Carnegie Mellon University

The Major in Philosophy

The Major in Philosophy is intended to be flexible and to facilitate double majors in other fields (including majors with a strong professional focus). It provides students with a broad humanities education and sharpens their analytical skills. We encourage, but do not require, students to choose a thematic concentration through their electives. Sample curricula emphasizing Pre-Law, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Ethics and Social Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind are suggested below. However, alternative emphases can be proposed and approved by the Director. The Major in Philosophy is a B.A. degree.

Curriculum

In addition to the general education requirements for the student's college, Philosophy primary majors and additional majors must complete 80-100 Introduction to Philosophy and nine Philosophy courses in the Areas listed below. The 80-100 requirement must be fulfilled before the first semester of the junior year. Only two of the remaining nine courses may be at the 100-level, and two of the nine courses must be at the 300-level or higher. All ten courses, if taken at CMU, must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of "C" or above. Courses from other universities, as well as an 80-100 skills test, may be substituted with permission of the Director. For H&SS students, up to 4 of these courses may be counted also as satisfying the College's General Education requirements, with permission of the Director. Students are to choose one course out of each of the Areas 1-4, two courses out of Area 5, and may freely select three courses in Area 6. As per the requirement of the College of H&SS, a student's Freshman Seminar course may not count toward the fulfillment of the major requirements.

Introduction to Philosophy (9 units)

80-100 Introduction to Philosophy 9

Area 1: Values and Normative Theory (9 units)

One of the following:

80-130 Introduction to Ethics 9
80-135 Introduction to Political Philosophy 9
80-136 Social Structure, Public Policy & Ethics 9
80-230 Ethical Theory 9
80-244 Environmental Ethics 9
80-245 Medical Ethics 9
80-247 Ethics and Global Economics 9
80-248 Engineering Ethics 9
80-334 Social and Political Philosophy 9
80-335 Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Practice 9
80-337 Philosophy, Politics & Economics 9
80-348 Health Development and Human Rights 9
80-430 Ethics and Medical Research 9
80-447 Global Justice 9

Area 2: Philosophy of Mind/Language/Metaphysics (9 units)

One of the following:
80-180 Nature of Language 9
80-270 Philosophy of Mind 9
80-271 Philosophy and Psychology 9
80-276 Philosophy of Religion 9
80-280 Linguistic Analysis 9
80-281 Language and Thought 9
80-282 Phonetics and Phonology I 9
80-283 Syntax and Discourse 9
80-380 Philosophy of Language 9
80-381 Meaning in Language 9
80-382 Phonetics and Phonology II 9
80-383 Language in Use 9
80-384 Linguistics of Turkic Languages 9
80-575 Seminar on Metaphysics Var.
80-580 Seminar on the Philosophy of Language

9

Area 3: Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics (9 units)

One of the following:
80-110 Nature of Mathematical Reasoning 9
80-210 Logic and Proofs 9
80-211 Logic and Mathematical Inquiry 9
80-212 Arguments and Logical Analysis 9
80-310 Formal Logic 9
80-311 Undecidability and Incompleteness 9
80-312 Philosophy of Mathematics 9
80-314 Logic and Artificial Intelligence 9
80-315 Modal Logic 9
80-411 Proof Theory 9
80-413 Category Theory 9
80-513 Seminar on Philosophy of Mathematics 9
80-514 Categorical Logic Seminar 9

Area 4: Epistemology/Metaphysics (9 units)

One of the following:
80-150 Nature of Reason 9
80-201 Epistemology 9
80-208 Critical Thinking 9
80-220 Philosophy of Science 9
80-221 Philosophy of Social Science 9
80-222 Measurement and Methodology 9
80-226 Revolutions in Science 9
80-305 Rational Choice 9
80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy 9
80-322 Philosophy of Physics 9
80-323 Philosophy of Biology 9
80-324 Philosophy of Economics 9
80-405 Game Theory 9
80-515 Seminar on the Foundations of Statistics 9
80-516 Seminar on Causation Var.
80-520 Seminar on Philosophy Science 9
80-521 Seminar on Formal Epistemology 9

Area 5: History of Philosophy (18 units)

Two of the following:
80-150 Nature of Reason 9
80-226 Revolutions in Science 9
80-250 Ancient Philosophy 9
80-251 Modern Philosophy 9
80-252 Kant 9
80-253 Continental Philosophy 9
80-254 Analytic Philosophy 9
80-255 Pragmatism 9
80-256 Modern Moral Philosophy 9
80-257 Nietzsche 9
80-258 Hume 9
80-261 Empiricism and Rationalism 9
80-262 Introduction to the Philosophy of Bertrand Russell 9
80-264 William James and Philosophical Psychology 9
80-363 19th Century Foundations of Science 9

Area 6: Elective (27 units)

Three other philosophy courses, or appropriate courses from other departments, with the permission of the Director.


Sample Curricula

Here are four sample curricula, reflecting different emphases.

1. For an emphasis on Law & Social Policy, a student might take:

Area 1
80-334 Social and Political Philosophy 9
Area 2
80-180 Nature of Language 9
Area 3
80-211 Logic and Mathematical Inquiry 9
Area 4
80-208 Critical Thinking 9
Area 5
80-150 Nature of Reason 9
80-250 Ancient Philosophy 9
Area 6
80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy 9
80-348 Health Development and Human Rights 9
80-447 Global Justice 9

2. For an emphasis on Philosophy of Science, a student might take:

Area 1
80-136 Social Structure, Public Policy & Ethics 9
Area 2
80-275 Metaphysics 9
Area 3
80-211 Logic and Mathematical Inquiry 9
Area 4
80-220 Philosophy of Science 9
or 80-221 Philosophy of Social Science
Area 5
80-250 Ancient Philosophy 9
80-226 Revolutions in Science 9
Area 6
80-150 Nature of Reason 9
80-221 Philosophy of Social Science 9
80-322 Philosophy of Physics 9
80-323 Philosophy of Biology 9

3. For an emphasis on Ethics and Social Philosophy, a student might take:

Area 1
80-230 Ethical Theory 9
Area 2
80-276 Philosophy of Religion 9
Area 3
80-110 Nature of Mathematical Reasoning 9
Area 4
80-221 Philosophy of Social Science 9
or 80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy
Area 5
80-250 Ancient Philosophy 9
Area 6
80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy 9

4. For an emphasis on Philosophy of Mind, a student might take:

Area 1
80-130 Introduction to Ethics 9
Area 2
80-270 Philosophy of Mind 9
Area 3
80-211 Logic and Mathematical Inquiry 9
Area 4
80-201 Epistemology 9
Area 5
80-251 Modern Philosophy 9
Area 6
80-275 Metaphysics 9
80-257 Nietzsche 9
80-314 Logic and Artificial Intelligence 9

Additional Major

Students who want an additional major in Philosophy must fulfill the same departmental requirements as primary majors in Philosophy.

The M.A. Program in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy also offers a graduate M.A. degree in Philosophy, which culminates with the writing of a master's thesis. It is ordinarily a two-year program, but students in the Philosophy major are able to complete the additional requirements in one year.

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