BA Philosophy (Florham)
As the traditional liberal arts discipline that emphasizes questioning, reasoning, and inquiring into all human values, Philosophy provides a rich undergraduate major that can lead students to a variety of career choices. Because students of philosophy develop high degrees of critical thinking skills, they may pursue careers in law, business, and other fields as well as in the traditional career paths for philosophy students in teaching and research.
Logical Reasoning: Detect, identify and evaluate deductive and inductive arguments; assess by the formal standards that apply in each case (deductive, inductive reasoning); detect, identify and support charge of, fallacious reasoning; ensure consistency of sets of claims that constitute theory or viewpoint; ensure there is no logical absurdity incurred by theoretical definitions, principles, methods or claims;
Moral Reasoning: Identify and evaluate normative claims, arguments and theories; learn, critically discuss and master application of reigning theories and methods including Deontology, Utilitarianism, Principlism, Virtue Theory, Natural Law, Aristotelian Ethics, and Contractarianism; grasp the significance of the is/ought distinction and detect fallacies stemming from ignoring this distinction; learn, analyze and critically discuss such metaethical views as Noncognitivism, Emotivist and Wittgenstein’s language-based critique of moral discourse; understand and critically discuss challenges and problems like Relativism, evolution-theoretical viewpoints, “moral luck” and paradoxes associated with trolley-problems in moral decision making.
Analysis of Theories: Show deep understanding of the criteria good theories must meet and explain why there is a match between criteria and expectations about theories; apply criteria in reasoned fashion with a view to assessing theories; grasp and apply logical criteria pertaining to theory assessment (consistency and coherence, non-trivial disability, non-falsifiability); present examples of good and bad theories and account for the assessment of the theories;
Textual Analysis: Comprehend and answer penetrating questions about philosophic texts or conceptual and critical claims raised in any text; discuss text analytically evaluating cogency of arguments in the text, consistency and coherence, underlying and implied claims and presuppositions and how the text is related to other relevant texts and to philosophic and other problems in the history of thought; tolerate and react analytically and critically to creative ambiguity; detect, show, critique and eliminate, if possible, flaws like ambiguity, vagueness, formal or informal fallaciousness;
Locating in Context: Identify key concepts, debates, historic developments, problems and solutions as well as critiques, seminal texts, and theories within relevant historical and other contexts in Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic and Philosophy of Logic, Ethics and Metaethics, Political Philosophy.
Research and Writing: Research a topic in depth on the basis of authoritative sources and produce a sustained piece of formal writing, written with supporting arguments and thorough analysis while also showing proper source documentation.
Oral Presentation: Make a sustained and thorough presentation of a position, fully supported by good arguments, regarding a philosophic problem, viewpoint, solution or critique; answer question in analytic, detailed, fully supported fashion; pose probing questions that show grasp of the material; discuss chosen or assigned paper topic.
NOTE: All students are required to complete the General Education Requirements of their campus in fulfillment of their Bachelor degree requirements.
Major Requirements (30-45 credits)
6 credits from the MAJOR may be applied towards General Education Requirements.
Required major courses (9 credits)
Major electives (21-36 credits)
- The student must see Undergraduate Studies bulletin or consult with his/her adviser for distribution recommendations
Note: Three credits in Internship experience may be used to fulfill a major elective requirement.
6 credits from the MINOR may be applied towards General Education Requirements.