Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Intelligently discuss important philosophical problems and theories.
    1. Identify philosophical questions, clarifying what is at issue and why the question is controversial.
    2. Describe significant attempts to answer these questions (i.e., theories, particular philosophers' responses).
    3. Discuss shortcomings in these attempted answers and how they might be debated.
  2. Demonstrate sophisticated critical thinking skills.
    1. Analyze arguments, identifying premises, conclusions, assumptions, and logical relations.
    2. Evaluate arguments, judging the quality of the reasoning/information and raising specific objections.
    3. Provide compelling reasons in support of opinions, avoiding common argument flaws and thoughtfully responding to objections
    4. Solve problems logically and innovatively
  3. Actively engage with debates and developments in the history of philosophy.
    1. Explain themes, theories, and arguments involving philosophers from the (1) ancient/medieval period, (2) early modern period, and (3) late modern to contemporary period, demonstrating connections among them.
    2. Critically engage with complex primary source texts.
  4. Perform high-quality independent philosophical research.
    1. Identify a clear and specific philosophical question and develop a research plan to address it.
    2. Integrate material from relevant, diverse, high quality sources to apply to the question.
    3. Present arguments that build on other authors' work, but also include original analysis.
    4. Apply the above to create a substantial scholarly document which explores a student-selected philosophical topic.
  5. Make reasoned decisions about ethical issues.
    1. Recognize ethical issues in complex contexts, clarifying how various issues relate to each other.
    2. Articulate multiple points of view on ethics and values.
    3. Describe ethical theories, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.
    4. Apply ethical concepts and theories to evaluate actions and debate controversial social issues.