Philosophy

Kirk Sanders, Department Head
105 Gregory Hall, 810 South Wright, Urbana
PH: (217) 333-2889
http://www.philosophy.illinois.edu/

Philosophy is the oldest, broadest, and most fundamental form of inquiry. Some philosophical questions have to do with the understanding of ourselves and whatever else there may be. Others focus upon the nature of different forms of knowledge and experience, and upon ethical issues and problems of value. The study of philosophy is one of the most important elements in a good liberal education. It also improves one's ability to think clearly, and to construct, analyze, and criticize arguments of any kind. The major and minor are sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

Major in Philosophy

Major in Sciences and Letters Curriculum

E-mail: phildept@illinois.edu

Degree title: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Minimum required major and supporting course work normally equates to 44 hours including at least 32 hours of Philosophy courses

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus.

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours). Please see your adviser.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction: Eligibility for distinction may be pursued by either:

  1. the thesis option, which requires at least 35 hours of philosophy courses (including 5 courses at the 300- or 400-level), a grade point average of 3.5 in all philosophy courses, and writing a thesis; or
  2. the course work option, which requires 38 hours of philosophy (including 8 advanced courses) and a 3.5 grade point average in all philosophy courses. For further information, inquire in the department office.
32 hours of Philosophy courses including: 1
Select one of the following:3
Logic and Reasoning
Logic and Reasoning QR II
Symbolic Logic 2
PHIL 203Ancient Philosophy4
PHIL 206Early Modern Philosophy4
At least one course in Ethics and Value Theory chosen from the following: 3
Ethical Theories
Recent Developments in Ethics
Value Theory
Social Philosophy
Phil of Law and of the State
Existential Philosophy
At least one course in Epistemology and Metaphysics chosen from the following: 3
Philosophy of Mind
Metaphysics
Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy of Language
Phenomenology
At least 15 additional hours of course work in philosophy, with 12 of those hours being above the 100 level (including at least two 300- or 400-level courses).15
A student may select either of two types of programs of supporting course work and should work out a specific program of the type chosen with the help and approval of a departmental adviser. 12
Twelve hours minimum. Select from:
Option I: Intensive study in another discipline. Courses normally beyond the 100 level in one other discipline. Most approved minors satisfy this requirement. A second major may also be used to satisfy this requirement
or
Option II: A special program of study built around a unifying theme or topic. Course work outside philosophy in one or more other discipline(s), normally beyond the 100 level.
Total Hours44
1

If possible, students should take these courses prior to the senior year. Substitutions may be made only with the approval of the chair of the department.

2

Those considering graduate work in philosophy should take PHIL 202.

Minor in Philosophy

E-mail: phildept@illinois.edu

Web address for department: www.phil.illinois.edu

PHIL 203Ancient Philosophy4
PHIL 206Early Modern Philosophy4
Four other Philosophy courses, including at least 6 hours at the 300- or 400- level12
Total Hours20

PHIL Class Schedule

Courses

PHIL 100   Intro to Philosophy-ACP   credit: 3 Hours.

Consideration of some main problems of philosophy concerning, for example, knowledge, God, mind and body, and human freedom. Course is identical to PHIL 101 except for the additional writing component. Credit is not given for both PHIL 100 and PHIL 101. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Advanced Composition
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 101   Introduction to Philosophy   credit: 3 Hours.

Consideration of some main problems of philosophy concerning, for example, knowledge, God, mind and body, and human freedom. Credit is not given for both PHIL 101 and PHIL 100.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 102   Logic and Reasoning   credit: 3 Hours.

Practical study of logical reasoning; techniques for analyzing and criticizing arguments, with emphasis on assessing the logical coherence of what we read and write.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 103   Logic and Reasoning QR II   credit: 3 Hours.

Introductory logic course that concentrates on investigating how the formal mathematical structure of statements, as well as the structure of the relationships among such statements, reveals the logical force of arguments that we use everyday. PHIL 102 takes a less formal, less mathematical approach to the same material. Credit is not given for both PHIL 103 and PHIL 102.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect
UIUC: Quant Reasoning II

PHIL 104   Intro to Ethics-ACP   credit: 3 Hours.

Some basic questions of ethics, discussed in the light of influential ethical theories and with reference to specific moral problems, such as: What makes an action morally right? Are moral standards absolute or relative? What is relation between personal morality and social morality, and between social morality and law? Course is identical to PHIL 105 except for the additional writing component. Credit is not given for both PHIL 104 and either PHIL 105 or PHIL 106. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Advanced Composition
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 105   Introduction to Ethics   credit: 3 Hours.

Some basic questions of ethics, discussed in the light of influential ethical theories and with reference to specific moral problems, such as: what makes an action morally right? are moral standards absolute or relative? what is the relation between personal morality and social morality, and between social morality and law? Credit is not given for both PHIL 105 and either PHIL 104 or PHIL 106.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 106   Ethics and Social Policy   credit: 3 Hours.

