, and different theories of justification. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 3151 - History of Ancient Philosophy (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Explores the views of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics. Possible topics include ancient views on the nature and possibility of knowledge, the relationship of the soul to the body, and what the good life is for a human being. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 3171 - History of Modern Philosophy (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Explores views of philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Possible topics include the relationship of the mind to the body, and whether and how it is possible to have knowledge of the external world. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 4111 - Ethical Theory (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
This course in metaethics focuses on the nature of moral obligation. Topics include: Can moral obligations change with the passage of time? Are genuine moral dilemmas possible? Does "ought" imply "can"? Is moral obligation overriding? Is there a genuine distinction between "subjective" and "objective" moral obligation? prereq: 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 2112 - Professional Ethics (E/CR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
A critical examination of moral issues that arise in a person's professional life. Possible topics include affirmative action, autonomy in the workplace, ethical issues in advertising, corporate responsibility, coercive wage offers, distributive justice, and sexual harassment. Issues concerning race, gender, and women are included in selected modules.
PHIL 2113 - International and Biomedical Ethics (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
A general survey of topics in international and biomedical ethics. Topics may include: nuclear deterrence, humanitarian intervention, just war theory, famine relief, global justice, abortion, euthanasia, doctor-patient relationships, clinical trials, animal experimentation, and genetic engineering.
PHIL 2114 - Environmental Ethics (ENVT)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Survey of fundamental theoretical debates in environmental ethics. General moral approaches are canvassed, as are the major positions in environmental ethics: anthropocentrism, sentientism, biocentric individualism, holism. Specific topics include: speciesism, the environmentalism-animal liberation debate, and the predation problem.
PHIL 2121 - Philosophy of Religion (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
A selection of main philosophical issues concerning religion such as the notion of a divinity, the attempts to prove or refute the existence of a divine being, the relationship between faith and reason, the link between religion and morality, the knowledge of a divinity.
PHIL 2141 - Analytic Feminism (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Applies an analytical approach to issues discussed in feminist writings. A mixture of lecture and discussion. Requirements include essay exams, papers, attendance, service-learning projects with related reflective journals, and class participation.
PHIL 2151 - Philosophy of Mind (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
An introduction to several problems in the philosophy of mind, such as the mind/body problem, consciousness, and psychological explanation.
PHIL 2161 - Philosophy and Film (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Addresses some traditional aesthetic questions about the status of film as well as examining film to be a form of philosophy. Also, the role of film as social commentary is discussed.
PHIL 2162 - Ethics of Love and Sex (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Survey of fundamental theoretical debates about the ethics of love and sex. Topics include: competing accounts of erotic love, the moral status of various sexual and romantic orientations, pornography, consensual incest, prostitution and sex tourism, BDSM/kink, and mediated sex (sex tapes, underage sexting, and tell-all memoirs).
PHIL 3112 - Free Will (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explores ancient and contemporary debates surrounding the nature of free will, its plausibility given prevailing theories of physics and mind, and its value. Possible topics include the relevance of free will to autonomy, moral responsibility, and living meaningfully. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 3131 - Philosophy of Law (SS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Critical examination of theoretical and practical normative issues in the philosophy of law, especially questions regarding the justification of punishment.
PHIL 3162 - The Scottish Enlightenment: Markets, Minds, and Morals (IP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01560 - Hist 3152/Phil 3152
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Same as Hist 3162. Study of the philosophy and history of the Scottish Enlightenment. Focus on its original setting through analysis and discussion of primary texts and scholarly interpretations, guest lectures, and small-group discussions with recognized experts in the study of the Scottish Enlightenment. Includes visits to historically significant cities and sites. prereq: dept consent
PHIL 4000 - History of Philosophy Seminar (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Intensive investigation of a particular philosophical problem, area, or work of a philosopher. Topics vary. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 4002 - Existentialism (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Examination of some prominent thinkers often classified as "existentialists": Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus. Topics include what human freedom is, what makes a life authentic (or inauthentic), what role passion and choice should play in acquiring our beliefs and values, and what difference (if any) God's existence or non-existence makes on the significance of our lives. prereq: any 1xxx or 2xxx or instr consent
PHIL 4100 - Moral Issues and Theories (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Intensive investigation of a particular problem, area, issue, or theory in moral philosophy. Possible topics include moral responsibility, autonomy, weakness of will, and self-deception. Topics vary. prereq: 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 4121 - Philosophy of Language (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Traditional and contemporary discussions of philosophical problems such as the nature of language, its relationships to the world, to human thought, and to truth; the nature of logical reasoning; metalogical problems. Readings from philosophers such as Frege, Russell, Quine, Putnam, Goodman, Wittgenstein, and Kripke. prereq: 2101 or instr consent
PHIL 4130 - Contemporary Issues in Philosophy (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Exposure to, and critical examination of, philosophical issues of special contemporary interest. Topics may include the nature of analytic philosophy and its relationship to other philosophical traditions such as continental or feminist philosophy, the debate on realism and anti-realism, the notion of objectivity. prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent
PHIL 4131 - Personal Identity, Proper Names, and Essences (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
A seminar primarily devoted to the discussion of readings, i.e., Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke and Reasons and Persons by Darek Parfit. Questions such as: How do proper names function? Are there essential features of persons or objects? What makes each of us the same particular individual over time? prereq: 1101 or 2101 or 2111 or instr consent