PHILOSOPHY by nuhman10

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									                       DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION

Part I.           Learning Goals for the Transformed Philosophy Major
Part II.          Transformed Programs in Philosophy and Religion: Essential Ideas and Specific
                  Program Proposals


                  Part I. Learning Goals for the Transformed Philosophy Major

This Part I sets forth a number of goals faculty in the Department of Philosophy and Religion
aim to achieve through the transformation of the philosophy major.

           1. To encourage students who major in philosophy as well as nonmajors to begin to look
              at the foundations of and theories embraced by outside disciplines through the eyes of
              a philosopher and, likewise, to begin to examine philosophy’s own foundations and
              assumptions through the eyes of the historian, economist or poet.

           Existing midlevel courses will be transformed and new courses added that will ask
           students to identify and investigate critically an array of basic metaphysical, social and
           ethical theories and assumptions embraced by outside disciplines, and to begin to notice
           the many genuinely philosophical issues that arise in the most unexpected places,
           including in science, history, social science, the arts and fine arts and the law. The
           transformation will have the added advantage of directing students steeped in philosophy
           toward outside disciplines, where they will find both ample and rich ground for the
           testing of their own deeply held philosophical theories and assumptions as well as
           genuine philosophical insight. The transformed courses will open philosophy up, and
           refer more explicitly, to outside disciplines than they consistently have in the past, and
           will include courses in the philosophy of law, philosophy of science, philosophy of fine
           art, philosophy of literature and film, and, among the possible new courses, philosophy of
           social science and philosophy of scientific methodology (focusing on induction and
           confirmation and probability theory).

           2. To help majors and nonmajors attain a more comprehensive, detailed and
              sophisticated understanding of the history of philosophy.

           To achieve this goal, the transformed major will require students to complete a more
           defined and steeply progressive path within the history of philosophy. The history of
           philosophy has always been the centerpiece of the philosophy major, serving to introduce
           students to each of the four dominant areas within philosophy – metaphysics,
           epistemology, logic and ethics – in historical context. The transformed major will require
           students to complete a mid- to upper-level sequence consisting of at least two courses in
           the history of philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics and ending in the 18th century.
           Because the history sequence is now situated midlevel, students thus will have completed
           one or more courses in philosophy before they begin the history sequence.

                   The advanced seminar (see part 6 below) will periodically focus on, and
           constitute an opportunity for students to gain a corresponding level of expertise
Transformed Programs in Philosophy and Religion


        regarding, a single philosophical figure or movement within philosophy. In addition, a
        new advising program and documents will insure that students understand the importance
        of taking specific courses outside the discipline of philosophy that will complement their
        work in history of philosophy.

               In addition, the Department plans to propose a new introductory level course that
        introduces students to the history of philosophy. This single enhanced course will cover
        important philosophers in both ancient and modern philosophy. It will be offered without
        prerequisites and will be appropriate for majors and nonmajors alike.

                Finally, history will receive more emphasis than it has in the past in other
        philosophy courses. Thus, for example, the introductory to logic unit will itself have a
        brief history unit, as will the advanced ethics courses.

        3. To help majors and nonmajors attain a more comprehensive understanding of
           contemporary, ongoing research in ethics and value theory and their importance and
           application to “real world” issues that arise in the public and professional context as
           well as in our own private lives, and to facilitate students’ critical investigation of the
           relation of obligation that links the individual to members of his or her own
           community (including the global community).

        The transformed major will emphasize students’ completion of a more defined and
        intensive sequence in ethics and value theory, including one mid- to upper-level course
        (chosen from a transformed group of midlevel courses that is expected to included
        courses in ethical theory, applied ethics, law and ethics, and aesthetics). Students in this
        course thus will have already taken at least one other course in philosophy. A number of
        courses in ethics will be retained at a slightly lower level for interested students. These
        include Contemporary Moral Issues, Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy and
        Biomedical Ethics.

