Philosophy (BA)


Philosophy has been central to higher education since the inception of the university in the Middle Ages and is the source of many of the other rational endeavors to know the world. It remains the cornerstone of Catholic education. Philosophy promotes clear thinking and teaches students to think analytically, to write and speak clearly and persuasively, to evaluate evidence, to construct and present sound arguments for their viewpoints and to recognize flaws in opposing arguments—skills essential to success in any profession or career.

Philosophy helps to create responsible citizens. It allows students to see through cultural and intellectual fads, protects them from the often empty posturing of politicians, defends them from the slippery claims of advertisers and salespeople, insulates them from the often unfounded assertions of media pundits and commentators and shields them from foolish opinions and everyday nonsense. Philosophy contributes to our becoming more fully human. It broadens the range of things that students can understand and enjoy, enhances their expressive powers, contributes to their self-knowledge, foresight and sense of direction in life, nurtures individuality and self-esteem and brings them into contact with the most important and fundamental human questions about reality, knowledge, morality and all other aspects of the human experience.

The Department of Philosophy embodies the University's commitment to its students. We do this by creating an academic environment that encourages students to approach fundamental questions with an attitude of open and disciplined reflection, which evokes a love for the intellectual life and promotes a deeper appreciation of our civilization, which has been influenced by philosophy at all levels. Students who fulfill the degree requirements will earn a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy.

Students may also be interested in learning about the Philosophy minor.

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    Degree Requirements - Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy (120 credits)

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, the requirements for the program major and complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

    Requirements for the Philosophy Major (30 credits)

    PHL 1000 is a prerequisite for all other Philosophy courses except for the logic courses PHL 1400 , PHL 1500, and PHL 2500 which may be taken without prior coursework in Philosophy. Students planning to do graduate study in Philosophy are strongly urged to take more courses than the required 30 hours. The Philosophy faculty will work with students to select additional courses that will help prepare them for graduate work in the discipline.

    Both of the following (6 credits):

    • PHL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 2010 Foundations of Ethics (3 credits)

    One of the following courses in logic (3 credits):

    Three of the following courses in the history of philosophy (9 credits):

    • PHL 3060 Ancient Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 3070 Medieval Philosophy (3 credits) OR PHL 3040 Aquinas: First University Masterpieces (3 credits)
    • PHL 3080 Early Modern Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 4400 Contemporary Philosophy (3 credits) OR PHL 4091 Existentialism (3 credits) 

    One of the following courses in the major areas of philosophy (3 credits):

    • PHL 4060 Metaphysics (3 credits)
    • PHL 4070 Epistemology (3 credits)
    • PHL 3410 Philosophy of the Human Person (3 credits)

    Plus three elective courses in philosophy (9 credits):

    • Select three PHL courses (9 credits)
    Note: ETH 3580 Health Care Ethics may count as three of the nine credits.  POL 3800 Elements of Political Thought (3 credits) may be substituted for PHL 3010 Social and Political Philosophy (3 credits).

Martin Leever, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Philosophy
Briggs Building, Room 312
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-993-1135
Fax: 313-993-1166