Interim Chairperson: John Jones, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy website

The Marquette Philosophy Department is a community of teachers and scholars who aim to enable students in all disciplines by developing interpretive, critical, analytical and communicative skills necessary for personal, intellectual and moral development, cultural literacy and achievement in the complexities of life in the twenty-first century.

In addition to its role in the University Core of Common Studies, the department offers a major with three concentrations which students can select based on their interests and educational goals: History of Philosophy; Social, Political and Legal Philosophy; and Ethics and Values. The skills developed in the major are applicable to any subject matter, and in any human context, are sought after by employers in many fields and help to explain why philosophy majors on average score the highest overall scores on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) exams.

Philosophy as an investigation of the enduring questions facing humanity -- What is the human being?, What should the human being do?, What is the relationship of the human being to the world around him/herself? and What is the relationship of the human being to the transcendent?  encourages the student to be reflective about his/her human life. Philosophy asks the student to evaluate critically the civilization in which he/she lives while emphasizing the communal nature of human existence and our need to live with others.

Major in Philosophy

The major in philosophy consists of ten courses (30 credit hours), including four required courses (12 credit hours), three philosophy electives (9 credit hours), and three philosophy courses (9 credit hours) in one of the four areas of concentration (History of Philosophy; Social, Political and Legal Philosophy, Ethics and Values, or Philosophy of Science and Mind) listed below.

Required Courses:
PHIL 1000Logic (PHIL 4000 recommended)3
or PHIL 4000 Modern Logic
PHIL 1001Philosophy of Human Nature3
PHIL 2310Theory of Ethics3
PHIL 3410Metaphysics3
or PHIL 3450 Epistemology
Electives: Choose three PHIL courses.9
Concentrations: Choose one of the four concentrations.9
Concentration I - History of Philosophy
Required Course:
Ancient Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy
Electives: Choose two courses from the following.
Ancient Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Pragmatism and American Philosophy
Twentieth Century Anglo-American Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy
Marx and Marxism
Phenomenology and Existentialism
Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy
Concentration II - Social, Political and Legal Philosophy: Choose three courses from the following.
Marx and Marxism
Political Philosophy
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy and History of Crime and Punishment
Feminist Philosophy
Africana Philosophy
Concentration III - Ethics and Values: Choose three courses from the following.
Philosophy of the Environment
Philosophy of Art
Asian Philosophy
Africana Philosophy
Contemporary Ethical Problems
Business Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Concentration IV - Philosophy of Science and Mind
Required course:
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Electives: Choose two courses from the following.
Philosophy of the Environment
Metaphysics
Epistemology
Philosophy of Language
Twentieth Century Anglo-American Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy
Phenomenology and Existentialism
Biomedical Ethics
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
Any upper-division course in Natural Science, Social Science or Engineering.
Total Credit Hours30

Philosophy B.A./M.A. Accelerated Degree Program

The Department of Philosophy offers an accelerated degree program which allows students to earn both their B.A. degree and M.A. degrees in Philosophy within in a five-year time period. 

Those who have completed an M.A. in philosophy have gone on to excellent philosophy PhD programs or law schools, and gained employment in the non-profit and private sectors. Graduate courses in our program offer students the possibility to pursue topics of interest to them in more depth than they are able to in undergraduate classes. These courses couple smaller class sizes and more opportunities for participation with an emphasis on the refinement of student research skills.​

Students accepted into the program may transfer up to 12 credits of approved 5000-plus level courses into their graduate program. Undergraduates participating in this program are granted early admission to the graduate school and are allowed to take specific graduate-level courses during their junior and senior years.

To be considered for admission to the B.A./M.A. five-year program, applicants must formally apply to the philosophy department in their junior year at Marquette University and have achieved a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.000.

For additional information about requirements contact the philosophy department.

