Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
Degree Program Hours: 120
No specific courses are required; transfer students are encouraged to complete the Associate of Arts degree.
Philosophy encompasses a broad range of topics and methods of inquiry: Socratic questioning of the extent and nature of human knowledge, probing the rational basis of moral and political thought, confrontation with fundamental questions of value and meaning, analysis of basic concepts underlying theoretical and practical thought, reflection on the human existential situation, and exploring the structure of reasoning itself. The great philosophers are studied both for historical understanding and contemporary significance.
Philosophy majors may choose one of three tracks. The General Track is designed to serve students with a broad interest in philosophy. The Professional Track is designed for students considering philosophy as a professional discipline. It is especially appropriate for those considering graduate work in philosophy and those with an interest in a thorough and systematic study of the full range of philosophical thought. The Specialized Track is designed for students who are interested in philosophical reflection on a specific discipline or area such as law, religion, or psychology. It is especially appropriate for pre-law students and for dual majors who are interested in the relationship between philosophy and their other major discipline.
The following requirements apply to all three tracks. (i) any course taken to fulfill a requirement for the major may not be taken with the “pass/fail” option and must be passed with a grade of “C” or better, (ii) no more than 6 (six) hours of Independent Study may be used to fulfill major requirements, (iii) at most, one of PHI 2100 (Introduction to Logic) or PHI 2103 (Critical Thinking), or their equivalents, may be used to fulfill major requirements, and at most six other hours of lower division philosophy courses may be counted toward the degree.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the major, the College of Arts and Sciences has a number of requirements which are listed in the University’s Catalog at the beginning of the Arts and Sciences section. The Philosophy Department allows a maximum of 15 hours of philosophy transfer credit for a major (6 hours for a minor) subject to the following restrictions: at most one of PHI 2100 (Introduction to Logic), PHI 2103 (Critical Thinking), or their equivalents may be used to fulfill major requirements, and be counted toward the degree. Such transfer credit can only be awarded by a philosophy advisor, and students who wish to apply for it are advised to discuss their course of studies with an advisor early in their career at FIU.
The General Track: (33 Semester Hours Required)
The General Track is designed to serve students with a broad interest in philosophy. One three-hour Logic course is required, selected from PHI 2100, PHI 2103, PHI 4130, or PHI 4161. The remaining 30 hours may include any philosophy courses (except that the requirements applying to all three tracks must be met). Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their course selections with their advisor.
The Professional Track: (33 Semester Hours Required)
The Professional Track is designed for students considering philosophy as a professional discipline. It is especially appropriate for those considering graduate work in philosophy and those with an interest in a thorough and systematic study of the full range of philosophical thought. While a foreign language is not required for the major, students considering graduate school should seriously consider sufficient course work in German, French, Latin, or Greek so that they achieve fluency in the language. Receiving a ‘C’ or better in 33 semester hours of upper division philosophy courses distributed as follows will fulfill the requirements for this track:
(see department for list of courses which satisfy these requirements)
1Neither PHI 2100 nor PHI 2103 fulfills the Logic/Probability requirement for this track; however, one may be included as a Philosophy elective.
2Must include 3 hours in the area of Ancient Philosophy
The Specialized Track: (33 Semester Hours Required)
The Specialized Track is designed for students who are interested in philosophical reflection on a specific discipline or area such as law, religion, or psychology. It is especially appropriate for pre-law students and for dual majors who are interested in the relationship between philosophy and their other major discipline. An approved Individualized Plan of Study will meet the requirements for this track. Such plans are designed by the Philosophy advisor in consultation with the student so that they can be tailored to the student’s specific interests and goals. Students pursuing the Specialized Track must secure prior written approval of their course selections from their advisor. The proposed course selections must present a clear, focused, and coherent plan of study. The Philosophy Program Brochure (available in the Department on either campus) includes several models of such plans of study, including Pre-Law Studies, Western Philosophy and Its Historical Context, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy and Religious Thought, Philosophy and Difference, Philosophy and Psychology, and Philosophy and the Arts. Each such plan must include 33 semester hours, and the courses taken in accord with the plan must be passed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. One three-hour Logic course is required, selected from PHI 2100, PHI 2103, PHI 4130, or PHI 4161. With the prior written approval of a Philosophy advisor, up to nine semester hours from other programs may be counted toward the 33 hour major. However, only six hours credited toward the major requirements of another major program may be counted.