                The Department recognizes that many students may want to take only a single
        course in philosophy – but one that will introduce them to the discipline of philosophy as
        a whole. In this connection, it is contemplated that the basic existing course in problems
        in philosophy, which now focuses on metaphysics, epistemology and logic, will be
        transformed to contain a more substantial unit on ethics.

        4. To help majors and nonmajors gain a more in-depth understanding of contemporary
           work in metaphysics and epistemology and, where appropriate, to see how that work,
           which is often inherently interdisciplinary, relates to work in disciplines other than
           philosophy, including, e.g., psychology and neurology.

        Majors will be required to take a course from one of two important groups of upper-level
        courses in the areas of metaphysics and epistemology. It is anticipated that the existing
        upper-level seminars in metaphysics and epistemology will be transformed and included
        in the new program. In addition, a number of other upper-level courses (for example,
        transformed Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Science) may be taken to satisfy the



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        new requirement. Prerequisites for these upper-level courses will be intensified.

        5. To restructure as necessary the logic offerings so that the lower-level sections move
           more consistently to a deeper and more comprehensive focus on formal systems and
           proofs.

        In addition to requiring majors to complete a lower level course in logic, the new
        advising program and documents will also strongly recommend that majors complete the
        transformed course in metalogic, a course that focuses on more sophisticated proof
        techniques, the soundness and completeness of the formal systems and an incompleteness
        theorem.

        6. To insure that upper level students have the opportunity to work in an advanced
           seminar setting with a faculty member in that faculty member’s own area of
           specialization.

        This transformation is designed to enhance students’ opportunity to do research at an
        advanced level with a particular faculty member in an area of common interest to both
        student and professor. Such a seminar would provide seniors with ample and rich
        opportunities to talk with each other, read each other’s work and present and receive
        comments on work-in-progress. The seminar would complement the senior capstone
        requirement, and will include a component that prepares students for the capstone.

        7. To revise the senior capstone requirement.

        The existing major requires all students to complete a senior thesis. The expectation in
        the transformed major will be that all students complete a substantial writing project their
        senior year, working independently under the close direction of a faculty member on a
        topic to which both agree. Students will present and discuss publicly their project toward
        the end of their final semester. Students will also be given the option of completing a
        more formal senior thesis, which will include, in addition to selecting an adviser,
        establishing a committee and defending the thesis orally. Honors students in philosophy
        would be required to complete the thesis.

        8. To emphasize discernible outcomes, for majors and nonmajors, in the areas of
           creativity, rigor and precision in disciplinary thinking, writing and speaking.

        The design of the philosophy major itself, as well as of each course taught, strives to
        imbue students with those ways of identifying, thinking about and analyzing problems
        and constructing and assessing theories and counterexamples that can be found within the
        best that philosophy has to offer. In particular, transformed courses will expressly ask
        students to demonstrate the ability to identify philosophical issues as problems or puzzles
        with respect to which there exist opposing solutions each of which requires investigation,
        understanding and assessment. In addition, transformed courses will emphasize the
        importance of the student’s making a genuine contribution to the discussion that is
        presented by the assigned and recommended materials for the course in addition to



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Transformed Programs in Philosophy and Religion


        simply demonstrating mastery of those materials. Third, transformed courses will
        expressly place new emphasis on the process by which a good piece of philosophy is
        finally produced, including, for example, the need for multiple drafts, with at least some
        of those drafts being submitted for comment prior to the presentation of the final paper.

                In support of these outcomes, as students advance through the curriculum from
        the midlevel to the upper and seminar levels, faculty will place more emphasis on a
        steeper rate of progressivity. Faculty will also continue to emphasize writing in the
        former of shorter and longer papers and essay exams. In addition, faculty will continue
        making it a practice to assign primary materials (books and articles), whenever possible
        as whole works rather than in excerpted form. Faculty will continue to emphasize class
        discussion, working with students in the classroom and beyond to focus on the need for
        clear communication.

        9. To emphasize clearly the role of the concentrations in philosophy for students with
           special interests.

        Existing concentrations in philosophy will be newly emphasized for students whose
        interests in philosophy are particularly focused in the areas of ethics or law.

