University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degrees

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

The School of Philosophy offers two major options: the major in philosophy and the major in philosophy with an emphasis on ­ethics, law and value theory.

The major in philosophy requires eight courses in philosophy; six of these must be at the upper-division level. One of the eight courses must be selected from the following list: PHIL 300, PHIL 315, PHIL 320, PHIL 350 or PHIL 360. Students are strongly encouraged to take one of these courses before taking any 400-level courses. Three of the eight courses must satisfy the distribution requirement: at least one course from each of the three categories listed.

History of Philosophy: PHIL 315, PHIL 320, PHIL 345, PHIL 410, PHIL 411, PHIL 415, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, PHIL 423, PHIL 424, PHIL 427, PHIL 434.

Ethics, Law and Value Theory: PHIL 330, PHIL 335, PHIL 337, PHIL 340, PHIL 345, PHIL 430, PHIL 437, PHIL 440, PHIL 442.

Systematic Philosophy: PHIL 350, PHIL 360, PHIL 385, PHIL 427, PHIL 428, PHIL 460, PHIL 462, PHIL 463, PHIL 465, PHIL 470, PHIL 480, PHIL 485, PHIL 486.

The major with an emphasis on ethics, law and value theory requires the student to complete all of the requirements for the major in philosophy, with the further requirement that three of the eight courses completed are from the distribution category of ethics, law and value theory. The major with emphasis on ethics, law and value theory requires eight courses in philosophy, of which six must be upper-division courses; one course from the list of 300-level courses above; one course from the list of history of philosophy courses; one course from the list of systematic philosophy courses; and three courses from the list of ethics, law and value theory courses.

Philosophy Major with Honors

The philosophy major with honors requires the student to complete one of the major options with a GPA in the major of at least 3.5 and also complete a ninth course, PHIL 494 Senior Thesis, with a grade of B or better. Intent to complete the philosophy major with honors normally should be registered with the philosophy advisor no later than the second semester of the junior year. Students who intend to graduate with honors are encouraged to complete PHIL 350.

Undergraduates who are considering graduate school in philosophy should, in addition to consulting with the undergraduate advisor, consult with the graduate advisor on a regular basis until graduation. The School of Philosophy strongly urges that future philosophy graduate students major with honors, enroll in PHIL 350 for credit, and consider (in consultation with the philosophy advisors) taking at least one graduate course for undergraduate credit.

Double Major

Double majors are encouraged but a student must work in close consultation with the undergraduate advisor.

Bachelor of Arts with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Philosophy

See Linguistics.

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Law

This interdisciplinary major combines in a systematic and structured way basic education in philosophy, political theory and elements of law. It may be of particular interest to students contemplating post-graduate work in law; those interested in a career in public service or politics; and those attracted by the rigor of philosophy, and its attention to foundational issues, who are also interested in politics and law. Students are exposed to a wide range of conceptual and methodological approaches, while learning enough philosophy and political science to leave a choice of options for graduate schools. The major requires nine classes, distributed as follows.

One lower-division class from the following:
PHIL 140Contemporary Moral and Social Issues4
PHIL 141The Professions and the Public Interest in American Life4
PHIL 262Mind and Self: Modern Conceptions4
POSC 130Law, Politics and Public Policy4

Students who satisfy one of their general education requirements by taking a core, thematic options course of comparable scope and content, can, at the discretion of the director of the School of Philosophy and the philosophy undergraduate advisor for this major, substitute that course for one of the above.

One course in logic:
PHIL 350 Symbolic Logic4
PHIL 351Reasoning and Logic4

One course in philosophy of law:
PHIL 430 Philosophy of Law4
PHIL 431Law, Society, and Politics4

One additional course in moral and political philosophy:
PHIL 335 Theoretical Models of Leadership4
PHIL 337History of Modern Political Philosophy4 PHIL 340 Ethics4
PHIL 437Social and Political Philosophy4
PHIL 440 Contemporary Ethical Theory4
PHIL 442History of Ethics to 19004
PHIL 443Value Theory4

One course in the history of philosophy or a systematic area of philosophy:

History of philosophy:
PHIL 300 Introduction to the Philosophical Classics 4
PHIL 315History of Western Philosophy: Ancient Period4
PHIL 317 History of Western Philosophy: Medieval Period4
PHIL 320History of Western Philosophy: Modern Period4
PHIL 423 The Critical Philosophy of Kant4
PHIL 42620th Century European Philosophy4
PHIL 427 20th Century Anglo- American Philosophy4
PHIL 428Anglo-American Philosophy since 19504