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with Honors
A policy for Philosophy majors who wish to exercise the Thesis Option within the Honors College: This option is open only to Honor’s Program students who are Philosophy majors and who must apply for it during the spring semester of the Junior year. To receive Honors via the Thesis Option:
Eligible students may apply for the Thesis Option by submitting an Honors Thesis Proposal to the department Chairperson provided they have met the following minimal conditions:
Students considering pursuing the Thesis Option should read the recommendations regarding Independent Study in the Philosophy Brochure.
Combined Bachelor/Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
The combined (4+1) Bachelor/Master of Arts in Liberal Studies offers outstanding undergraduate FIU students in majors such as Philosophy and Liberal Studies the opportunity to earn a Masters degree in only one additional year beyond the BA degree. Many Philosophy and Liberal Studies majors earn minors, complete second majors, or do certificate programs because they have broad interests and have a tendency for cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry. An accelerated MALS program seems the perfect vehicle to pursue such interests.
The (4+1) program represents two distinct patterns:
The goal is to attract outstanding students into the combined program so that they formally apply to the program in the first semester of their senior year (i.e., when they have completed 90 credit hours.) Interested students should speak with the undergraduate advisor as early as possible because careful selection of undergraduate courses in the sophomore and junior years will be essential for admission to the program.
Applicants to the accelerated program need a GPA of 3.20. Formal admission to the accelerated program is usually in the first semester of the senior year. Students would be also required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.20 to remain in the program. Participation in this program allows the students to fulfill some graduate program requirements during their senior year. More specifically, students at the senior level may be allowed to earn up to 9 graduate credits that will count towards their MALS degree. Up to 3 graduate courses (9 credits) may be used to satisfy both the Bachelor and Masters degree requirements. All double counted courses must be at the 5000 level of higher. Courses to be allowed to be double counted must be approved by MALS. Before starting the graduate program students must have satisfied all general education and core requirements.
The curriculum for the (4+) MALS will meet criteria identical to those of the MALS program. A student will not be eligible for assistantship funding before completing all requirements for the Bachelors degree. For the double counted courses, students must, in consultation with their graduate program advisor, approve that the student is taking the course for graduate credit. Graduates and undergraduates may have different work loads and grading criteria. The student must earn a grade of “B” or better for these courses to count towards the Masters requirements.
Summary of Degree Requirements
*33 hours of coursework are required of all (4+1) MALS students. However, a maximum of 3 hours are awarded for the “Master’s Essay” course as opposed to 6 hours for “Master’s Thesis” course. Students who choose the Essay option must complete either 4 Great Ideas Seminars or 21 hour Interdisciplinary Concentration.
The Philosophy Minor
A student majoring in another academic discipline can earn an academic minor in Philosophy by taking 15 hours in philosophy (PHH, PHI, PHM, and PHP prefixes) and earning a “C” or better. Only three hours may be earned in lower division (1000 and 2000 level) courses.
Definition of Prefixes
GRE-Ancient Greek; PHH-Philosophy, History of; PHI-Philosophy; PHM-Philosophy of Man and Society; PHP-Philosophers and Schools.
GRE 3050 Introduction to Ancient Greek (3). Introduces the Greek language of the New Testament, and other works of the ancient period to enhance the understanding of translated texts. A portion of the Gospel of John is studied.
PHH 2063 Classics in Philosophy: An Introduction to the History of Philosophy (3). Introduces the history of philosophy by examining the works of such philosophical giants as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant. Written work meets state composition requirement of 6,000 written words.
PHH 3042 Latin American Philosophy (3). This course will examine the development of Latin American thought, with particular attention to the 19th and 20th centuries. It will consider the traditions and initiatives of prominent Latin American philosophers in the light of problems such as personal and cultural identity.