Minor in Philosophy

The philosophy minor consists of seven courses (21 credit hours) including four required courses (12 credit hours) and three elective philosophy courses (9 credit hours) as listed below:

Required Courses:
PHIL 1000Logic3
or PHIL 4000 Modern Logic
PHIL 1001Philosophy of Human Nature3
PHIL 2310Theory of Ethics3
PHIL 3410Metaphysics3
or PHIL 3450 Epistemology
Electives: Choose three philosophy courses9
Total Credit Hours21

 

Courses

PHIL 1000. Logic. 3 cr. hrs.

The goal of the course is to provide the student with an understanding of correct reasoning as it is employed in ordinary discourse. The course will study topics such as: terms and propositions, definition, opposition, induction and deduction, reasoning and argumentation, fallacies in argument. Fr stndg recommended.

PHIL 1001. Philosophy of Human Nature. 3 cr. hrs.

Investigation into the meaning of rational life. The course deals with the following four problem areas: human choice, human cognition, the affective, social and spiritual dimensions of the human person, and the unity of the human being. A substantive treatment of classical and Christian philosophical approaches will be included. May not be taken by first semester freshmen.

PHIL 1001H. Honors Philosophy of Human Nature. 3 cr. hrs.

Investigation into the meaning of rational life. The course deals with the following four problem areas: human choice, human cognition, the affective, social and spiritual dimensions of the human person, and the unity of the human being. A substantive treatment of classical and Christian philosophical approaches will be included. May not be taken by first semester freshmen. Prereq: Admission to Marquette University Honors Program.

PHIL 2310. Theory of Ethics. 3 cr. hrs.

An investigation into the moral dimension of human life. Among the topics to be considered are the norms of morality and the general process of moral decision-making. Traditional natural law will be one of the points of view included. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 2310H. Honors Theory of Ethics. 3 cr. hrs.

An investigation into the moral dimension of human life. Among the topics to be considered are the norms of morality and the general process of moral decision-making. Traditional natural law is one of the points of view included. Prereq: Soph. stndg.; PHIL 1001 or PHIL 1001H and admission to Marquette University Honors Program.

PHIL 3350. Philosophy of the Environment. 3 cr. hrs.

Philosophical inquiry into nature and our impact on it. Moral, scientific, and social problems posed by global environmental crises. Selected issues in value theory, ethics and aesthetics such asethical status of natural objects and systems, the morality of trade-offs between species, and the ethics of limiting consumption and population. Prereq: Soph. stndg., and PHIL 1001 and PHIL 2310.

PHIL 3370. Philosophy of Art. 3 cr. hrs.

Philosophical examination of art and its place in human life. Among possible topics are cognitive aspects of art, art and cultural understanding, the contribution of philosophy to the understanding and appreciation of art, the definition of art, art and morality, the objectivity of judgements of aesthetic value, the nature of aesthetic experience, the ontology of art, art as vehicle of social change, and the role of the artists' intentions in interpreting and evaluating works of art. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3380. Asian Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

The major systems of philosophy of India and China; early Vedic and Upanishadic systems, Buddhism including Chan/Zen, Brahmanism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Emphasis on the key ideas in Eastern philosophy. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3390. Latin American Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to significant figures, issues and texts in Latin American Philosophy. Investigates the global and comparative nature of philosophical dialogue and debate by reading texts from from philosophers and pensadores in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States. Prereq: PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3410. Metaphysics. 3 cr. hrs.

Investigation of fundamental questions about the nature of reality, especially those not amenable to purely empirical resolution. Among possible topics are theories of substance, the nature of physical objects, the existence of the soul, essences and natural necessity, time and space, the reality of possible worlds, the existence of universals, the nature of causation, and the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Prereq: Soph. stndg and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3450. Epistemology. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the sources, nature, structure, and extent of knowledge and justified belief. Among possible topics are skepticism, theories of perception, a priori knowledge, testimony as a source of knowledge, theories of truth, internalist and externalist theories of knowledge, the analysis of knowledge, and foundational and coherence theories of the structure of knowledge. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3460. Philosophy of Language. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of fundamental issues about the nature of symbolic systems, including language. Among the possible topics are intention-based, use-based, truthconditional and verificationalist theories of meaning, the indeterminacy of translation, proper names and reference, theories of definite descriptions, the nature of demonstrative and indexical expressions, and theories of metaphor. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3610. Ancient Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from the pre-Socratic philosophers through the Hellenistic schools, with an emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Including other philosophers such as Heraclitus, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Plotinus, Epicurus, Seneca and Sextus Empiricus. Issues may include the soul, immorality, knowledge, eros, and fate and freedom. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3620. Medieval Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

