Undergraduate Programs

Major in Philosophy

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Undergraduate Concentration Requirements

Major requirements for students entering Tufts before the Fall 2010 Semester.

Ten courses of which eight must be in the department, including:

  • Introduction to Philosophy (Phil 001)
  • Logic (Phil 033)
  • at least one of Metaphysics (Phil 120), Ethical Theory (Phil 121), or Epistemology (Phil 131)
  • one seminar (any course numbered 187,188, 191, 192, 197, or under appropriate circumstances, 195, 291, or 292)

A minimum of four of the eight required Philosophy courses (i.e., courses offered or cross-listed as "Philosophy" courses), including the seminar, must be taken on the Medford campus.

The remaining two courses must be approved related courses in a single field, normally in a single department, or additional philosophy courses may be substituted for one or both. Majors are also encouraged to take at least one course in the history of philosophy (in particular: 151, 152, 161, 163, 164, 185, 186, 187, or 188).

Undergraduate Concentration Requirements

Major requirements for students entering Tufts in or after the Fall 2010 Semester.

Ten courses, including:

  • PHIL 0001
  •  
  • At least one course in Logic:
    • PHIL 0033 Logic or
    • PHIL 0103 Logic or
    • PHIL 0114 Topics in Logic
    • PHIL 0170 Computation Theory
    • Or another 100-level logic course
     
  • At least one course numbered 100 or above in each of the following areas:
    1. History (ancient through early 20th-century, including phenomenology and early analytic philosophy). Courses that meet this requirement include:
      • PHIL 0150 Plato's Socrates
      • PHIL 0151 Ancient Philosophy
      • PHIL 0152 History of Modern Philosophy
      • PHIL 0155 Twentieth-Century American and British Philosophy
      • PHIL 0161 Empiricism
      • PHIL 0163 Rationalism
      • PHIL 0164 Kant
      • PHIL 0167 Science Before Newton's Principia
      • PHIL 0168 Newton's Principia
      • PHIL 0185 From Hegel to Nietzsche
      • PHIL 0186 Phenomenology and Existentialism
      • PHIL 0187 Seminars in the History of Philosophy
      • PHIL 0188 Seminars in the History of Philosophy
       
    2. Value Theory (including moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics)
      • PHIL 0121 Ethical Theory
      • PHIL 0123 Philosophy of Law
      • PHIL 0124 Bioethics
      • PHIL 0125 Racism and Social Inequality
      • PHIL 0128 Human Rights: History and Theory
      • PHIL 0130 Moral Psychology
      • PHIL 0140 Liberalism and Its Philosophical Critics
      • PHIL 0141 Global Justice
      • PHIL 0143 Philosophy and Public Policy
      • PHIL 0197 Seminar: Ethics, Law & Society
       
    3. Metaphysics and Epistemology (including philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science). Courses that meet this requirement include:
      • PHIL 0110 Biological Foundations of Language
      • PHIL 0111 Semantics
      • PHIL 0112 Syntactic Theory
      • PHIL 0113 Cognition of Society and Culture
      • PHIL 0116 Philosophy of Science
      • PHIL 0117 Philosophy of Mind
      • PHIL 0118 Philosophy of Biology
      • PHIL 0120 Metaphysics
      • PHIL 0131 Epistemology
      • PHIL 0133 Philosophy of Language
      • PHIL 0134 Philosophy of Social Science
       
  • One 100-level seminar (which can also count for any of the above requirements and which must be drawn from among Phil 187, 188, 191, 192, 197 or, under appropriate circumstances, 195, 291, or 292).

NOTE: In addition the department will be offering special courses for next term. Below are the special courses and how they count:

Special courses for Fall 2014:

History:
PHIL 0091-01 From Sinners to Sociopaths
PHIL 0091-02 Happiness and the Good Life
PHIL 0191-01 History of Analytic Philosophy

Metaphysics and Epistemology:
PHIL 0091-03 Reality and Subjectivity
PHIL 0191-01 History of Analytic Philosophy
PHIL 0191-02 Aesthetic Psychology

Value Theory:
PHIL 0091-01 From Sinners to Sociopaths
PHIL 0091-02 Happiness and the Good Life
PHIL 0191-02 Aesthetic Psychology
PHIL 0191-03 Objectivity in Ethics
PHIL 0191-04 Metaethics after Moore

View special courses from previous semesters >

Students planning to undertake graduate work in philosophy are urged also to (1) write a senior honors thesis in Philosophy and/or (2) petition to take PHIL 0297-01 Graduate Writing Seminar.

Students may count no more than five courses numbered below 100 for the major. At least seven courses constituting a Philosophy major must be offered or cross-listed by the Tufts Philosophy Department.

Students may double major in Philosophy and another field as long as they use no more than five courses to count for both majors. (Other majors may have more restrictive requirements; please consult their websites as well as the Tufts Bulletin for more information.) As a rule, the Arts and Sciences faculty urges students to design their programs with minimal course overlap between majors.

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Banner image: Marie-Guillermine Benoist, L'Innocence Entre la Vertu et le Vice, c.1791