Major in Philosophy

A Major in Philosophy requires the core courses: Phil 1000, 2000, and 3000 or their equivalent as well as Phil 2150. A minimum of 21 credit hours must be taken at the the upper-level (3000 or 4000), and must include at least one seminar course and usually Phil 3050. A grade of C or better in each course of this discipline is required for the major. If the mark is lower the course can still count toward the total credit hours, but not the major. NOTE: The thesis (Phil 4080 and 4082) may only count as three credit hours toward the requirements for the upper-level electives.

Minor in Philosophy

A minor in Philosophy requires the core courses: Phil 1000, 2000, and 3000 or their equivalent, plus an additional 15 credit hours in Philosophy of which 12 credit hours must be at the upper level. A grade of C or better in each course of this discipline is required for the minor. If the mark is lower the course can still count toward the total credit hours, but not the minor.


Phil 1000 Worldview, Faith and Reason

Provides an introduction to the concept of worldview as well as to the history of Western philosophy. Along the way, it brings questions about faith and reason to light and helps people begin to think critically about such issues. The history of the creation/evolution debate is studied, as is the question of correct or wise interpretation of religious texts.

Phil 2000 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

Introduction to philosophy, tracing the development of Western philosophy from its pre-Socratic beginnings through the major Greek philosophers, the Hellenistic period and the development of medieval philosophy.

Phil 3000 Descartes to Hegel

Explores issues of philosophical method and the scope and limits of knowledge through the writings of the rationalists, empiricists, Kant and Hegel.


Phil 2150 Critical Thinking

Improves the ability to analyze and evaluate arguments and assertions met with in everyday life, and hence sharpens skills of reasoning to sound conclusions from available evidence. Studies classic fallacies and some formal logic.

Phil 3050 19th and 20th Century Philosophy

This course surveys the developments that took place in Anglo-American and Continental philosophy subsequent to Hegel. Topics of study will focus on representative readings of major figures in both traditions.


Phil 3210 Bio Ethics

Studies controversial ethical issues brought on by advances in biology and medicine.

Phil 3220 Business Ethics

Examines ethical issues arising in the business environment, including drug testing, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing and corporate social responsibility.

Phil 3400 Philosophy of Religion

Basic issues in philosophy of religion are examined. Topics covered include the arguments for God’s existence, the problem of evil, how the divine attributes are conceived, and the nature of religious language.

Phil 4080 Reading and Research

The research portion of the baccalaureate thesis project in Philosophy. First term exploring the possibility of a philosophy thesis. Requires an approved thesis proposal, completed chapter, detailed outline and annotated bibliography. By the end of the term, each student will submit to the instructor: (1) an annotated bibliography of the secondary material relevant to the thesis, (2) an 8- to 10-page paper related to some aspect of the material examined during the bibliographical search, and (3) a detailed outline of the thesis.

Phil 4082 Baccalaureate Thesis

The second term of a philosophy thesis project involving the remaining chapters, overall completion and presentation. Following successful completion of Phil 4080, a student may use the research to write a thesis of at least 15,000 words (exclusive of footnotes and bibliography). the thesis should demonstrate thoughtful appraisal and the ability to present a scholarly argument, and should reflect the ethos of SSU in a substantial way. At the conclusion of the term, students will be required to make oral presentations based on their theses.

Phil 4084 Senior Research Project

A single term, guided research project in philosophy involving the completion of an essay of 5-7000 words or equivalent. Students may enroll in Phil 4084, undertaking a directed study in a selected topic with one professor, producing a major research essay at the end of the course. Permission to undertake such a plan of study must be granted by the Phil 4084 professor, the Dean of Arts and the Associate Registrar.

Phil 4420 The Concept of Miracles

Systematically examines the topic of miracles, sensitive to the historical and scientific claims that have largely motivated discussion of the concept.

Phil 4430 Interfaces: God and Science

This course examines three areas of interface between scientific investigation and religious belief, namely issues surrounding the origin of the universe, the origin and development of biological life, and the nature of death. The course will be divided into four sections. The first section deals with methodological and demarcation issues, as well as general models of integrating scientific and religious beliefs, the second section considers the implications of big bang cosmology, the third section considers fine tuning arguments and controversies around evolution and intelligent design, and the fourth section examines different interpretations of near death experiences.

Phil 4570 Literary Theory (senior students only, seminar style)

(Cross-listed as Eng 4870) This course is designed as an overview of the historical developments in theoretical debates regarding literature, language, literariness and reading. Beginning with early forms of literary criticism in ancient Greece, we will briefly explore major theoretical positions throughout western literary history, and spend considerable time exploring and evaluating the main literary theories and theoreticians which developed in the twentieth century and dominate contemporary debates.

Phil 4572 Seminar on Existentialism

Examines major works of existentialist philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre and Heidegger.

Phil 4870 Postmodernism

(Cross-listed as Eng 4870) This senior level interdisciplinary course will explore developments in literature and philosophy – and to a lesser extent, art, theology, psychology and science – within the theoretical and historical context of ‘post-modernity.’  We will seek to understand the transition from structuralism to post-structuralism using relevant essays, novels and excerpts from philosophers and writers (such as Derrida and Vonnegut) who express and represent the ideas and themes of these movements.

Total Degree Requirements: 120 Credit Hours St. Stephen’s University reserves the right to cancel or revise any of the courses listed or to withdraw for the term any course for which there is insufficient demand. All courses are not offered every year.