General Guidelines.
Honors Program.
Courses of Instruction


Available as a major on the B.A. degree and as a minor on the B.A. or B.S. degree.

Requirements for a B.A. degree with a major in Philosophy. Twenty-four semester hours in philosophy with at least 6 in Topical Studies, 6 in Historical Studies and 3 in Logical Studies. At least 12 hours must be at the 40000 level or above. An accompanying minor should be chosen in consultation with the adviser for the Philosophy Department.

Requirements for a minor in Philosophy. Eighteen semester hours in philosophy with at least 3 hours in each of the 3 divisions (Topical, Historical and Logical Studies) at least 9 hours at the 40000 level or above. Selection of courses should be made in consultation with the designated adviser for the Philosophy Department.

General Guidelines. The study of academic philosophy is unfamiliar and often intimidating to most beginning college students. But those students who do study philosophy quickly learn that philosophical issues touch on all aspects of life. Philosophy deals with issues such as human nature, ethics, mind and reasoning. Although approaching these issues with the rigors of the philosophical method is both new and challenging to beginning students, most of those who study philosophy usually find the experience both an interesting and rewarding one in which they learn much about themselves and the world in which they live.

PHIL 10003 must be completed prior to taking almost any other philosophy course except for those in Logical Studies. After completion of PHIL 10003, it is generally required that students take one or more 30000 level courses, where more detailed and rigorous treatment of specific areas as well as initial instruction in philosophical writing will be provided. Successful completion of courses at the 30000 level should prepare students for 40000 level courses, most of which (except for Logical Studies) satisfy the UCR Writing Emphasis requirement (see this Bulletin's UCR section on Writing Emphasis).

Important Note: The description of a number of 30000 or 40000 level courses include specific prerequisites for those courses. For example, in order to take PHIL 40343 (Advanced Issues in Philosophy of Law) students must first complete PHIL 10003 as well as PHIL 30413 (Introduction to Philosophy of Law). Other 40000 level courses (e.g. History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy) require only that students have taken some 30000 level course. The department strongly urges students interested in courses beyond PHIL 10003 to consult with a member of the department in choosing courses best suited to their curricular needs.

Honors Program. Philosophy majors who plan to pursue Departmental Honors must be members of the Honors Program and should enroll in PHIL 30003 during their junior year and PHIL 40000 during the fall semester of their senior year. (Note: PHIL 30003 may be included in the 24 semester hours required for the major, but PHIL 40000 may not.)

Pass/No Credit. Courses to be applied toward the major may not be taken on the Pass/No Credit basis. Philosophy majors may take courses in their minor on the Pass/No Credit basis.

The following is a complete list of courses offered by this department. Go to Class Search to see which courses are being taught this semester.

Courses of Study

Topical Studies

10003 PHILOSOPHY ONE: (Subtitle and content may vary in different sections.) This course focuses on the basic human concerns treated under the classical core elements of philosophical inquiry, and prepares students for more detailed treatments of these areas in courses at the 30000 level. Major topics include ethics, epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophies of religion, science, art and mind, and introductory logic.

30003 JUNIOR HONORS SEMINAR. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

30313 MORAL PROBLEMS. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. A examination of contemporary moral issues. Typical topics include abortion, euthanasia, discrimination, preferential hiring, the enforcement of community standards, the morality of war, punishment, the rights of distant peoples and future generations, and environmental ethics.

30323 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. (RELI 30633) Prerequisite: PHIL 10003 or any religion course. Philosophy of Religion today is centrally concerned with issues relating to the rationality and justification of religious convictions. There is also an interest in the coherence of religious concepts. In this course various philosophical models for understanding and evaluating religious convictions and practices are examined and applied.

30333 ASIAN PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. A survey of the three intellectual traditions of Asia: Japanese, Chinese, and Indian philosophy. Topics include causality, concepts of the individual and Nature, and the nature of reality and knowing.

30343 PHILOSOPHY OF SPORT. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. Various philosophical theories regarding the nature of sport and its role in society are examined with a view to understanding the basic concepts involved in games, such as rule-governed behavior, habitual skills, strategy, competition and contingency.

30353 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. An introduction to the classical systems and central issues in political philosophy. The approach is largely historical, and selected major thinkers of most recent four centuries form the focus of the course.

30363 ETHICS AND HEALTHCARE. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003 or permission of the instructor. An introduction to ethical and philosophical issues in healthcare. Case studies supplemented with readings from medical, nursing, and philosophical literature.

30373 EXISTENTIAL PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. This course offers students an opportunity to reflect on such topics as alienation, the search for meaning, freedom, embodiment, authenticity, love, and ethics as they are deal with in texts by major writers in the 19th and 20th century movement known as existentialism.

30383 THEORIES OF HUMAN NATURE. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. A survey of Western ideas about the nature of human beings. The course examines theories about the fundamental characteristics of human individuals and their bearing on the nature of social groups.

30393 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. A survey of past and present accounts of human mentality. Beginning with the classical ideas of the soul the course concentrates on the major theories of mind advanced by Western philosophers in the last four centuries.