PHH 3100 Ancient Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative philosophers and schools of thought, particularly in the Greek and Roman cultural settings, and linkages to their past and future are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3200 Medieval Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative philosophers and schools of thought in the cultural settings of the Middle Ages, and linkages to their past and future are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3401 Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative European Continental philosophers of the 16th and 17th centuries (esp. Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and Spinoza) are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3402 British Empiricism (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative British Empiricists of the 17th & 18th centuries (esp. Locke, Berkeley, and Hume) are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3420 Early Modern Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative philosophers and schools of thought in the period from the Renaissance to Kant and the linkages to their past and future are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3440 Late Modern Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative philosophers and schools of thought in the period from Kant to Nietzsche and the linkages to their past and future are emphasized in this course.
PHH 3602 Twentieth Century British Philosophy (3). Examines the development of 20th century British philosophy, with special attention to the justification for its aims, methods, and central concerns (e.g. knowledge, appearance and reality, memory, and the value of philosophy).
PHH 3700 American Philosophy (3). This course will examine the development of American philosophical thought, with particular attention to the 19th and 20th centuries. It will consider the traditions and initiatives of the prominent American philosophers, in the light of problems such as the relationship between theory and practice.
PHH 3810 Philosophy of Buddhism (3). Examines the central philosophy of Buddhism dealing with: 1) the question of reality and appearance, 2) the theories of causation, 3) the relation of these views to Buddhist soteriology (realism, idealism, dialectics, Hwa-yen).
PHH 3840 Indian Philosophy (3). Metaphysical, epistemological and ethical theories within such major Indian philosophical systems as philosophical Buddhism, Gains, Samkhya dualism, and Vedanta transcendentalism are examined.
PHH 4600 Twentieth Century Philosophy (3). The basic concerns and teachings of representative philosophers and schools of thought in the cultural settings of the present century, and linkages to past and emerging generations are emphasized in this course.
PHH 4930 A Major Philosopher (3). This course will examine in detail the works of a major figure in the history of philosophy. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Course may be repeated on a different philosopher. (S)
PHI 2011 Philosophical Analysis: An Introduction to the Problems of Philosophy (3). This course introduces both the tools of philosophical thinking and some of their applications to fundamental topics such as knowledge, value, meaning, and human society. Written work meets state composition requirement of 6,000 written words.
PHI 2100 Introduction to Logic (3). This introductory course in logical thinking and argumentation will treat both practical and theoretical approaches to understanding human communications and solving problems. Students will be introduced to inductive and deductive logic, fallacies, and the role of logic in scientific explanation and popular expression. Written work meets state composition requirement of 6,000 written words.
PHI 2101 Philosophical Logic (3). This course studies the propositional and predicate calculus and such topics as necessary truth, entailment, the ontological implications of logic, and the justification of deduction and induction.
PHI 2103 Critical Thinking (3). A course in practical reasoning designed to sharpen abilities at analyzing, evaluating, and constructing arguments.
PHI 2600 Introduction to Ethics (3). Explores philosophical accounts of morality, including the rational justification of commitment to the moral life, and theories of duty, obligation, and virtue. Written work meets state composition requirement of 6,000 written words.
PHI 3073 African Philosophy (3). An analysis of the metaphysical, epistemic, ethical, and political thoughts constituting the African world views and cultural settings.
PHI 3300 Epistemology (3). The viewpoints of various philosophers and schools of thought regarding types of knowledge, certitude, and creativity are the main emphases of this introductory course. The meaning of truth and truthfulness is analyzed from both the classical and the contemporary perspectives.
PHI 3320 Philosophy of Mind (3). An inquiry into the concept of mind and subsidiary concepts such as sensation, perception, desire, emotion, intention, volition, imagination, and intellect. The course will address the problem of the relation of mind and body and such topics as the concept of a person, the nature of intentional action, and the nature of consciousness.
PHI 3400 Philosophy of Science (3). The philosophic background of scientific method will be examined. Attention will be given to the philosophical consequences of conceptual change in the sciences. Such topics as the growth and unity of science, explanation and prediction, and the role of science in society will be explored.
PHI 3420 Philosophy of Social Science (3). An inquiry into philosophical questions raised by the social sciences. Topics include forms of social explanation, the nature of rationality, and the status of values in social science.
