Learning Outcomes

Philosophy Undergraduate Degrees

After successfully completing a BA in Philosophy:

1. Students will be able to explain philosophical texts and positions accurately, to identify and apply philosophical research methods consistently, to articulate and defend precise philosophical positions, and to anticipate and rebut objections to those positions.

2. Students will be able to apply their philosophical learning to important public issues and to articulate why philosophical understanding is valuable in such debates.

3. Students will develop their own philosophical areas of interest and investigate them from various perspectives.

4. Students will attain the research skills necessary for writing a research paper that engages with primary and, where applicable, secondary literature on a topic in philosophy.

5. Students will learn to recognize and articulate fundamental questions about what exists, what we can know and how we should live our lives. Students will understand influential attempts to answer such questions, along with evaluating their advantages and disadvantages.

6. Students will acquire competence in translation, interpretation, and proof in sentential and predicate logic and will understand how these processes aid in the evaluation of arguments.
7. Students will be able to describe the ways in which the formal techniques of logic are important to philosophical research.

8. Students will acquire reading skills necessary to understand and critically engage with historical and contemporary philosophical texts.

9. Students will be able to identify some of the central concerns and methods of philosophy in at least two periods in its historical development, and will be able to explain the relations between those eras of philosophy and contemporary philosophy. Students will be able to show sensitivity to issues of translation, textual transmission and the historical and cultural context in which philosophical ideas develop.

10. Students will be aware of the existence of multiple philosophical traditions, and will be able to reflect on the cultural specificity of some of their own concepts and values.

11. Students will be able to explain and discriminate between major approaches to moral philosophy such as consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics, and to summarize and evaluate the views of at least one philosopher associated with each.

12. Students will be able to explain and discriminate between major approaches to political philosophy such as Libertarianism, Marxism, Liberalism and Communitarianism, and to summarize and evaluate the views of at least one philosopher associated with each.

13. Students will be able to explain epistemological concepts such as the nature of knowledge, justification, evidence and skepticism, and to summarize and evaluate major philosophical positions in relation to each.

14. Students will be able to explain metaphysical concepts such as necessity, reality, time, God and free will, and to summarize and evaluate major philosophical positions in relation to each.