30403 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. This course surveys several contemporary approaches for understanding our moral obligation to the environment, including intuitionism utilitarianism, deontology and feminism. By applying these approaches to concrete environmental issues, the course illustrates how efforts to preserve the environment raise special difficulties for traditional moral categories, such as intrinsic and instrumental value. The course also explores the peculiarly aesthetic dimension of environmental ethics, including claims about the value of natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness.

30413 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF LAW. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. An examination of the basic issues in Legal Theory. Topics typically include the nature of legal reasoning, the relationship between law and morality, and classical theories of law.

30970 PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Topics vary as announced. May be repeated for credit. (1-6 hours)

40000 SENIOR HONORS RESEARCH. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (1-3 hours)

40203 SEMINAR IN METAPHYSICS. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Course content to vary by semester and will include such areas as philosophy of mind, philosophy of history, action theory, ontology, Process Philosophy and Continental Philosophy.

40303 SEMINAR IN VALUE THEORY. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Course content to vary by semester and will include such areas as metaethics, phenomenology of values, philosophy of religion, legal philosophy, philosophy of sport and aesthetics.

40323 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 or advanced standing as a major in one of the physical, life, or social sciences (or permission of the instructor.) Includes What are the aims of science? What are the roles of theory and experiment in science? What is explanation? What is a scientific law? How do scientists justify their claims? How does scientific knowledge develop and grow? What are the differences between physical and live sciences and the social sciences?

40343 ADVANCED ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY OF LAW. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and 30413. A rigorous examination of specific issues in legal theory and jurisprudence. Topics may include the nature of law, legal adjudication, law and economics, theories of punishment, and legal responsibility and obligation.

40373 ART AND THE AESTHETIC. Prerequisite: PHIL 10003. Philosophical theories are presented regarding the nature of art and aesthetic experience. The concepts of representation, expression, formalism, the work of art, intention, meaning, truth, and criticism are discussed along with how they contribute to answering the question, "What is art?"

40383 ADVANCED TOPICS IN HUMAN NATURE. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and PHIL 30383 (or PHIL 30393). Critical analysis of contemporary theories of human nature advanced by philosophers, psychologists, biologists, cognitive scientists and others. The thinkers under consideration will vary but examples would include E. O. Wilson, B. F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, John Searle and Daniel Dennett.

40393 ETHICAL THEORY. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and PHIL 30353 (or PHIL 30313 or PHIL 30363). A systematic treatment of basic issues in moral theory, critically examining such issues as the possibility of providing rational foundations for moral belief, and the nature of moral judgments and moral reasoning, focusing on the work of major historical and contemporary figures.

40403 SEMINAR IN EPISTEMOLOGY. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Course content to vary by semester and include areas such as theories of perception, theories of truth, analytic philosophy, philosophy of science, phenomenology, pragmatism and empiricism.

50933 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY. (HIST 50933) Prerequisites: 6 hours history and 3 hours philosophy. A philosophical analysis of historiography; the logical, conceptual and epistemological characterization of what historians do; also includes a study of traditional attempts to discover some meaning which transcends the intelligibility sought and achieved by ordinary historical work.

50970 DIRECTED STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Historical Studies

40213 HISTORY OF ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and any 30000 level PHIL course. A survey of the major figures in Western thought between 600 BCE and 1500 CE. Among those included are the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine and Aquinas.

40220 CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. An historical study of one or more philosophical movements in the twentieth century. Topics vary and include analytic, existential, phenomenological and process philosophy. May be repeated for credit. (3-6 hours)

40223 HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and PHIL 30383 (or PHIL 30393 or permission of instructor). A survey of the major figures in Western thought from 1500 to 1800. Among those included are Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

40233 HISTORY OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and PHIL 40223. The philosophical tradition after Kant developed in different ways in Continental Europe from the ways it did in English speaking countries. This course examines those developments, especially in Germany and France. Such thinkers as Hegel and the German Idealists, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Derrida are discussed.

40243 ANGLO-AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY. Prerequisites: PHIL 10003 and PHIL 40223. A historical study of either the analytic or pragmatic tradition. Such figures as Carnap, Neurath, Schlick, Moore, Russell, and Ayer; or Royce, Peirce, Mead, James, Dewey, and Quine; or a combination of philosophers are studied.

Logical Studies

20103 CRITICAL REASONING. How to detect, analyze, and critically evaluate reasoning in ordinary language and its technical counterparts found in business, economics, etc. The course is designed to enhance skills for handling arguments in a variety of texts. Understanding the arguments and theories encountered in one's situations is stressed, along with how one can improve one's own expression of arguments and theories, especially in writing. Topics include techniques of reconstruction and evaluation in a process of self-editing, detection of fallacies, and distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning.

30133 SYMBOLIC LOGIC I. (Math 30133) An introduction to the scope and limits of modern logic. The nature of logical systems and the various areas of logic are discussed. Alternative proof-procedures in propositional logic and predicate logic are presented.

30143 SYMBOLIC LOGIC II. (MATH 30143) Prerequisite: PHIL 30133. A continuation of 30133, with an emphasis on predicate logic, nonstandard logic, and metalogic.

40103 SEMINAR IN LOGIC. Prerequisite: PHIL 30133 or MATH 20524 (or permission of instructor). Advanced topics in logic. Course content to vary by semester and will include areas such as formal languages, mathematical logic, deontic logic, modal systems, and philosophy of language.