Philosophy, BA

This is the first version of the 2023–24 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate courses in philosophy are designed to impart knowledge of fundamental issues and main developments in philosophy while strengthening logical and analytic skills.

The department sponsors an active Philosophy Club that hosts informal discussion meetings, movie nights, outreach events, departmental public lectures and colloquia, and other activities. The department also offers a service-learning course, PHIL:3920 Philosophy in Public.

Learning Outcomes

The goals of philosophical training are:

  • to think critically and make well-grounded arguments, both orally and in written work;
  • to understand key philosophical problems and major traditions;
  • to learn variegated approaches to solving problems;
  • to detect problems and puzzles that are not readily apparent;
  • to develop critical listening;
  • to learn a step-by-step approach to the mastery of public speaking; and
  • to read and interpret all forms of text—news reports, books, film, television, etc.

Department of Philosophy Initiatives

  • Applying philosophical concepts to everyday affairs.
  • Creating community through movie nights, the philosophy club, public lectures, optional one-hour lab sections for students to work more closely with research faculty, an undergraduate colloquium series, and the undergraduate journal, Labyrinth.
  • Outreach and engagement; for example, through the service-learning course, PHIL:3920 Philosophy in Public, the K–12 Iowa Lyceum Summer Philosophy Institute, and outreach with the Johnson County Senior Center.
  • The philosophy undergraduate internship program.
  • Prompt and helpful advising.
  • An annual newsletter that connects students with successful alumni.