Philosophy major

mhcc.edu/SocialScience

Faculty Adviser

Chris Jackson: Chris.Jackson@mhcc.edu

Philosophers are interested in trying to provide plausible answers to life’s most profound questions:

  1. What, ultimately, is going on? Is there a God who created us for some purpose? Must we grasp this purpose and take specific actions or be on the losing side of some great spiritual battle? Is God perhaps merely interested in watching the show? Is nature all there is and God a mere figment of our imaginations?
  2. What kind of thing is a human being? Are we creatures of God possessing an immortal soul, or are we merely animals? Were we created by intelligent design, or are we the product solely of naturalistic evolutionary processes? Do we have sufficient freedom of the will to be truly deserving of praise and blame for what we do, or are we only complicated physical systems like computers and storms that are not responsible morally for what they do?
  3. How should a human being live? Should I seek mainly my own happiness? How concerned with the welfare of others should I be? How should I treat others and expect others to treat me? It is true that philosophers rarely reach a consensus about which answer is indisputably the right one for any given philosophical question. But it is still the case that, as with other noble pursuits, the connoisseur of ideas can at least identify the few best answers, and from these few he or she can sometimes reach personal closure - an intelligent and informed personal closure. So why let others answer these questions for you? Why settle for being a secondhand person? Isn’t it time to own your mind?

Curricular Outcomes

At the completion of this curriculum, students should be able to:

  • Identify questions addressed in the three main areas in philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology (including logic) and ethics
  • Recall some of the contributions of the major philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Mill and Rawls)
  • Examine some of the main problems and proposed solutions/criticisms in philosophy, along with the concepts instrumental to participating in the philosophical dialogue regarding these problems
  • Define the basic vocabulary of logic
  • Translate an argument from its original context into a more concise and orderly summary (i.e., an argument standardization or diagram)
  • Distinguish the main valid forms from invalid impostors
  • Assess the strength of the concise restatement of the argument, with particular attention given to the strength of the inference

Students interested in pursuing the Philosophy major can complete the following courses toward the Arts & Letters requirement and/or electives on the ASLA (recommended), AAOT, ASOT-B, AGS or AS degrees. Students are highly encouraged to work with a university transfer adviser to ensure transferability of courses. Admitted students may also log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.

Philosophy Courses

PHL201Introduction to Philosophy (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)4
PHL202Fundamental Ethics (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)4
PHL191Language and the Layout of Argument4

Recommended courses to fulfill the Social Science requirement for Philosophy majors:

ANTH103Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Cultural Literacy course)4
HST110Ancient World History (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)4
PS200Introduction to Political Science (Course offered online)4
PSY201General Psychology (Course offered online)4
PSY202General Psychology (Course offered online)4

The following shows just one example of how students can complete an AS in Liberal Arts degree while also taking lower-division philosophy courses. Be sure to work with an MHCC adviser and the transfer institution you'd like to attend to ensure correct courses are being taken. Not all courses are offered every term. Click on a course number to see what term(s) the course is typically offered.

Plan of Study Grid
First QuarterCredits
PHL201 Introduction to Philosophy (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course) 4
WR121 English Composition (Course offered online) 4
MTH105 Mathematics in Society (or higher) 5
Modern Language 101 4-5
 Credits17
Second Quarter
PHL202 Fundamental Ethics (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course) 4
WR122
English Composition: Critical Thinking (Course offered online)
or Technical Report Writing (Course offered online)
4
Modern Language 102 4-5
Arts & Letters (other than Modern Language) 3-4
 Credits15
Third Quarter
Oral Communication 3-4
Social Science (ANTH180 or HST110 recommended) 4
Science / Math / Computer Science 3-5
Modern Language 103 4-5
 Credits15
Fourth Quarter
PHL191 Language and the Layout of Argument 4
Science / Math / Computer Science 3-5
Social Science (PS200 recommended) 3-4
Modern Language 201 4-5
 Credits16
Fifth Quarter
Social Science (PSY201 recommended) 3-4
Modern Language 202 4-5
Electives / university requirements 6-8
 Credits14-15
Sixth Quarter
Health & Physical Education 3
Modern Language 203 4-5
Electives / university requirements 6-8
 Credits13-14
 Total Credits90-92

PHL191 Language and the Layout of Argument

Credits 4Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course focuses on the analysis of arguments, including the assessment criteria: recognizing arguments when they occur, discerning simple logical patterns of argument as well as imposters, extracting arguments from the contexts in which they occur, restating them in clear and concise terms while clearing away needless language and assessing the strength of the restated argument, with particular attention given to the strength of the inference.

This course fulfills: Arts & Letters; Human Relations

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Assess the strength of the concise restatement of the argument, with parlicular attention given to the strength of theinference
  2. Define the basic vocabulary of argument analysis and assessment
  3. Distinguish the main valid forms from invalid imposters
  4. Translate an argument from its original context into a more concise and orderly summary (i.e., an argumentstandardization or diagram)

PHL201 Introduction to Philosophy (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 4Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course is a general introduction to philosophy, its practice and major areas of study. The course content is approached through works of some of the major Western philosophers as well as instructor-selected topics in philosophy: the existence and nature of God, free will, the mind-body problem, the existence of the external world and so on.

This course fulfills: Arts & Letters; Human Relations

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze, assess, and/or interpret diverse historical and contemporary philosophical works/perspectives
  2. Compare/contrast attitudes of specific historical and contemporary periods and world cultures regarding philosophical discourse
  3. Define the basic vocabulary of logic
  4. Describe and apply fundamental concepts, conventions, and/or techniques of significant forms of philosophical discourse
  5. Identify some of the contributions of the major philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Mill, and Rawls)

PHL202 Fundamental Ethics (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 4Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

A lecture and discussion approach to basic ethical systems. The student explores the question "Why be moral?" and attempts to analyze the foundations of moral actions.

This course fulfills: Arts & Letters; Human Relations

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Analyze, assess, and/or interpret diverse historical and contemporary philosophical works/perspectives
  2. Compare/contrast attitudes of specific historical and contemporary periods and world cultures regarding philosophical dicourse
  3. Examine the historical bases and evolution of diverse ideas, behaviors, and issues pertaining to perspectives and developments in philosophical ethics
  4. Explain the origins and influences of works/perspectives in philosophical ethics
  5. Explore how culturally-based assumptions influence perceptions, behaviors, and policies pertaining to conventional and/or philosophical ethics
  6. Identify some of the contributions of the major philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, and Rawls)

Course offered online

Cultural Literacy course