The curriculum for the Philosophy major at Bucknell has recently been revised, so requirements may differ depending on year of graduation.

Major Requirements for the Classes of 2013-16:

A minimum of eight courses, which must include the following:

  • Introductory course: PHIL 100, or 103 (Logic), or 201 (Symbolic Logic)
  • Logic requirement: PHIL 103 or 201 (if not elected as an introductory course)
  • Historical Period requirements: PHIL 205 (Greek Philosophy) and 207 (Development of Modern Philosophy)
  • Ethics requirement: PHIL 213 (Ethics) or 228 (Contemporary Ethical Theory)
  • Advanced coursework: two 300-level seminars or one 300-level seminar and either PHIL 323 (Senior Thesis) or PHIL 321 & 322 (Honors Thesis)
  • Elective: at least one additional course from the offerings in philosophy.

Major Requirements for the Class of 2017 and thereafter:

A minimum of nine courses, which must include the following:

  • Introductory course: any section of PHIL 100. Multiple sections of this course are offered every semester, under a variety of specific titles: e.g., 'Law, Morality, Society' (ethics, socio-political philosophy and philosophy of law), 'Consciousness' (philosophy of mind), 'Philosophy of Laughter' (the ethics, aesthetics, and socio-political implications of comedy), 'Life, Death, Freedom' (a comparative examination of ancient Greek, Indian and Chinese philosophical traditions), 'Gods, Humans, Animals' (philosophical anthropology and the ethical status of animals), and 'Belief and Reality' (theory of knowledge and metaphysics). PHIL 100 is a prerequisite for most 200- and 300-level PHIL courses.
  • Logic requirement: PHIL 103 (Logic) or PHIL 201 (Symbolic Logic).
  • Core Historical Period requirements: PHIL 205 (Greek Philosophy) and PHIL 207 (History of Modern Philosophy).
  • Axiology (Value Theory) requirement: PHIL 212 (Philosophy of Art), 213 (Ethics), 214 (Social and Political Philosophy), 215 (Philosophy of Music), 218 (Ecology, Nature and the Future), 228 (Contemporary Ethical Theory), 246 (Philosophy of Law), 265 (Controversies in Art) or 271 (Western Perspectives on Animals).
  • Metaphysics & Epistemology requirement: PHIL 204 (Scientific and Everyday Reasoning), 220 (Philosophy of Science), 223 (Philosophy of Religion), 224 (Theory of Knowledge), 225 (Metaphysics), 226 (Philosophy of Mind), 227 (Philosophy of Language), 268 (Topics in Metaphysics) or 272 (Philosophy of Biology).
  • Movements & Traditions requirement: PHIL 206 (Medieval Philosophy), 219 (Problem of False Consciousness), 222 (Analytic Philosophy), 230 (Feminist Philosophy), 233 (Philosophy of Peace and Non-Violence), 256 (From Hegel to Nietzsche), 258 (Existentialism), 260 (Phenomenology), 262 (Contemporary Continental Philosophy), 266 (Chinese Philosophy), 267 (Islamic Philosophy), 269 (Indian Philosophy) or 270 (Jewish Philosophy).
  • Senior seminars/Culminating Experience: Two 300-level seminars or one 300-level seminar plus PHIL 321 (Senior Thesis), or PHIL 322, or PHIL 323 (both are Honors Theses).

Both curricula aim at providing students with a balance of breadth and depth in the field, while allowing them a large degree of flexibility in choosing the specific courses that best fit their particular interests.

Minor Requirements

The minor in philosophy at Bucknell consists of a set of four courses, two of which must be at the 200-level or above. Many such combinations of courses are possible, and so students have the option to focus on a specific area of philosophy that is of particular interest to them.


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