2013 - 2014
Undergraduate Catalogue

Philosophy

Office: Humanities Center, Room 050r

Telephone: 410-617-2010

Website: www.loyola.edu/academic/philosophy

FACULTY

Chair: Richard P. Boothby, Professor

Professors: Paul Richard Blum; Richard P. Boothby; Malcolm G. Clark (emeritus); Drew L. Leder; Graham James McAleer

Associate Professors: Paul J. Bagley; Francis J. Cunningham; Catriona Hanley; Irmgard Braier Scherer (emerita); Dale E. Snow; Timothy J. Stapleton

Assistant Professors: Mavis L. Biss; Bret W. Davis; Fuat Gürsözlü; Jeffrey C. Witt

Affiliate Faculty: Nina Guise-Gerrity; Steven Weber


Philosophy is unique among the disciplines. It is distinguished first of all by the fundamental nature of the questions it raises. Over the centuries, philosophers have struggled to explore the true nature of reality and the meaning of human life, to determine the possibility and limits of knowledge, to clarify the demands of justice and the character of good and evil, and to ponder the existence of God.

Philosophical questions are perennially open questions. In this respect, too, philosophy is distinctive. Unlike texts from the past in many other fields, philosophical works, even those from very distant antiquity, retain enduring value and significance for contemporary concerns.

Reading the great thinkers of the past is an indispensable part of training in philosophy. However, philosophical inquiry is by no means a mere history of ideas. Philosophy, said Aristotle, begins in wonder, and to study philosophy is to embark upon an adventure in thinking. Genuine philosophical reflection requires a radical freedom and willingness to question received opinions in an ongoing search for truth.

Training in philosophy, far from being irrelevant or impractical, serves to sharpen the tools of thinking for use in any endeavor. As such, philosophy significantly enriches the study of other disciplines, whether in the humanities, in business, in law, or in the sciences. For this reason, many students choose a double major, taking 10 elective courses in philosophy in addition to fulfilling the requirements for a major in another subject. Students may also incorporate philosophy in an interdisciplinary major, or may choose to minor in philosophy by taking, in addition to PL201, one other 200-level offering, and five upper-level philosophy courses, one of which can be a departmental offering in ethics.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Students will have an understanding of the nature of philosophy as an activity and as a discipline, and will be able to articulate its characteristic forms of reasoning, key themes from its history, and key features of its relation to other disciplines.
  • Students will practice close, careful reading and interpretation of primary philosophical texts, and be able to demonstrate knowledge of their content.
  • Students will use speech and writing effectively, logically, gracefully, persuasively, and responsibly.
  • Students will develop philosophical arguments of their own, including the coherent support of conclusions with premises, and formulate and respond to reasoned objections.
  • Students will demonstrate freedom from narrow, solipsistic thinking.

MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY

Bachelor of Arts

Requirements for a major and an example of a typical program of courses are as follows:

Freshman Year

Fall Term

    PL201 Foundations of Philosophy*
    WR100 Effective Writing**
    Language Core
    Math/Science Core
    Social Science Core

Spring Term

    HS101 Europe and the World Since 1500**
    PL200-Level Philosophical Perspectives Course*
    Language Core or
    Elective
    Math/Science Core
    Social Science Core

Sophomore Year

Fall Term

    EN101 Understanding Literature
    TH201 Introduction to Theology*/** or
    Elective
    Fine Arts Core
    Math/Science Core**
    Philosophy Elective*

Spring Term

    English Core
    History Core**
    Theology Core** or
    Elective
    Philosophy Elective*
    Philosophy Elective*

Junior Year

Fall Term

    TH201 Introduction to Theology*/** or
    Elective
    Ethics Core**
    Philosophy Elective*
    Nondepartmental Elective
    Elective

Spring Term

    Theology Core** or
    Elective
    Philosophy Elective*
    Philosophy Elective*
    Elective

Senior Year

Fall Term

    Philosophy Elective*
    Philosophy Elective*
    Nondepartmental Elective
    Elective
    Elective

Spring Term

    Philosophy Elective*
    Philosophy Elective*
    Nondepartmental Elective
    Elective
    Elective

* Required for major.

** Terms may be interchanged.

  1. Philosophy Core Requirements: All students must take the PL200-level core sequence which consists of PL201 and a second 200-level philosophical perspectives course or the honors equivalent.
  2. PL201 is a prerequisite for all other philosophy courses. Two PL200-level courses are required for all 300- and 400-level courses.
  3. Ethics Core Requirements: Each student must take one course in ethics. This course may be elected from those offered by the Philosophy Department (PL300-319) or from the courses in Christian ethics offered by the Theology Department (TH300-319).
  4. Major Requirements: In addition to PL201, one other PL200-level offering, and 10 PL300- or 400-level courses must be taken. One course may be the ethics core requirement, provided this course is chosen from PL300-319.
  5. PL202-250 may be taken as free electives. They do not count toward a philosophy major or minor.
  6. Students must complete the diversity core requirement through a designated diversity core, major, or elective course (see Diversity Core Requirement under Curriculum and Policies).

MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY

Five philosophy courses must be taken in addition to PL201 and one other PL200-level offering. One course may be the ethics core requirement, provided this course is chosen from PL300-319.

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