An examination of selected issues and philosophers of the medieval period. Philosophers covered may include Augustine, Boethius, Averroes, Avicenna, Maimonides, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham. Topics may include free will, universals, the nature of the soul, proofs for the existence of God, the relation of faith and reason. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3630. Pragmatism and American Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Studies the development of Philosophy within the continental United States with special emphasis on the emergence of Pragmatism as an original philosophical response to new historical conditions. Issues can include rejecting the Cartesian quest for certainty and sharp dualisms between mind and body, fact and value, language and the world, self and society; the meaning of truth; the impact of the theory of evolution on views and persons, Nature and God. Readings from authors such as Pierce, Edwards, Emerson, Mead, Addams, Bradley, Brighton, James, Dewey, Royce and contemporaries such as Richard Rorty, Cornel West, Hilary Putnam, Donald Davidson, and Alain Locke. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3640. Twentieth Century Anglo-American Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

A critical examination of a number of 20th century Anglo-American philosophers and philosophic movements. Movements considered will include some of the following: "Common Sense" Philosophy, Logical Atomism, Logical Positivism, and Ordinary Language Philosophy. Philosophers treated may include G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, Elizabeth Anscombe, Willard Quine, Thomas Nagel, and Saul Kripke. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3650. Early Modern Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Investigation of 17th-18th century philosophy, especially in light of individualism and scientific discovery. Philosophers may include, but not limited to, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Themes may include theories of mind and matter, personal identity, God and the cosmos, and the relations amongst philosophy, science and religion. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3660. Marx and Marxism. 3 cr. hrs.

Marx's intellectual transition from "leftist" Hegelianism to dialectical materialism; and thence, from his study of political economics to Das Kapital. Developments and adaptations of Marx's thought as found in thinkers representative of various schools of Marx interpretation. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3665. Phenomenology and Existentialism. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of major figures and themes from phenomenological and existentialist traditions, such as Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3670. Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of the philosophical developments in Germany from the post-Kantian idealism of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel to the thought of Nietzsche. Authors may include figures such as Schopenhauer and Marx. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3710. Political Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

A philosophical inquiry into the nature of social and political life. May include topics such as the nature of political liberty, the relation between the individual and larger institutions such as the state, the nature of justice, human rights, the meaning of the individual as a social being, the social aspects of individual identity, and the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the use of force. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3750. Philosophy of Law. 3 cr. hrs.

An inquiry into the nature and foundation of law, with particular attention to natural law, legal positivism and rights-based theories of law, theories of punishment and responsibility, and the relationship between law and morality. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3751. Philosophy and History of Crime and Punishment. 3 cr. hrs.

A study of crime and punishment from philosophical and historical perspectives. Crime and punishment from both the European and the American experience will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the interdisciplinary nature (philosophical/historical institutions) of crime and punishment. Prereq: Soph. stndg and PHIL 1001. Same as HIST 3751 and CRLS 3751. May be counted toward the core curriculum requirement in either Philosophy or Social-behavioral Science.

PHIL 3770. Feminist Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

The history of philosophical views of women and a critical introduction to different types of feminism, e.g., liberal, existentialist, radical, Marxist, and socialist feminism. Includes such topics as feminist theory of knowledge, political theory, and ethics. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 3780. Africana Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to central philosophical issues and figures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Perennial issues in philosophy of human nature and social/political philosophy will be approached from an Africana perspective, and may include the ontological status of race, the nature of racism, the relation between race and personal identity, contemporary race relations, global feminism and the existence of a distinctly "African" philosophy. The course may include such authors as Zera Yacob, Kwame Appiah, WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon, Paget Henry, Sylvia Wynter, Angela Davis, Charles Mills, and Lewis Gordon. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 4000. Modern Logic. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to modern symbolic logic, with primary emphasis on translation into symbolic form and natural deduction. Propositional logic and predicate logic with identity are covered.

