The major in philosophy is designed to acquaint the student with the history of philosophy as well as the major fields of philosophy, including logic, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. As part of the major, students will develop skills such as thinking critically and conceptually and will be able to apply their knowledge and skills in solving problems, both practical and theoretical. The major in philosophy is useful in a variety of professional fields where critical analysis and the communication of ideas are valued, including law, medicine, media, ministry, and other areas. The major in philosophy is also good preparation for graduate study in a number of fields, including philosophy, religion, journalism, law, medicine, and business.
CMU has two pre-law chapters: Phi Alpha Delta is the national pre-law fraternity, and the Pre-Law Club is for upperclassmen who plan to enter the law profession (advisor: Dr. John Carter).
Philosophy Minor - 18 Hours
PL306 Ethics and the Professions (3)
One (1) from the following:
PL101 Introduction to Logic (3)
PL105 Introduction to Philosophy (3)
One (1) from the following:
PL303 Classical to Medieval Thought (3)
PL304 Modern to Contemporary Thought (3)
Three (3) from the following:
PL225 Philosophy of Religion (3)
PL310 Ethics and Leadership (3)
PL311 The Study of Knowledge (3)
PL314 World Religions Today (3)
PL101 Introduction to Logic. 3 hours. This introduction to the study of logic gives attention to both the analysis of formal arguments and to the examination of arguments in ordinary language. Special attention is given to induction and informal fallacies. Fall.
PL105 Introduction to Philosophy. 3 hours. Students explore the nature of philosophy and its methods, including the problems of knowledge, reality, ethics, aesthetics, and religion. Fall.
PL225 Philosophy of Religion. 3 hours. This is a study of the nature of religion and of the relation of philosophy to theology. Attention is given to such problems as the existence of God, knowledge of God, faith, religious language, evil, immortality, and eschatology. Cross-listed with RL225. Prerequisite: RL122. Odd-numbered years.
PL260 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. This is an independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
PL268 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-3 hours.
PL290 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. This is an intermediate-level course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
PL303 Classical to Medieval Thought. 3 hours. This is a comprehensive survey of the philosophical ideas and thought systems of Europe which have influenced our conceptions of experience and reality. Emphasis is on the contributions of the Greeks and on the contributions of medieval thought. Prerequisite: PL105. Even-numbered years.
PL304 Modern to Contemporary Thought. 3 hours. This is a comprehensive survey of the philosophical ideas and thought systems of Europe which have influenced our conceptions of experience and reality. Emphasis is on the modern and contemporary development of rationalism, empiricism, idealism, process philosophy, existentialism, logical positivism, and linguistic analysis. Prerequisite: PL105 or Junior standing. Even-numbered years.
PL306 Ethics and the Professions. 3 hours. After an introduction to ethics, ethical theories, and the art of critical thinking about ethical issues, students will examine ethical issues specific to their chosen professions. Emphasis in the past has been on ethics and the sciences (medicine, experimentation, genetics), the environment (corporation vs. individual rights, responsibilities to animals and to the environment), and philosophy of law (justice, equality, rights, responsibility, and punishment). Emphasis is on case studies. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Alternating years.
PL310 Ethics and Leadership. 3 hours. Leadership uninformed by character is likely empty at best and disastrous at worst. Thus, the course will examine leadership styles and the ethics of leadership as a consequence of or a derivative of adequate character and a strong sense of personal responsibility. The course will examine "good," Relativism, the relation of character and virtue, leadership responsibilities, and personal responsibility. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Alternating semesters.
PL311 The Study of Knowledge. 3 hours. Students explore the areas of knowledge, belief, and truth. Students will be introduced to concepts such as skepticism and justification. Students will explore what counts as knowledge and how these issues affect the areas of morality, science, math, and society. Alternating years.
PL314 World Religions Today. 3 hours. This is a study of the theoretical, practical, and sociological expressions of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Cross-listed with RL314. Prerequisites: RL122. Odd-numbered years.
PL360 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
PL368 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-3 hours.
PL390 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. This is an advanced course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
PL480 Major Readings. 3 hours. (Capstone) This course is open only to Seniors majoring in Philosophy, except by division chair's permission.