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Arts and Sciences Learning Objectives


Students completing a major in Philosophy will be expected to have learned:

  1. How to think abstractly and concretely not only about matters that preoccupy philosophers but also about fundamental issues in other disciplines and practices.

  2. How to produce a cogent argument and how to express it with maximum perspicuity, both in writing and orally.

  3. How to identify the substance and structure of an argument and evaluate it for soundness and validity.

  4. The fundamental concepts of modern formal logic, including sentence logic, quantification theory, identity, and metatheory, and how to apply formal methods to reasoning in philosophy and other disciplines, when appropriate.

  5. How to anticipate and even welcome objections to one's views, how to apply the principle of charity to others' opinions, and how to address objections and competing views effectively and respectfully in one's writing.

  6. What problems have perennially preoccupied philosophers and the main historical and contemporary approaches to these problems in the core fields of

    a. Value Theory (including ethics, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics)
    b. Metaphysics and Epistemology (including philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science)

  7. How to read, analyze, and articulate arguments and viewpoints in primary philosophical texts, both historical and contemporary.

  8. How to develop and defend one's own position with respect to problems that have occupied both historical and contemporary philosophers.

  9. How to conduct a discriminating literature review on a philosophical topic; familiarity with available resources and how to navigate them.

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