The philosophy major at SDSU explores and seeks to understand values and the nature of reality. Through the study of philosophy, questions like the following are asked about existence and experience: What is truth? What is beauty? Is there an ultimate reality? Philosophy studies the types of questions that most other subject areas are unable to address fully.
There are four different ways these questions are characteristically investigated in the philosophy major at SDSU. They are approached historically, by studying the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present; analytically, by carefully examining the meanings and interrelationships of ideas; creatively, by allowing students to explore imaginative new answers to these difficult questions; and critically, by training students in the art of rigorously evaluating significant claims.
Students will take an introduction to logic course at the lower-division preparatory level. Upper-division work will include courses in the History of Philosophy, covering the period between Ancient Western Philosophy and Nineteenth Century European Philosophy. Additional courses may include Social and Political Philosophy, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Literature, and Philosophy of Science. Deductive Logic and one or two elective courses are also included among the major requirements.
The philosophy program at SDSU provides more opportunities for the student to acquire a depth of knowledge about the history of philosophy than are available at most other colleges. The Philosophy Department is convinced that the student will be poorly equipped for serious grappling with fundamental issues in philosophy without a full historical background. The department program is designed to allow a student to combine that historical depth with the student's own choice of an emphasis among the areas of significant contemporary philosophical issues.
Some students begin graduate work after their B.A., either in philosophy, with the expectation of teaching or writing in the field, or in law, education, or other professional programs. Some enter new fields of research, working on computer problems or artificial intelligence.
Other students find that the special skills they have developed as philosophy majors - the ability to read complex material with comprehension, to analyze problems, to find relevant sources, to evaluate evidence, to propose solutions and to examine them self-critically, and to report the results of their inquiries with clarity and coherence - are valued by employers in many different fields. Such students may find career opportunities in government, industry, finance, and social services.
Philosophy is also a useful undergraduate major for students who wish to continue their education in fields such as law, medicine, dentistry, counseling, social work and education.
To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site.
You can view more complete information regarding the Philosophy program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the University. Catalogs are distributed at all Academic Orientation programs. To order a catalog, call (619) 594-7535.