        10. To retain a sufficient number of electives within the major.

        The Department wants its majors to have ample opportunity to explore areas within
        philosophy in which they have particular interest. In this ten-course major, the present
        design will include three electives, at least one at the upper level. The very few students
        who intend to apply to graduate school will be advised to take additional upper-level
        courses.




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    PART II. Transformed Programs in Philosophy and Religion: Essential Ideas and
                            Specific Program Proposals

        This Part II sets forth the essential ideas of and specific proposals regarding the
transformation of several programs currently associated with the Department of Philosophy and
Religion. Part A below itemizes the essential ideas of the transformed Philosophy Major. Part B
sets forth the specific requirements for the transformed Philosophy Major. Part C describes the
transformed Philosophy Major in more detail, focusing on the implementation of the
departmental goal of increased progressivity within the major. Part D addresses the
Concentrations in Philosophy and the Philosophy Minor. Part E focuses on the Religion Minor,
setting forth essential ideas, specific courses required for the Religion Minor and a more detailed
description of the Religion Minor that reflects the departmental goal of increased progressivity.
Part F addresses the Classical Studies Minor, the contemplated Interdisciplinary Religion Minor
and other interdisciplinary programs currently associated with the Department of Philosophy and
Religion.

A. Essential ideas for the transformed philosophy major.

The most important elements of the major include the following:

        ● 10-course major

        ● using prerequisites, a restructuring of the major into four distinct levels to insure
        increased progressivity within the major, particularly in the area of history of philosophy

        ● new attention to process toward the achievement of learning outcomes by introduction
        of an advanced seminar requirement, a portion of which will be devoted to preparation
        necessary to complete the senior capstone requirement

        ● new attention to lower level philosophy courses that connect to other disciplines,
        including a new course in philosophy of social science, which courses may satisfy some
        of the new liberal learning breadth requirements if enacted

        ● across the board writing requirements at the 200-, 300- and 400-level, which courses
        may satisfy the new liberal learning midlevel writing requirement if enacted

B. Courses required for the major (total of ten 4-credit courses)

                1. Introduction to Logic or Metalogic

                2., 3. Two history of philosophy courses at the 300-level (History of Ancient
                Philosophy and History of Modern Philosophy)

                4. One ethics course at the 300-level (Ethical Theories or Law and Ethics
                (formerly Equality, Ethics and the Law)i


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                5. One epistemology course at the 400-level (Theory of Knowledge or
                Philosophy of Science) or one metaphysics course at the 400-level (Metaphysics
                or Philosophy of Language (formerly Language and Reality) or Philosophy of
                Mind)

                6. Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (400-level) – this seminar in designated
                cases may be used to satisfy the 300- or 400-level ethics, epistemology or
                metaphysics requirement

                7. Senior Capstone (400-level) -- Senior Project or Senior Thesis

                8., 9., 10. Three electives, at least one of which must be at 300- or 400-level

C. Structure of program (including major requirements and other courses)

        [First Level -- stepping stones into the major]

                There are no prerequisites for the following courses:

                        Courses at this level required for the major:

                                 One logic course

                        Other courses:

                                 Basic Philosophical Issues, Contemporary Moral Issues

                                 First Year Seminars in variety of topicsii

        [Second Level – courses that assume basic introduction to philosophy; except for
        Metalogic, each will be designed to satisfy the proposed liberal learning midlevel writing
        requirement]

                Prerequisites: except for Metalogic, one course in philosophy or sophomore
                standing or permission.

                        Courses at this level required for the major:

                                 None.

                        Other courses:

                                 Philosophy of Religion; Philosophical Issues in Science;
                                 Philosophy of Social Scienceiii; Philosophy of Law; Political
                                 Philosophy; Biomedical Ethics; Metalogic (additional prerequisite:



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                                 Introduction to Logic or Principles or Foundations of Mathematics
                                 or permission of the instructor); Chinese Philosophy; American
                                 Philosophy; Existentialism; Aestheticsiv

        [Third Level – courses that assume solid preparation in philosophy]

                Prerequisites: one course in philosophy. Two courses strongly recommended.

