Philosophy B.A.

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The coursework for the philosophy major (30 credit hours) is as follows.

1. A student may take up to two 1000-level courses to count toward the major.  Our 1000-level courses are

PHIL 1033 - The Meaning of Life

PHIL 1034 - Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

PHIL 1401 - Matters of Life and Death

PHIL 1636 - Principles of Reasoning

PHIL 1861 - Introduction to Philosophy

2. Students are required to take two courses in the history of philosophy: PHIL 2111 Ancient Philosophy; and either PHIL 2214 Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, PHIL 2215 Modern Philosophy, or PHIL 2216 Eighteenth-Century Philosophy.

3. Students are required to take at least two courses in the category - "Value Theory" - and two courses in the category "Metaphysics and Epistemology."

Value Theory

2402          Intro to Ethics

2415          Bioethics

2429          War, Terrorism, and Torture

3430          Philosophy of Human Rights

2432          Intro to Political Philosophy

2435          Philosophy of Law

2436          The Nature of Evil

3431          Aesthetics

3342          Multiculturalism and Toleration

3510          Neuroethics

3845          Buddhist Philosophy

3847          Philosophical Issues*

3849          Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy*

4152          Plato*

4153          Aristotle*

4375          Rawls’s Moral and Political Philosophy

4480          Analytic Ethics

4481          Issues in Philosophy of Law

4482          History of Ethics

4485          Political Philosophy

4798          Topics in Philosophy*

Metaphysics and Epistemology

2343          Philosophy East and West

2437          Intro to Metaphysics

2442          Knowledge and the Threat of Skepticism

2480          Language and Its Social Roles

2534          Philosophy of Religion

2538          Minds and Machines

2542          Minds and Brains

3002          Ancient Skepticism

3112           Medieval Philosophy 

3318          Twentieth-Century Philosophy

3604          Intro to Philosophy of Science

3633          Philosophy of History

3847          Philosophical Issues*

3849          Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy*

4050          Topics in Buddhist Philosophy

4152          Plato*

4153          Aristotle*

4258          Descartes

4260          Spinoza and Leibniz

4263          Berkeley and Hume

4266          Kant

4346          Frege and Russell

4373          Heidegger

4377          Wittgenstein

4379          Quine

4586          Topics in Metaphysics

4587          Epistemology

4588          Philosophy of Mind

4589          Philosophy of Language

4590          Foundations of Cognitive Science

4694          Philosophy of Science

4696          Philosophy of the Human Sciences

4798          Topics in Philosophy*

Note that courses marked with an asterisk can count in the “Value Theory” category or the “Metaphysics and Epistemology” category, depending on course content and as determined by instructor.

4. Students are required to take PHIL 2603 Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

5. Of the 10 total courses for the major, two must be at the 4000-level or above.  (Note that PHIL 4920: Research Practicum does not count toward the 30 hours required for the major; it is offered for students who are doing an honors thesis.)  The remainder of courses for the major can be satisfied with electives, anything at the 2000-level or above.

Note that the above list of requirements for the major is effective Fall 2015.  The previous list of requirements is available here --   A student who declared the major prior to Fall 2015 can use the previous list, or a student can opt to re-declare the philosophy under the updated requirements. 


Before Fall 2015:

The B.A. degree requires at least 27 semester hours of credit in courses numbered from 26:61 through 26:198 and must include 26:103 Introduction to Symbolic Logic, 26:111 Ancient Philosophy, and either 26:114 Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, 26:115 Early Modern Philosophy, or 26:116 Eighteenth-Century Philosophy.

The final 12 semester hours of philosophy courses used to complete the departmental requirement must be taken at The University of Iowa. The department may make exceptions for students who pursue approved study abroad during their senior year.