Learning Outcomes: Philosophy, PhD
Learning Outcomes for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy
The Philosophy Department aims to produce five main learning outcomes.
- Philosophical Knowledge: Students will have expert-level familiarity with major figures and movements in the history of western philosophy; with central topics, theories, and debates in epistemology and metaphysics, in ethics and value theory, and in logic; and with current developments in professional philosophy.
- Philosophical Reading: Students will have expert-level ability to analyze persuasive and argumentative prose: identifying the main claims asserted, the reasons alleged to support those claims, and the logical relations between the claims and the reasons, including identifying any gaps in the arguments.
- Philosophical Inquiry: Students will expert-level ability to formulate abstract principles in epistemology and metaphysics, in ethics and value theory, in logic, and in related special topic areas in philosophy; they will have expert-level ability to identify consequences of the principles they formulate, and they will have expert-level ability to construct arguments for those principles and compare them to competing principles.
- Philosophical Writing: Students will have expert-level ability to write clearly and with logical precision on a wide range of important issues, including (but not limited to): civic and social challenges at local, national, and global levels; social and cultural issues related to race, indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, language, and disability; and the ways that complex, interdependent global systems—natural, environmental, social, cultural, economic, and political—affect and are affected by the local identities and ethical choices of individuals and institutions.
- Professional Development: Students are familiar with conference norms, journal publication standards, and venues, and the requirements for teaching college-level courses in philosophy.