PHIL 4320. Contemporary Ethical Problems. 3 cr. hrs.

Ethical considerations such as human rights and responsibilities in social and racial justice, war and international relations, expression of dissent, and sexual conduct. Prereq: Jr. stndg. and PHIL 2310.

PHIL 4330. Business Ethics. 3 cr. hrs.

An application of theories of ethics to the moral dimensions of business endeavors and their effects on individuals, organizations, and society. Selected topics may include issues of responsibility, discrimination and affirmative action in the workplace, whistle blowing, economic justice, environmental impact, and the effects of the "global economy." Prereq: Jr. stndg. and PHIL 2310.

PHIL 4335. Biomedical Ethics. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of fundamental ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine and other health care professions. Among possible topics are the definition of death, the morality of suicide and euthanasia, patient-physician confidentiality, informed consent, refusal of lifesaving medical treatment, the morality of abortion, genetic engineering, human cloning, the allocation of scarce medical resources, and other issues involving health care and society. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 2310.

PHIL 4336. Applied Ethics for the Health Sciences. 1 cr. hr.

An introduction to issues in professional ethics for students in the College of Health Sciences. Course is designed to provide a bridge to ethical topics covered in professional phase of study. Topics include: dignity of life, codes of medical ethics; the nature of the patient-medical provider relationship; confidentiality, the determination of patient competence; critical patient care, and justice in health care. Prereq: Enrolled in Health Sciences, Jr. stndg., and PHIL 2310.

PHIL 4450. Philosophy of Mind. 3 cr. hrs.

A consideration of some of the philosophical problems concerning the nature of mind and its interaction with the physical world. Topics may include the traditional mind-body problem and various significant historical and contemporary responses; the causal efficacy of content; neurophysiology vs. folk psychological approaches; other minds; intentionality; consciousness; and the reconciliation of contemporary science and our natural first person conception of the mind. Prereq: Jr. stndg. or Cons. of dept. ch.

PHIL 4470. Philosophy of Science. 3 cr. hrs.

Examination of fundamental epistemological and metaphysical issues that arise in the practice of science. Among possible topics are theories of scientific method, problems of confirmation, models of scientific explanation, scientific revolutions, the observational-theoretical distinction, the reality of theoretical entities, the relation between science and religion, science and art, and the limits of scientific knowledge. Prereq: Soph. stndg., PHIL 1001, and two semesters of science.

PHIL 4510. Philosophy of Religion. 3 cr. hrs.

A philosophical inquiry into the nature and function of religious life. Topics which may be covered include: the nature of faith, belief, and religious experience, the role and meaning of religious practice, prayer and worship, God’s existence and attributes, divine foreknowledge, freewill and the problem of evil. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 4540. Philosophy of Education. 3 cr. hrs.

Critical examination of important principles, methods and conclusions of various philosophies and their implications for education. Attention to professional ethics and students' development of their own philosophies of education. This course is equivalent to EDUC 4540. Prereq: Jr. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 4931. Topics in Philosophy. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Jr. stndg. and PHIL 1001.

PHIL 4953. Undergraduate Seminar. 3 cr. hrs.

Designed to initiate a selected group of qualified undergraduates in the technique and discipline of scholarly research by concentrated work in a restricted field. Critical reading and analysis of sources. Specific subjects of seminars to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prereq: Jr. stndg., PHIL 1001, and cons. of instr.

PHIL 4960. Research in Philosophy. 3 cr. hrs.

Draws upon prior coursework in philosophy and integrates both the factual knowledge and the arts of philosophical reasoning and research developed in prior courses culminating in a substantive research project. Prereq: Jr. stndg. and Cons. of dept. ch.

PHIL 4995. Independent Study. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Jr. stndg., PHIL 1001, and cons. of dept. ch.

PHIL 4999. Senior Thesis. 3 cr. hrs.

Preparation of a thesis by approved students under direction of an adviser. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.