Examination of the moral aspects of social problems, and a survey of ethical principles formulated to validate social policy. Credit is not given for both PHIL 106 and either PHIL 104 or PHIL 105.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

PHIL 107   Intro to Political Philosophy   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to core ideas in political and legal philosophy, for example, rights, equality, political obligations, legitimacy of states, nationalism, and oppression.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Social Sciences

PHIL 108   Religion & Society in West I   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ANTH 108, JS 108, REL 108, and SOC 108. See REL 108.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect
UIUC: Western Compartv Cult

PHIL 109   Religion & Society in West II   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ANTH 109, REL 109, and SOC 109. See REL 109.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect
UIUC: Western Compartv Cult

PHIL 110   World Religions   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as REL 110. See REL 110.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect
UIUC: Non-Western Cultures
UIUC: Western Compartv Cult

PHIL 191   Freshman Honors Tutorial   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Study of selected topics on an individually arranged basis. Open only to honors majors or to Cohn Scholars and Associates. May be repeated one time. Prerequisite: Consent of departmental honors advisor.

PHIL 198   Freshman Seminar   credit: 3 Hours.

Investigation of selected fundamental topics of philosophical inquiry. See Schedule for current topics. Prerequisite: Freshman James Scholar.

PHIL 199   Undergraduate Open Seminar   credit: 1 to 5 Hours.

Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated.

PHIL 201   Philosophy in Literature   credit: 3 Hours.

Consideration of the philosophical themes implicit in a variety of important literary works, both classical and modern; may include such authors as Sophocles, Shakespeare, Goethe, Dostoevsky, and Sartre.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 202   Symbolic Logic   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to the techniques of formal logic, dealing primarily with truth-functional logic and quantification theory.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Quant Reasoning I

PHIL 203   Ancient Philosophy   credit: 4 Hours.

Introduction to ancient philosophy, concentrating on Plato and Aristotle, dealing with such topics as metaphysics, ethics, and the theory of knowledge. Same as CLCV 203.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 206   Early Modern Philosophy   credit: 4 Hours.

The history of philosophy from Descartes to Kant, concentrating on such topics as metaphysics, ethics, and the theory of knowledge.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 210   Ethics   credit: 3 Hours.

Problems in ethical theory; the nature of right and wrong, justice, conscience, moral feelings, etc.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 214   Biomedical Ethics   credit: 3 Hours.

Philosophical study of selected moral and social problems concerning medicine and biology, such as euthanasia, abortion, allocation of scarce medical resources, health care and rights, and genetic engineering.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 220   Special Topics   credit: 3 Hours.

A consideration of readings on selected philosophical topics. May be repeated in the same semester to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours and in separate semesters if topics vary. See Class Schedule for current topics.

PHIL 230   Philosophy of Religion Intro   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to philosophical analysis of religious thought and experience. Same as REL 230.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 231   Religion and Philosophy   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as REL 231. See REL 231.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 250   Conceptions of Human Nature   credit: 3 Hours.

Comparative examination of important historical and contemporary conceptions of human nature.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 270   Philosophy of Science   credit: 3 Hours.

Investigation of the nature of scientific knowledge by examining archetypal examples from physical science (e.g., Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy); nature of scientific truth, validation of theories, nature of scientific theories, evolution of theories, experimental procedure, role of presuppositions, scientific revolutions, etc.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 316   Ethics and Engineering   credit: 3 Hours.

Same as ECE 316. See ECE 316.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Advanced Composition
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 325   Recent European Philosophy   credit: 3 Hours.

Introduction to the major recent philosophical movements in Europe, such as phenomenology, existentialism, philosophical anthropology, and neo-Marxism.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Hist&Philosoph Perspect

PHIL 380   Current Controversies   credit: 3 Hours.

Philosophical examination of positions taken on some issue of current concern, for example, human sexuality, death and dying, feminism, race, intelligence, war, sociobiology, and environmental ethics. See Class Schedule for current topics. May be repeated with approval.

PHIL 390   Individual Study   credit: 2 to 4 Hours.

Readings in selected philosophical topics. Course may be taken by honors students in partial fulfillment of department honors requirements. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: Open to juniors and seniors with a grade-point average of 3.0 only by prior arrangement with a member of the faculty and with consent of the department director of undergraduate studies or the chair.

PHIL 398   Advanced Undergraduate Seminar   credit: 3 Hours.

Seminar on selected philosophical topics; intended primarily for advanced undergraduate philosophy majors. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: A grade-point average of 3.0 and consent of instructor.

PHIL 404   Medieval Philosophy   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

History of philosophy from St. Augustine to William of Ockham. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or PHIL 203.

