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Department of Philosophy

BA with a Major in Philosophy Minor in Philosophy


1421 University Hall (UH)
(312) 996–3022
http://www.uic.edu/depts/phil
Administration: Chair, Anthony Laden
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Constance Meinwald, meinwald@uic.edu

 


Philosophy (from the Greek “love of wisdom”) originated as the search for understanding concerning the most basic features of reality, the natural world, and human life. The discipline prizes and develops the skill of engaging effectively with arguments on a tremendous range of subjects. In ancient times, philosophers pioneered the study of topics from the physical cosmos to the gods to human conduct. They debated not only the character of fundamental reality but also questions of how we can attain knowledge of it. To this day, philosophy engages with questions drawn from every part of our life and experience. For example: Is there such a thing as a purely objective observation? Am I identical with my brain? Is it ever permissible to break the law? Why is there evil in the world? Is death to be feared, and why? 

Job candidates and applicants to professional schools can only be helped by being able to examine both sides of a question, think critically, write cogently, and solve very general abstract problems. Moreover, the powers of reflection, imagination, self-expression, and engagement with the ideas of others that philosophy cultivates are in themselves of fundamental value for human life.

BA with a Major in Philosophy

Degree Requirements—Major in Philosophy

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete University, college, and department degree requirements. The Department of Philosophy degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies.

BA with a Major in Philosophy Degree Requirements
Hours
Major Requirements
33
General Education and Electives to reach Minimum Total Hours
87
Minimum Total Hours—BA with a Major in Philosophy
120

 

General Education

See General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for information on meeting these requirements.

Major Requirements

Of the 33 semester hours required for the major, students must complete at least 12 semester hours at the 400-level. Courses must be distributed across several broad areas as follows:

Courses
Hours
PHIL 102—Introductory Logica
3
PHIL 210—Symbolic Logic
3
PHIL 300—Fundamentals of Philosophical Discourseb
3
   
History of Philosophy: Three courses, each of which must come from a different group:
9
   
Group 1    
PHIL 220—Ancient Philosophy I: Plato and His Predecessors (3)  
PHIL 221—Ancient Philosophy II: Aristotle and His Successors (3)  
PHIL 428—Topics in Ancient Philosophy (3)  
   
Group 2  
PHIL 422—Medeival Philosophy (3)  
   
Group 3  
PHIL 223—History of Modern Philosophy I: Descartes and His Successors (3)  
PHIL 423—Studies in Early Modern Philosophy (3)  
   
Group 4  
PHIL 224—History of Modern Philosophy II: Kant and His Predecessors (3)  
PHIL 424—Kant (3)  
   
Group 5  
PHIL 225—19th-Century Philosophy (3)  
PHIL 425—Studies in 19th-Century Philosophy (3)  
   
Two courses from the following list:
6
PHIL 201—Theory of Knowledge (3)  
PHIL 202—Philosophy of Psychology (3)  
PHIL 203—Metaphysics (3)  
PHIL 204—Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (3)  
PHIL 206—Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (3)  
PHIL 211—Inductive Logic and Decision Making (3)  
PHIL 226—Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (3)  
PHIL 227—Continental Philosophy I: Phenomenology and Existentialism (3)  
PHIL 240—Philosophy and Revelation: Jewish and Christian Perspectives (3)  
PHIL 241—Philosophy of Religion (3)  
PHIL 401—Theory of Knowledge (3)  
PHIL 402—Topics in Philosophy of Mind (3)  
PHIL 403—Metaphysics (3)  
PHIL 404—Philosophy of Science (3)  
PHIL 406—Philosophy of Language (3)  
PHIL 426—Analysis and Logical Empiricism (3)  
PHIL 427—Continental Philosophy II: European Thought since 1960 (3)  
PHIL 441—Topics in Philosophy of Religion (3)  
   
One course from the following list:
3
PHIL 230—Topics in Ethics and Political Philosophy (3)  
PHIL 232—Sex Roles: Moral and Political Issues (3)  
PHIL 234—Philosophy and Film (3)  
PHIL 430—Ethics (3)  
PHIL 431—Social/Political Philosophy (3)  
PHIL 432—Topics in Ethics (3)  
PHIL 433—Topics in Social/Political Philosophy (3)  
   
Two additional philosophy courses, at least one of which must be above the 100-level
6
Total Hours—Major Requirements
33

a PHIL 102 also fulfills the LAS quantitative reasoning requirement.
b PHIL 300 also fulfills the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement.

Distinction

Departmental Distinction. Students may declare themselves as candidates for Distinction after completion of 16 hours of philosophy course work. Distinction will be awarded to students who: (1) satisfy the requirements for the Major in Philosophy, (2) complete one 400-level course in addition to courses taken to satisfy requirements of the major, and (3) earn a GPA of 3.70/4.00 in all philosophy courses, including transferred courses.


High Departmental Distinction. In addition to satisfying the requirements for Departmental Distinction, students must satisfactorily complete PHIL 390—Senior Thesis (3 hours), which is offered every fall. To select this option, students must have the approval of both the director of undergraduate studies as well as the professor with whom the student will be writing the thesis. For additional information, please see the department’s guidelines posted at http://philosophy.las.uic.edu/philosophy/undergraduate-program/senior-thesis.

Recommended Plan of Study

To view a recommended plan of study for the major in Philosophy, please visit the LAS website http://www.las.uic.edu/students/prospective-undergraduate/degree-programs/four-year-model-plans.

Minor in Philosophy

Students from other disciplines who want to minor in Philosophy must complete 15 semester hours as outlined below:

Required Courses—Philosophy Minor
Hours
PHIL 102—Introductory Logica
3
   
Two courses from the following:
6
PHIL 220—Ancient Philosophy I: Plato and His Predecessors (3)  
PHIL 221—Ancient Philosophy II: Aristotle and His Successors (3)  
PHIL 223—History of Modern Philosophy I: Descartes and His Successors (3)  
PHIL 224—History of Modern Philosophy II: Kant and His Predecessors (3)  
PHIL 225—19th-Century Philosophy (3)    
   
Two additional philosophy courses, at least one of which must be at the 400-level, excluding independent study courses
6
Total Hours—Philosophy Minor
15

a PHIL 102 also fulfills the LAS Quantitative Reasoning requirement.