Goals for the Philosophy Major
The goals for the Philosophy major student:
- Students will develop facility and skill in interpreting and reconstructing the arguments found in dense and challenging philosophical texts.
- Students will master philosophical terminology used to characterize philosophical claims and the arguments offered in support of them across the three central branches of philosophy--metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory.
- Students will be able to recognize and evaluate important and influential positions taken on central debates within the history of philosophy, develop and defend their own interpretive positions concerning these debates, and be able to articulate the ways that historical philosophical concepts and arguments have informed contemporary debates.
- Students will acquire a broad acquaintance with central debates in ethics, moral theory, and social and political philosophy, and be able to recognize and assess the evaluative commitments underlying specific normative claims and positions.
- Students will acquire a broad acquaintance with important questions in metaphysics and epistemology, and be able to recognize and assess the commitments underlying specific claims and positions.
- Students will be able to provide an effective defense of a philosophical position both orally and in writing by (1) clearly formulating and explaining the position, (2) providing arguments that support it, and (3) anticipating compelling objections that could be raised to that position, and providing well-considered responses to those objections.
Requirements for the Philosophy Major
The major in Philosophy consists of at least nine units. PHIL 201 and PHIL 221 are required of all majors. In order to assure that all majors are familiar with the breadth of the field, every major must take at least two units in each of subfields B and C. Majors are strongly encouraged to take a third unit in subfield A. Students planning graduate work in philosophy should take PHIL 216 and acquire a reading knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, or German. In order to assure that students have acquired some depth in philosophy, the department requires that each major complete at least two 300-level units; these units must be in different subfields of Philosophy and at least one of the 300-level units must be a Philosophy seminar (as opposed to PHIL 350 Independent Study, or PHIL 360 or PHIL 370 Honors Thesis) taken at Wellesley.
The Philosophy department divides its courses and seminars into three subfields:
(B) value theory: PHIL 102, PHIL 105, PHIL 106, PHIL 108, PHIL 111, PHIL 115, PHIL 203, PHIL 205, PHIL 213, PHIL 220, PHIL 222, PHIL 226, PHIL 228, PHIL 229, PHIL 231, PHIL 233, PHIL 234, PHIL 236, PHIL 249, PHIL 300, PHIL 301, PHIL 303, PHIL 304, PHIL 306, PHIL 307, PHIL 310, PHIL 316, PHIL 317, PHIL 323, PHIL 330, PHIL 331, PHIL 333, PHIL 338, PHIL 340, PHIL 341, PHIL 342, PHIL 345; PHIL 366;
(C) metaphysics and theory of knowledge: PHIL 103, PHIL 112, PHIL 200, PHIL 207, PHIL 215, PHIL 216, PHIL 218, PHIL 220, PHIL 229, PHIL 245, PHIL 300, PHIL 306, PHIL 310, PHIL 311, PHIL 317, PHIL 319, PHIL 323, PHIL 325, PHIL 331, PHIL 333, PHIL 341, PHIL 345.
Honors in Philosophy
Honors in the Philosophy major may be earned by writing a thesis or a set of related essays, and passing an oral examination.
Students who meet the college standard for eligibility for departmental honors (GPA of 3.5 or more for courses above the 100 level in Philosophy) may apply to write an honors thesis in philosophy. (Departments may petition on behalf of students whose average is below 3.5 but above 3.0 if they have exceptional qualifications.) Members of the department prefer to see that the student has made substantial progress towards satisfying the course requirements for the major. This typically requires having taken at least six Philosophy courses by the end of the junior year. These courses will usually include PHIL 201, PHIL 221 and at least one 300-level seminar. Details regarding the application process are available here: http://www.wellesley.edu/philosophy/honors
Applications are due to the department chair by April 1 of the student's junior year.
Transfer Credit in Philosophy
The department participates in exchange programs with Brandeis and MIT. Both schools have excellent philosophy departments, and students are encouraged to consult the respective catalogs for offerings.
Courses for Credit Toward the Philosophy Major
|EDUC 102||Education in Philosophical Perspective||
|WRIT 114||EDUC 102 Education in Philosophical Perspective||