Systematic areas of philosophy:
PHIL 360 Epistemology and Metaphysics 4
PHIL 462Philosophy of Mind4
PHIL 463 Theories of Action4
PHIL 465Philosophy of Language4
PHIL 470 Theory of Knowledge4

One course in constitutional politics:
POSC 335 Political Parties, Campaigns, and Elections4
POSC 340Constitutional Law4
POSC 426 The United States Supreme Court4
POSC 444Civil and Political Rights and Liberties4

One course in comparative or international politics and law:
ANTH 345 Politics, Social, Organization and Law4
POSC 345International Law4
POSC 440 Comparative Law and the Judicial Process4
POSC 448aThe Politics of Peace: Human Rights4

One course in politics, law, and public policy:
POSC 347 Environmental Law4
POSC 395Directed Governmental and Political Leadership Internship4
POSC 443 Law in Film4
POSC 452Critical Issues in Law and Public Policy4
SWMS 349Women and the Law 4

One course in law:
LAW 300 Concepts in American Law 4

Minor in Philosophy

The minor in philosophy requires the completion of five philosophy courses, at least four of which are upper-division courses. All minors must complete one of PHIL 300, PHIL 315, PHIL 320, PHIL 340, PHIL 350 or PHIL 360. and must complete one course from each of the subject area lists.

Subject Area Lists
History of Philosophy: PHIL 101, PHIL 115, PHIL 220, PHIL 315, PHIL 320, PHIL 410, PHIL 411, PHIL 415, PHIL 421, PHIL 422, PHIL 423, PHIL 424, PHIL 425, PHIL 426, PHIL 427, PHIL 473.

Ethics, Law and Value Theory: PHIL 140, PHIL 141, PHIL 155, PHIL 330, PHIL 335, PHIL 337, PHIL 338, PHIL 340, PHIL 345, PHIL 430, PHIL 434, PHIL 437, PHIL 440, PHIL 442, PHIL 445, PHIL 446.

Systematic Topics: PHIL 262, PHIL 360, PHIL 361, PHIL 385, PHIL 428, PHIL 450, PHIL 460, PHIL 462, PHIL 463, PHIL 465, PHIL 470, PHIL 480, PHIL 485, PHIL 486.

Minor in Theories of Art

Theorizing about the arts takes place in the discipline of philosophy (aesthetics) as well as in all the individual disciplines concerned with the individual arts. Some of the issues involved (is perspective a matter of convention?; how does acting differ in cinema and in theatre?) are specific to a particular discipline or disciplines, but their discussion typically involves very general issues (in the cases mentioned, issues about the nature of convention or of artistic media) and many of the issues manifest themselves in all these disciplines (the relation of intention to interpretation; the epistemological and moral status of the arts; the nature of evaluative judgments). The understanding of these issues can be greatly enhanced by studying them as they arise in different arts and in different theoretical traditions. The minor should be of interest to students with an interest in philosophy, or students in any of the arts who are interested in their theoretical dimensions.

There are no entrance requirements for the minor, which requires six courses (23 or 24 units, depending on course selection).

All students must take PHIL 242 Theories of Art (4 units) and select five courses from the following:

AHIS 250Modernity and Difference: Critical Approaches to Modern Art4
ARCH 314Theory and Criticism: Recent Trends and Developments3
COLT 391Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism4
COLT 454Aesthetic Philosophy and Theory4
ENGL 479History of Literary Criticism4
ENGL 480Modern Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice4
PHIL 445Philosophy of the Arts4
PHIL 446Aesthetics and the Film4
THTR 404Acting Theory4

Minor in Critical Approaches to Leadership

See Interdisciplinary Studies.

Minor in Philosophy for Business, Law, and the Professions

The aim of the minor is to give students headed for business, law or the professions a strong set of critical, analytic and expository skills, while providing them with a broad humanistic perspective not found in professional education. Students are required to take five courses, at least four of which must be upper division. They must take one course from each of the following categories (1- 4), and one additional course from either category 2 or 3.

1. Logic: PHIL 350 or PHIL 351

2. Law, Leadership, and the Professions: PHIL 141, PHIL 330, PHIL 335, PHIL 430, PHIL 431

3. Ethics, History of Ethics, and Value: PHIL 140, PHIL 340, PHIL 345, PHIL 361, PHIL 440, PHIL 442

4. Systematic Philosophy: PHIL 262, PHIL 360, PHIL 385, PHIL 427, PHIL 428, PHIL 460, PHIL 462, PHIL 465, PHIL 470