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University Catalog

PHILOSOPHY

College of Arts and Letters

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The subject of philosophy encompasses such fundamental issues as the scope and limits of human knowledge, the ultimate constituents of reality, the sources of value and obligation, and the nature of logic and correct reasoning. Philosophy utilizes the findings of many other academic disciplines and, in its method, stresses clear, rigorous, impartial and systematic thought. The application of philosophical ideas to practical problems is central to the subject.

Sacramento State offers the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in philosophy as well as a philosophy minor. Philosophy is an excellent vehicle for refining one's skills in critical reasoning and rational decision-making, making it a useful major for a wide variety of career goals. For instance, philosophy is good preparation for the study and practice of law. Philosophy majors who plan a career in teaching at the college or university level must commit themselves to a program of graduate study upon completion of the BA.

Concentrations

  • BA: General Major / Ethics, Politics, and Law / Logic and Philosophy of Science / Honors

Special Features

  • The Philosophy Department professors are active scholars who have presented many written papers and lectures at professional conferences.  They are also active in the community, giving public lectures both on and off campus.  Many participate in our Future Philosophers program by giving presentations to local high schools.

  • The Philosophy Department houses two centers dedicated to fostering research and public understanding of philosophy:

The Center for Practical and Professional Ethics
The Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences

  • Flexible major and minor requirements allow students to choose concentrations and a range of electives to fit their specific interests and career objectives. The minor is an excellent complement to a variety of majors. It is also possible to complete the minor in such a way that almost all classes satisfy GE requirements.

  • Students are encouraged to take part in the Philosophy Club. Its regular meetings are designed to promote group discussions about topics of philosophical interest. Club speakers have included students, philosophy faculty, professors from other departments on campus, and professors from other universities.

  • The Philosophy Department offers a Philosophy Major Honors Program for qualified students. This program provides motivated students with an opportunity to expand their philosophy education, develop their writing, pursue philosophical research, prepare for graduate studies or law school, or enhance their career preparations. Students interested in pursuing graduate study in Philosophy are especially encouraged to participate in this program.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts

Units required for the Major: 40-53
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

Students should choose from one of the three concentrations below:

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree - General Major Concentration

Units required for the Major: 40

This general concentration forms an excellent basis for a broad liberal arts education and has been the chosen mode of preparation for successful careers in such diverse areas as university teaching, government, education, medicine, consulting, publishing, business, and finance.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (3-6 units)

(3)

PHIL 60

Deductive Logic I OR

 

PHIL 61

Inductive Logic

(3) One of the following may be counted toward the major requirements:

 

PHIL 2

Ethics

 

PHIL 4

Critical Thinking

 

PHIL 6

Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, World and Self

 

PHIL 26

History of Philosophy

B. Required Upper Division Courses (13 units)

(3)

PHIL 127

History of Ancient Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 128

History of Modern Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 180

Knowledge and Understanding (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(3)

PHIL 181

Metaphysics (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(1)

PHIL 189

Senior Seminar (12 upper-division units in Philosophy)

C. Additional Required Upper Division Courses (3 units)

(3)

PHIL 112

History of Ethics (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X) OR

 

PHIL 152

Ethical Theory

D. Core Electives (9 units)

(9)

Select three Philosophy courses from courses numbered 150 or above. Courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor.

E. Further Electives (9-12 units)

(9-12)

Additional courses to a total minimum of 34 upper division units.

Note: Philosophy majors must fulfill the GE Writing Intensive "supervenient requirement" with courses in the major, only.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree - Ethics, Politics, and Law Concentration

Units required for the Major: 40-43

The concentration in Ethics, Politics, and Law is designed as a preparation for the study of law as well as for advanced professional study in applied ethics. It is also intended to give undergraduates a foundation in rational decision-making, embodying the conviction that such an intellectual capacity has broad application.

The concentration gives students an understanding of the theories behind moral and legal principles as well as training in the process of decision-making applying those principles. Students will be called upon to make decisions in particular cases; state the facts impartially; convey their decisions and their reasoning cogently and persuasively; and justify their decisions by showing how they are both a reasonable consequence of those principles and not overturned by overriding conflicting principles. There will be a particular emphasis on clear and effective writing.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (3-6 units)

(3)

PHIL 60

Deductive Logic I OR

 

PHIL 61

Inductive Logic

(3) One of the following may be counted toward the major requirements:

 

PHIL 2

Ethics

 

PHIL 4

Critical Thinking

 

PHIL 6

Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, World and Self

 

PHIL 26

History of Philosophy

B. Required Upper Division Courses (13 units)

(3)

PHIL 127

History of Ancient Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 128

History of Modern Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 180

Knowledge and Understanding (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(3)

PHIL 181

Metaphysics (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(1)

PHIL 189

Senior Seminar (12 upper-division units in Philosophy)

C. Additional Required Upper Division Courses (3 units)

(3) Select one of the following:

 

PHIL 153

Philosophy of Mind (3 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

 

PHIL 154

Philosophy of Language

 

PHIL 160

Deductive Logic II (CSC 28, PHIL 60, or instructor permission)

PHIL 176

20th Century Anglo-American Philosophy

D. Ethics (18 units)

(12) Theory - take all of the following:

 

PHIL 112

History of Ethics (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)

 

PHIL 122

Political Philosophy

 

PHIL 152

Ethical Theory

 

