Goals for Undergraduate Philosophy Education
The Duke Philosophy major aims to develop students’ abilities to think logically, to critically analyze key texts and key arguments, and to write careful philosophical prose.
Learning Objectives for the Major
- Majors will possess a basic competence in deductive logic and a basic knowledge of inductive and scientific reasoning.
- Majors will possess a familiarity with the Ancient and Modern periods of philosophy in the West.
- Majors will gain familiarity with at least one area of contemporary philosophy from among metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.
- Majors will gain familiarity with at least one area of contemporary value theory, which includes ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of law.
- Majors will possess the ability to write careful sustained critical papers.
- Majors will produce at least one substantial paper for a graduate level seminar
In addition the Department encourages majors with a qualifying GPA in their Philosophy courses (especially anyone who contemplates graduate study in philosophy) to write a senior honors thesis under the direction of a faculty member.