College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Philosophy Instructional Goals

The Philosophy Department's instructional goals are to help students improve their abilities in the following areas:

[1]  Skills in Reasoning: ability to identify theses in other’s work and one’s own; identify and evaluate reasons relevant to theses; identify and evaluate background concepts, distinction, and assumptions; identify and evaluate objections; charity in interpreting others’ positions.

[2]  Skills in Written and Oral Presentation: Clarity in overall organization of ideas; clarity at sentence/paragraph level of expression.

[3]  Skills in Research: Ability to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources; ability to work with major research resources in philosophy; ability to work with library resources.

[4]  Breadth of Content: Familiarity with development of historical Western tradition; familiarity with various branches of philosophical investigation; familiarity with critical analyses of Western tradition; familiarity with variety of philosophical traditions or approaches.

[5]  Depth of Content: Ability to make connections across branches of philosophical investigation; proficiency with major primary sources; ability to produce creative work.