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Philosophy Major

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Present a philosophical problem, by (1) concisely and precisely stating a philosophical problem to be resolved by an argument or essay, (2) explaining why the problem is significant, (3) explaining the scope of the problem, (4) defining any terms necessary for understanding the problem.
  2. Explicate the meaning of a philosophical theory by (1) correctly deducing the logical implications of that theory, (2) describing those implications in terms of specific examples, (3) recognizing when another statement or theory contradicts the relevant theory explicitly, (4) recognizing when another statement or theory contradicts the relevant theory implicitly.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of evidence by (1) correctly stating what counts as relevant evidence for a philosophical position, (2) correctly stating what counts as relevant evidence against the argument for a philosophical position and recognizing that evidence as such, (3) explaining why any cited evidence is relevant or irrelevant to a philosophical position, (4) distinguishing evidentiary claims about a philosophical position from rhetorically persuasive but specious claims about a philosophical position.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of logic, by (1) recognizing arguments, (2) constructing good arguments, (3) evaluating arguments, (4) avoiding fallacies (e.g. begging the question).
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of dialectical method in philosophy, by (1) formulating possible objections to the thesis of an essay, (2) formulating possible objections to the argument for the essay's thesis, (3) responding to possible objections to the essay's thesis by showing that they are mistaken, (4) responding to possible objections to the argument for the essay's thesis by showing that they are mistaken.

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