PHI 3454 Philosophy of Biology (3). Examines the philosophical problems raised by the theory of evolution in 3 parts: external challenges to the theory, internal disputes about key concepts, controversies about applications theory.
PHI 3500 Metaphysics (3). This introductory course examines basic metaphysical questions regarding the nature of reality, as well as the meaning of these questions for the relationship of persons with their world. Fundamental texts from classical and contemporary philosophers will be considered.
PHI 3601 Ethics (3). What is intrinsically good? What ought one to do? How are moral claims justified? Competing views of major philosophers are considered.
PHI 3640 Environmental Ethics (3). Examines philosophical and ethical perspectives on human interaction with the natural world.
PHI 3638 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3). After a review of basic questions regarding ethics, this course considers special ethical problems in contemporary society from the perspective of one or more philosophers or systems of ethics. Topics will be selected and announced in advance.
PHI 3700 Philosophy of Religion (3). This course investigates whether or not religious beliefs can be rationally justified. Such topics as the nature of God, the problem of evil, religious experience, and the relationship of faith to reason will be explored.
PHI 3762 Eastern Philosophical and Religious Thought (3). This introductory course examines the development of philosophical and religious thought in the East from ancient to modern times. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and other major viewpoints will be considered, in themselves and in comparison with Western forms of thought.
PHI 3800 Philosophy of Art (3). An introduction to problems in Philosophy of Art, with emphasis on those problems which are especially relevant to appreciation and criticism in the arts. Typical problems include the relation between form and content, truth and falsity in art, the nature of emotion in art and of the aesthetic response, as well as the nature of art itself. This course will include a study of selections from the writings of major thinkers and the consideration of those works of art which are relevant to this study.
PHI 3880 Philosophy Through Film (3). Offers a thorough investigation into several philosophical issues through the medium of film. Close readings of individual films will accompany the study of key philosophical texts.
PHI 4130 Symbolic Logic (3). This course provides an introduction to symbolic logic. Emphasis is upon both the formal techniques of analysis of argument and upon the theoretical aspects of formal logic.
PHI 4161 Philosophy and Probability (3). An introduction to the philosophical applications of elementary probability theory. Topics include mathematical probability, rational decision making, the foundations of science, and Pascal’s wager.
PHI 4220 Philosophy of Language (3). The subject matter concerns the relations between language, thought, and the world. Topics to be studied include reference, meaning, speech acts, and propositional attitudes. Also to be considered are the implications of claims here for issues in other areas of philosophy.
PHI 4222 Philosophy of Dialogue (3). This course examines the meaning, the foundations, the limitations of dialogue, and the dialogical structure of expression and human relationships based on the philosophy of Martin Buber. It includes a philosophical analysis of the dialogical principle and the application of its insights to the problems of human living and knowing.
PHI 4230 Language and Paradox (3). An inquiry into the nature of semantic paradoxes, including analysis of their significance, examination of proposed solutions, and investigation of the relationship between paradoxes, language, and truth.
PHI 4321 Topics in the Philosophy of Mind (3). This course examines selected issues in the philosophy of mind. Topics include the nature and value of the passions, self and self-deception, theory of action, etc. May be repeated.
PHI 4370 Topics in Epistemology (3) Study of a focused topics in epistemology (such as: a priori knowledge and justification; certainty; or skepticism). This course may be repeated.
PHI 4541 Philosophy of Time (3). An analysis of the nature of time. Topics include the “passage” of time, the asymmetry between past and future, Zeno’s paradoxes, and philosophical implications of the special theory of relativity.
PHI 4633 Biomedical Ethics (3). After examining the foundations of ethics, this course will consider the human and ethical dimensions of current issues in the life sciences, such as the meaning of human living and suffering, ethics of genetic control, death and dying, personal responsibility in the medical and counseling professions.
PHI 4764 Religious Experience (3). An introduction to philosophical thought about religious experiences. After a brief survey of the major types of religious experiences, issues about their nature and cognitive status are examined.
PHI 4882 Philosophy in Literature (3). Philosophical implications of selected works and the impact of philosophical concepts such as the self, death, identity, alienation, responsibility, freedom, and the absurd.