PHIL 410   Classical Ancient Philosophers   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Intensive study of one ancient philosopher or the intensive study of a major philosophical problem through the consideration of a number of ancient philosophers; chief emphasis on Plato and/or Aristotle. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated with approval, if topics vary. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, preferably PHIL 203.

PHIL 411   Nineteenth Century Philosophy   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examination of the thought of such major figures as Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 412   Classical Modern Philosophers   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Intensive study of one classical modern philosopher or the intensive study of major philosophical problem through the consideration of a number of classical modern philosophers, e.g., Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Kant, and Hegel. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated with approval, if topics vary. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, preferably PHIL 206.

PHIL 414   Major Recent Philosophers   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Intensive study of one or two important philosophers of the present century, e.g., Wittgenstein, Dewey, Heidegger, or Quine. Topics vary; see Class Schedule. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated with approval, if topics vary. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 419   Space, Time, and Matter-ACP   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Same as PHYS 419. See PHYS 419.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Advanced Composition

PHIL 421   Ethical Theories   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Systematic study of selected classics in moral philosophy by such philosophers as Aristotle, Hume, Mill, Kant, and Nietzsche. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 422   Recent Developments in Ethics   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Intensive treatment of issues in contemporary ethical theory. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated one time with approval. Prerequisite: One course in ethics.

PHIL 424   Philosophy of Religion   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Considers central issues in the philosophy of religion, e.g., the justification of religious belief, the nature of God, religious experience, etc. Same as REL 424. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 425   Philosophy of Mind   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Philosophical problems arising in connection with mental phenomena; the relation of mind and body; free will and determinism; our knowledge of other minds; and the self and personal identity. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 426   Metaphysics   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Investigation of various metaphysical issues concerning, for example, existence, particulars and universals, causation, laws of nature, time, personal identity, material objects, and modality. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 429   Value Theory   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Study of the nature and status of values, and of variable topics in value theory, e.g., different types of values, and problems of truth, justifiability, objectivity and relativism with respect to them. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated as topics vary to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours, or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

PHIL 430   Theory of Knowledge   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Investigation of issues concerning, for example, the nature and possibility of knowledge; its forms and limits; its relation to belief, truth, and justification; and the nature of truth. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 435   Social Philosophy   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Selected topics from the nature of social organization, nature and convention, utility, justice, equality, liberty, rights, and duties. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 436   Phil of Law and of the State   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examination of issues in the philosophy of law, such as the nature of law, law and morality, justice, liberty and authority, punishment, and legal responsibility. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 438   Philosophy of Language   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Historical or comparative study of the philosophy of language. Same as LING 438. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 439   Philosophy of Mathematics   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Introduction to some of the main philosophical problems and contemporary viewpoints concerning mathematical concepts, mathematical methods, and the nature of mathematical truth. Same as MATH 439. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 441   Existential Philosophy   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Study of a selection of the major writings of the more important existential philosophers, e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 443   Phenomenology   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Study of the development of phenomenology from Husserl to the present. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 444   Topics in Recent European Phil   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examines the continental treatments of selected issues, such as interpersonal relationships, human nature, perception or interpretation; see Class Schedule for current topics. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. May be repeated in separate terms as topics vary to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 453   Formal Logic and Philosophy   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Techniques and results of symbolic logic, with special attention to topics of philosophical importance. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: PHIL 202 or consent of instructor.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Quant Reasoning II

PHIL 454   Advanced Symbolic Logic   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Completeness, compactness, and Lowenheim-Skolem theorems for first-order logic; incompleteness and undecidability of formal systems; and additional material on proof theory, model theory, or axiomatic set theory as time permits. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: PHIL 202 or consent of instructor.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
UIUC: Quant Reasoning II

PHIL 471   Contemporary Phil of Science   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Examines important developments and controversies in recent philosophy of science. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy.

PHIL 473   Philosophy of Biology   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Philosophical issues in biology covering basic concepts such as fitness, evolution, adaptation, natural selection, and issues such as the unit of selection, genetic reductionism, cultural evolution. Same as IB 495. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Graduate students taking the course for 4 hours will be expected to do additional reading and write more substantial papers. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or two courses in biology; or consent of instructor.

PHIL 477   Philosophy of Psychology   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Psychology, broadly construed, is a cluster of disciplines devoted to the study of mind and behavior, including cognitive and developmental psychology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. Investigates the relationships that these disciplines bear to one another and of their overall potential to resolve age-old philosophical questions about the mind. Same as PSYC 477. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or two courses in psychology or consent of instructor.

PHIL 492   Thesis   credit: 2 to 4 Hours.

Special training in philosophical investigation. Course may be taken by students pursuing graduation with distinction in partial fulfillment of those requirements. 2 to 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 undergraduate hours. Prerequisite: Open to seniors with a grade-point average of 3.5 in all philosophy courses only by prior arrangement with a member of the faculty and with consent of the department director of undergraduate studies or the chair.