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Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophical Studies


No 200-level philosophy classes count toward this major.

Four courses (20 credits) are required:

·      Introduction to Formal Logic (PHIL 301-every Fall)

·      History of Ancient Western Philosophy (PHIL 320-every Fall)

·      History of Modern Western Philosophy (PHIL 321-every Winter)

·      History of Contemporary Western Philosophy (PHIL 322-every Spring)

Other classes (10 credits) in philosophy electives at the 300- or 400 level.

Courses in one of three areas of emphasis (30 credits):

  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Art and Literature
  • Philosophy and History

Senior capstone course requirement

Stream #1: Political Philosophy
This stream concentrates on political philosophy and related topics. Political philosophy examines the nature of moral value, normativity and justice in practical and historical contexts. Political philosophers also evaluate classical and contemporary political institutions and suggest ways of improving the political life of our society. Students enrolled in this stream will study both the theory and practice of classical and contemporary politics.

Stream #2: Philosophy of Art and Literature
This stream concentrates on aesthetics, the philosophical study of art. Broadly construed this includes fine arts, performance arts and literature. Students enrolled in this stream will address questions like: What is art? What is beauty? How do we tell good art from bad art and can these judgments ever be objective? What is taste? What is the proper relationship between art and morality? Students of this subject will ground their inquiry in the study of particular art forms such as literature, film, theatre, music and painting.

Stream #3: Philosophy and History
This stream investigates epistemological issues regarding the nature of historical truth, how present context and the narrative urge shape our understanding of the past and the diverse philosophical influences that have produced schools of historiographical thought. Students in this concentration address the meaning of historical progress, the theoretical basis for "new histories" of social affairs, of women and other oppressed groups and philosophical explanations of both recurrence and change in history.

What will I study?

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

• Critically analyze, using logic and other tools, the consistency and verifiability of their own beliefs and the beliefs of others, as well as engage in reasoned public deliberation challenging those beliefs;
• Understand the main doctrines and evaluate the arguments that underpin the ancient, modern, and contemporary periods of thought;
• Offer interpretations of the ideas of major philosophers, by showing how they relate to perennial philosophical themes such as: visions of the good life, reality versus appearance, the roles of reason and experience, freedom and morality, etc;
• Apply methods for philosophical problem solving by (a) relating theory to practice, (b) evaluating ideas in terms of both generic or universal humanity and perspectival pluralism, and (c) applying normative standards of truth, value and beauty;
• Apply philosophical writing styles in writing assignments and research projects that are aimed at extending philosophical inquiry through argumentation and/or comparative studies.

Interesting courses I might take:

  • ECON 415 History of Economic Thought
  • ENGL/WMST 389 Women, Literature and Social Change
  • HIST 305 Paths to the American Present
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