PHI 4884 Philosophy of Film (3). An investigation into the distinctly philosophical issues that arise when studying film. In particular, questions surrounding narration, authorship and genre will be considered.
PHI 4910 Independent Research (1-6). Topics will be selected to meet the academic needs of the individual student. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
PHI 4930 Special Topics (3). In-depth study of topics of special interest in philosophy.
PHI 4935 Philosophy Seminar (3). This seminar is designed for majors and other qualified students approved by the Department, and will be guided by one or more faculty members. Topic will be selected and announced in advance. The number of participants will be limited.
PHI 5934 Special Topics (3). Topics will be selected to meet the academic needs of groups of students.
PHM 3040 Philosophical Anthropology (3). This course attempts to interpret philosophically scientific perspectives concerning the nature of man and the human condition. It seeks to elucidate the basic qualities that make man what he is and distinguish him from other beings.
PHM 3200 Social and Political Philosophy (3). The nature of society and the state, authority of society and the state over the individual, political obligation, legitimacy of government, and idea of social contract are considered.
PHM 3400 Philosophy of Law (3). After an analysis of the nature of law and judicial reasoning in the light of fundamental alternative interpretations, basic topics of legal philosophy will be considered, such as freedom and rights, responsibility and punishment, rule of law and civil disobedience, legality and justice.
PHM 3500 Philosophy of History (3). After exploring the definitions, dimensions and interrelations of philosophy and history, students will examine major philosophies of history. The social responsibility of the historical narrative and the philosophical assumptions of historiographies will be discussed.
PHM 4020 Love and Sexuality (3). This course analyzes the nature and meaning of love and sexuality, and studies the basic problems in human sexual living, such as love and the man-woman relationship, the formation of sexual union, and attitudes toward love and sexuality in contemporary society.
PHM 4050 Philosophy of Death (3). This course analyzes the meaning of death and man’s attitude towards death and the dying. It examines how philosophy can share in the new confrontation between man and his death, and shows the ways philosophical thinking contributes to the discovery of an authentic attitude towards the phenomenon of death as part of human living.
PHM 4123 Philosophy and Feminism (3). A conceptual analysis of alternative feminist views. Topics include the goals of the feminist movement, sexist theories on women’s nature, sexual stereotypes and androgyny, the nature of oppression, sexism, racism and homophobia.
PHM 4360 Topics in Political Philosophy (3). Examines a selected topic in political philosophy, such as: justice, democracy, liberty, or an important thinker. May be repeated. Prerequisites: PHM 3200 or permission of the instructor.
PHM 4430 Topics in Philosophy of Law (3). Examines a focused topic in philosophy of law, such as: punishment, legislation of morality, the rule of law, or an important thinker. May be repeated.
PHP 3840 Chinese and Japanese Philosophy (3). Metaphysical and ethical theories of the three main philosophical systems of China, namely, Classical and neo-Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism are examined. For Japanese philosophy, Shintoism is included.
PHP 4510 Marxism (3). This course examines the philosophic insights of Marx and the main trends (anthropological, social, existential) in contemporary Marxism. It includes an analysis of the Marxist interpretation of alienation, work, and human authenticity.
PHP 4782 Phenomenology (3). This course analyzes the method, the basic philosophical insights and the applications of 20th century phenomenology. It includes the phenomenological analysis of knowing as well as basic questions regarding the nature of reality together with the study of fundamental texts from Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.
PHP 4784 Analytic Philosophy (3). This course examines the 20th century Anglo-American tradition of approaching philosophic problems by the methods of linguistic analysis. It will include study of techniques of linguistic analysis and an evaluation of their adequacy in dealing with meaning and truth, the mind-body problem, and free will.
PHP 4786 Existentialism (3). This course examines the origin, basic philosophical insights, and influence of the mainstreams of modern existentialism. It includes the study of fundamental texts of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Jaspers, and Camus.
PHP 4789 Contemporary French Philosophy (3). Main trends (hermeneutics, postmodernism, deconstruction) in twentieth century French philosophy, with emphasis on seminal thinkers, e.g., Levinas, Derrida, Ricoeur, Foucault, Irigaray.
College of Arts and Sciences