PHIL 155

Philosophy of Law

(6) Practice - select two of the following:

 

PHIL 100

Ethics and Personal Values

 

PHIL 101

Ethics and Social Issues (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)

 

PHIL 102

Professional and Public Service Ethics

 

PHIL 103

Business and Computer Ethics

 

PHIL 104

Bioethics

E. Seminar (3 units)

(3) Select one of the following:

PHIL 190 series course OR

 

PHIL 192 course

 

Note: Philosophy majors must fulfill the GE Writing Intensive "supervenient requirement" with courses in the major, only.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree - Logic and Philosophy of Science Concentration

Units required for the major: 40

The concentration in Logic and Philosophy of Science is designed for students who are interested in the general nature of scientific inquiry and/or philosophical problems that arise within specific fields like psychology, biology, and physics. It is a good choice for the science-oriented philosophy major and will help to prepare those who are interested in studying logic and philosophy of science at the graduate level. This concentration also provides an excellent double major opportunity for science students interested in broadening and deepening their grasp of their chosen field.

The concentration gives students an understanding of logical theory and how logic applies to scientific and philosophical reasoning. It will also provide an understanding of issues in the philosophy of science. These include the nature of scientific explanation, the nature of scientific evidence, and the process of confirming and revising scientific theories. Philosophy of science also explores traditional philosophical questions as they arise in the context of scientific inquiry. Some of these are: Do we really know that the theoretical entities of science exist? What is the difference between science and pseudo-science? Do different sciences give us fundamentally different ways of understanding the world? Is science converging on truth or will it always undergo revolutionary changes that reject widely accepted theories of the past? Does scientific inquiry have intrinsic value or are there questions that scientists should not ask?

A. Lower Division Courses (3-6 units)

(3)

PHIL 60

Deductive Logic I OR

 

PHIL 61

Inductive Logic

(3) One of the following may be counted toward the major requirements:

 

PHIL 2

Ethics

 

PHIL 4

Critical Thinking

 

PHIL 6

Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, World and Self

 

PHIL 26

History of Philosophy

B. Required Upper Division Courses (13 units)

(3)

PHIL 127

History of Ancient Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 128

History of Modern Philosophy (3 units in Philosophy)

(3)

PHIL 180

Knowledge and Understanding (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(3)

PHIL 181

Metaphysics (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

(1)

PHIL 189

Senior Seminar (12 upper-division units in Philosophy)

C. Additional Required Upper Division Courses (6 units)

(3)

PHIL 112

History of Ethics (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X) OR

 

PHIL 152

Ethical Theory

(3)

PHIL 154

Philosophy of Language OR

PHIL 176

20th Century Anglo-American Philosophy

D. Logic and Philosophy of Science (15 units)

(6) Logic - take whichever was not used under Section A above:

 

PHIL 60

Deductive Logic I OR

 

PHIL 61

Inductive Logic

 

PHIL 160

Deductive Logic II (CSC 28, PHIL 60 or instructor permission)

(9) Philosophy of Science:

 

PHIL 125

Philosophy of Science

 

PHIL 153

Philosophy of Mind (3 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

 

PHIL 192D/HRS 205

Space and Time (6 units in philosophy or instructor permission)

E. Further Upper Division Electives (0-3 units)

Any courses listed above that are not taken to satisfy the above requirements; other upper division philosophy courses; courses in other departments (with consent of Department Chair or program coordinator).

Note: Philosophy majors must fulfill the GE Writing Intensive "supervenient requirement" with courses in the major, only.

Requirements - Honors Concentration

Total units required in addition to the required major units: 50-53 units

The Honors Concentration is to be combined with one of the other concentrations: the General Major, the Concentration in Ethics, Politics, and Law, or the Concentration in Logic and Philosophy of Science. Upon admission into the Honors program, students must produce a course plan approved by the Department Honors Committee.

F. Upper Division Courses (9 Units)

(9) Select one of the following

PHIL 190 series course OR

 

PHIL 192 course

 

(6) Select six additional upper division units in Philosophy

G. Honors Thesis (1 unit)

(1)

PHIL 197

Honors Thesis (Admission into Philosophy Department Honors Concentration)

Requirements - Minor

Total units required for Minor: 18
Specific course requirements are:

A. Lower Division Courses (9 Units)

Select these courses:

(3)

PHIL 6

Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, World and Self

(3)

PHIL 26

History of Philosophy

(3) Select one of the following two courses:

 

PHIL 60

Deductive Logic I

 

PHIL 61

Inductive Logic

B. Upper Division Courses (9 Units)

Select upper division courses in Philosophy to complete 18 units. These can include Philosophy courses taken for GE.

Note: Students who minor in Philosophy are free to plan a sequence of courses suited to their individual needs and interests. However, for a given major, the Department offers certain courses that have particular relevance. Contact Department advisors for course recommendations.

Career Possibilities

Law · Medicine · Public Health · Government· · Politics · Ministry · Publishing · Social Work · Education · Journalism · Business

Faculty

Christina Bellon, Russell DiSilvestro, Bradley Dowden, Gale Justin, G. Randolph Mayes, Matthew McCormick, Thomas Pyne, Kyle Swan

Contact Information

Christina Bellon, Department Chair
Kim Dinnen, Administrative Support Coordinator
Mendocino Hall 3000
(916) 278-6424
www.csus.edu/phil



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