Philosophy Major & Minor

Philosophy wrestles with fundamental questions in all areas of human knowledge and activity. Such questions include:

Struggling with and developing reasoned views about such issues enlarge one’s capacity for clear thinking, effective writing, and persuasive speaking. Philosophy encourages the intellectual curiosity necessary for a life of sustained inquiry and cultivates a taste for matters of importance over matters of show. Moreover, philosophy’s preference for rational persuasion over compulsion prepares one for responsible citizenship in a diverse nation and world.

Learning Objectives

Students completing Southern Virginia’s philosophy major are expected to acquire the following:

  1. Basic knowledge of the history of Western philosophy. (History)
  2. Basic knowledge of formal and informal logic. (Logic)
  3. Understanding of central areas of philosophy and of some major historical figures or movements. (Areas)
  4. Ability to explain and argue for philosophical positions in clear written English. (Writing)

Program coordinator: Jan-Erik Jones, Ph.D.

Major Requirements (29-30 credit hours)

Major Core (8-9 credit hours):

Major Electives: an additional 21 credit hours of philosophy coursework, including three credit hours from each of the following four areas:

  1. Ancient Philosophy (PHI 210, PHI 257, PHI 355R)
  2. Modern Philosophy (PHI 215, PHI 365R)
  3. Metaphysics and Epistemology (PHI 325R, 326, 333, or 335R)
  4. Ethics (PHI 340, 345R, or 350).

POL 210 Western Political Heritage I (3) and POL 215 Western Political Heritage II (3) may be used as electives in the philosophy major but do not satisfy any of the four distribution areas.

Philosophy majors who use PHI 210 and 215 to satisfy their civilization requirement must take an additional 210 or 215 course from one of the following options: ART 210, ART 215, HIS 210, HIS 215, POL 210, or POL 215.

Download the Philosophy Major Checklist

Minor Requirements (15 credit hours)

Minor Core (6 credit hours):

Minor Electives: an additional 9 credit hours of PHI courses from among the major electives.

Download the Philosophy Minor Checklist