                        Courses at this level required for the major:

                                 History of Ancient Philosophy; History of Modern Philosophy;
                                 Ethical Theories or Law and Ethics (formerly, Equality, Ethics and
                                 the Law)

                        Other courses:

                        20th Century Philosophy, Philosophy and Literaturev

        [Fourth Level – most intense courses]

                Prerequisites: except for Philosophy of Science, two courses in philosophy or one
                course in philosophy and junior standing. At least two 200- to 300-level courses
                strongly recommended.

                        Courses at this level required for the major:

                                 Theory of Knowledge or Philosophy of Science (additional
                                 prerequisite: one course in science or permission of the instructor);
                                 Metaphysics or Philosophy of Language (formerly Language and
                                 Reality) or Philosophy of Mind

                                 Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (new course)

                                         This new course will constitute a focused, intensive
                                         exploration of the specified topic and will require students
                                         both to research and to write and present on that topic; the
                                         course is particularly intended for seniors (and may be
                                         taken twice) but will be open to juniors; topics will be
                                         announced, whenever possible, a year in advance; the
                                         course will be offered in the fall term and will include a 2-4
                                         week component on preparation for the senior project,
                                         including selection of adviser and/or committee,
                                         assignment related to the senior project (e.g., definition of
                                         topic, or annotated bibliography, to be turned in to the
                                         adviser) and presentation on the topic of the senior project);
                                         the 300- and 400-level requirements in ethics, epistemology



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                                         and metaphysics may be satisfied by the Advanced Seminar
                                         when the topic of the seminar is designated ethics,
                                         epistemology or metaphysics, respectively.

                                 Senior Capstone: Project or Thesis (formerly, Senior Thesis)

                                         Students will be required to complete either a Senior
                                         Project or a Senior Thesis. The Senior Project will
                                         comprise a substantial writing project prepared under the
                                         close advisement of a member of the philosophy faculty
                                         and a presentation component.vi The Senior Thesis will
                                         comprise a very substantial writing project prepared under
                                         the advisement of a member of the philosophy faculty in
                                         consultation with a committee consisting of at least two
                                         additional faculty members and an oral defense before the
                                         committee. Under both options, students will be required
                                         to complete a substantial, carefully researched and written,
                                         in-depth work in philosophy on a topic of significance in
                                         philosophy, selected by the student in consultation with
                                         faculty and written under the close supervision of a faculty
                                         member who serves as adviser or such adviser and a
                                         committee. All students completing the Philosophy Major
                                         with Honors in Philosophy are required to complete the
                                         Senior Thesis, with a grade of A or A-.

    D. Concentrations; Minor in Philosophy

    The Concentrations in Philosophy and Law and in Ethics should be retained, with students
    satisfying the requirements by completing, respectively, (i) Philosophy of Law and Law and
    Ethics, and (ii) Contemporary Moral Issues, Biomedical Ethics or Political Philosophy and
    Ethical Theories. In each case, the senior capstone should be in the area of concentration.

    The Minor in Philosophy should be retained, with students satisfying the requirements for the
    Minor by completing 5 courses, including Introduction to Logic or Metalogic; History of
    Ancient Philosophy or History of Modern Philosophy; and three electives, one of which must
    be at the 300- or 400-level. The Minor Concentrations in Philosophy and Law and in Ethics
    should be retained, with students satisfying the requirements by completing, respectively, (i)
    Philosophy of Law and Law and Ethics, and (ii) Contemporary Moral Issues, Biomedical
    Ethics or Political Philosophy and Ethical Theories.




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E. Minor in Religion

It is contemplated that an Interdisciplinary Religion Minor will be designed and proposed (see
Part F below). Once that program becomes available to students, it is possible that the
Department and the College may decide to terminate the more traditional minor in religion.
However, it may also happen that good arguments emerge to retain the more traditional minor,
although in a transformed form. Thus, students who have a special interest in studying religion
per se may be better served by such a traditional program rather than by an interdisciplinary
program.

