Frequently Asked Questions
1. Must the courses required for the philosophy major be taken in any specific order?
There is no necessary order for the courses in the major. Nonetheless, a good sequence would be: 1. Introductory course; 2. Logic course (103 or 201); 3. History of Western Philosophy courses (205 and 207); 4. Ethics course (213 or 228); 5. 300-level courses; with elective(s) chosen as the student prefers along the way.
2. When are the courses required for the philosophy major offered?
Introductory courses and sections of PHIL 103 (Logic) are offered every semester, as is a 300-level seminar. PHIL 205 (Greek Philosophy) is offered every fall. PHIL 207 (Development of Modern Philosophy) and PHIL 213 (Ethics) are offered every spring. PHIL 201 (Symbolic Logic) and PHIL 228 (Contemporary Ethical Theory) are offered on an occasional basis, as frequently as the department is able to do so.
3. Do 400-level courses (Capstone Courses) count toward the 300-level ("seminar") requirement for the major?
No, Capstone Courses are a college-wide requirement, are often interdisciplinary, and do not count for the 300-level or "seminar" requirement for the philosophy major.
4. What is the difference between a Senior Thesis and an Honors Thesis? What is the procedure for doing a thesis?
PHIL 323 (Senior Thesis) is often, though not always, a one-semester course, pursuing a topic of mutual interest to the student and the thesis advisor. PHIL 321 and 322 (Honors Thesis) is a year-long course, also pursuing a topic of mutual interest to the student and the thesis advisor, but it has requirements set outside of the department by the Honors Council (including GPA, proposal, deadline, and oral defense requirements). In either case, the student works closely with the thesis advisor, with whom the student has secured agreement to work on the project by the end of the semester before the course will be taken.
Interested students should consult the departmental document "Guidelines for Honors in Philosophy" (available from the department secretary or from members of the department).