In this connection, the existing Religion Minor should be should be transformed – to serve at
least on an interim basis – to reflect the following essential ideas:

                ● using prerequisites, a restructuring of the religion minor into three distinct
                levels to insure steep progressivity within the minor

                ● across the board writing requirements at the 200-, 300- and 400-level, which
                courses may satisfy the new liberal learning midlevel writing requirement if
                enacted

                ● explicitly stated learning outcomes for each transformed course

                ● survey courses, Basis Issues in Religion and World Religions, will be omitted

                ● distinction between Western and NonWestern Religion and Religious Thought
                will be omitted

                ● the program will insure an introduction to a variety of religious cultures and
                traditions

Students satisfy the requirements for the Minor by completing 5 courses, three of which must be
at the second level.

        [First level – no prerequisites]

                Buddhism (formerly, Religion and Religious Thought)
                Hinduism (formerly, Religion and Religious Thought)
                Islam (formerly, Religion and Religious Thought)
                Judaism (formerly, Religion and Religious Thought)
                Christianity (formerly, Religion and Religious Thought)
                Science and Religion (formerly, Scientific Study of Religion)

        [Second level – one course in religion or sophomore standing or permission]

                History of Jewish and Christian Thought



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                Philosophy of Religion (cross-listed)
                Problems of Religious Thought
                Contemporary Theory of Religion (formerly, Contemporary Religious Issues)
                Special Topics in Religion

F. Interdisciplinary programs

    Classical Studies Minor

    The transformation and selection of the specific courses that will be part of the transformed
    Classical Studies Minor will be made by interested faculty members drawn from the
    philosophy faculty as well as from several different disciplines.

    Interdisciplinary Religion Minor

    This program would reflect the goals listed in Part V above for the Religion Minor –
    including, for example, steep progressivity and a focus on writing – but would also require
    students to take courses outside the religion program per se to begin to examine religion from
    a variety of perspectives, including perspectives in philosophy, sociology and anthropology.
    Selection of the specific courses that would become part of the Interdisciplinary Religion
    Minor would be made by interested faculty members drawn from the philosophy faculty as
    well as from several different disciplines.

    Politics, Law and Philosophy

    It is anticipated that philosophy faculty will continue to participate in a transformed
    interdisciplinary minor that helps students investigate the law from a variety of disciplines
    that lie outside the law. Philosophy faculty will work with faculty from other disciplines to
    transform and select the specific courses that will be part of the transformed interdisciplinary
    minor.

    Other. The philosophy faculty will work with interested faculty from other disciplines to
    initiate an interdisciplinary program in Environmental Studies.

[revised MR -- 1.27.03]




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i
     It is contemplated that Reason, Ethics and Human Nature, which would have satisfied the ethics requirement, will
be dropped from the transformed curriculum. It is also contemplated that one to two new courses may be added to
the curriculum that would satisfy this requirement, such as courses in social and political philosophy or in
biomedical ethics.
ii
      The Department contemplates retaining, in a transformed form, both Basic Philosophical Issues and
Contemporary Moral Issues. Other courses will be eliminated or transformed as First Year Seminars. In that
connection, First Year Seminars might be offered in such topics as film and fiction, history of philosophy, equality,
meaning and interpretation, rights of animals, future persons, aesthetics, etc.
iii
      Philosophy of Social Science is a new course that has not yet been proposed.
iv
     As part of the transformation , this course might be renamed “Philosophy of Art.” In addition, it is contemplated
that a new course in scientific methodology will be added to the curriculum at this level.
v
    It is contemplated that Philosophy of Biology will be dropped from the transformed curriculum due to the special
staffing needs that that course has.
vi
     Presentations might be made, upon consultation between the adviser and student, in specific classes, or in
connection with the Philosophical Society, or before other faculty members




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