Philosophy Undergraduate Programs

jp “All men and women are in some sense philosophers.” - Pope Saint John Paul II
aquinas “Some people will cross mountains and the sea for money. So should you labor for wisdom.” - Saint Thomas Aquinas
socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.” - Socrates

Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate program in philosophy comprises five different kinds of courses:

  • Core courses (Philosophy and the Ethical Life, The Human Person, and Philosophy of Being). Since all UD students take these courses, they lay a foundation for cross-disciplinary philosophical conversation. Philosophy majors will often find themselves discussing philosophical core texts with other majors. The different perspectives—literary, political, theological, scientific, aesthetic, etc.—will help to come to a more complete understanding of these extraordinarily rich texts.

  • Historical courses. The History Sequence aims to acquaint the student with the basic elements of the history of Western philosophy: its major authors, works, themes, and currents. Seeking an understanding of how philosophical traditions work, it asks how philosophers in the Western tradition have responded to major challenges by rethinking and reconfiguring their heritage. It explores the methodological claim that philosophy can attain a progressively clearer picture of its fundamental problems and their solutions only through a work of memory and retrieval by which it continually resituates its present in relation to its past. The study of origins in “From Ancient to Medieval Philosophy” plays an important role in this project, and is often reserved for the student’s final semester. Continental and Analytic Philosophy are the two major strands in contemporary Western philosophy. Philosophy majors may choose between them.
  • Studium philosophiae non est ad hoc quod sciatur quid homines senserint, sed qualiter se habeat veritas rerum, Thomas Aquinas famously said: the study of philosophy is not about getting to know the opinions that people have defended, but rather the truth of the things themselves. Hence the importance of the topical courses, in which you will study some of the central subject areas of philosophy: logic, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of religion or philosophy of God.
  • The Junior and Senior Seminars. Complementing the core courses and the historical courses, which always present several thinkers together (usually in historical sequence), the Junior Seminar is devoted to the in-depth study of one thinker and his works. The Senior Seminar, for its part, focuses on a specific topic. The Senior Seminar’s main goal is to lead the student from an attitude of (critical and intelligent) absorption of material to the ability to construct detailed philosophical arguments, and to present these arguments both orally and in writing in a methodologically sound way. Thus, the Senior Seminar prepares for the Senior Thesis.

  • Electives. In the schedule of the philosophy major, there is room for a number of electives, typically about four. These can be taken either in philosophy itself (the department offers courses such as Aesthetics, Philosophy of Education, Bioethics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of History, and Philosophy of Technology, among others) or in other areas that complement your philosophical studies.

 

 

News

Professor Applies Lessons Learned from Autistic Sons to All Life

Former Affiliate Assistant Professor of Spanish Nicole (Hammerschmidt) Lasswell, BA '03, and her husband, Martin, have two sons, Will and Stevie, both of whom have autism. For World Autism Awareness Day, the family was interviewed on Telemundo; because the boys are thriving, it seemed particularly important to the Lasswells to share their story and their hope with others.

+ Read More

Alumnae Unpack Dense Theological Concepts, Aim to Impact Culture

The first time Monica Ashour, MTS '95 MH '04, read St. John Paul II's "Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body" was in 2000 with a small, grassroots group of parents and teachers, including DeAnn (Barta) Stuart, Ph.D., BA '98 MH '04, and Annie (Duffin) Vining, MTh '03. This group went on to found The Theology of the Body Evangelization Team Inc. (TOBET) on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2001.

+ Read More

University of Dallas Names New Vice President for Advancement

UD is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Wu Trujillo as its new vice president for university advancement. Trujillo currently serves as chief development officer and director of the Honor the Future campaign at the University of Virginia (UVA) Law School Foundation, which conducts alumni relations, external affairs, fundraising and endowment management for the benefit of the UVA School of Law. He begins his new role at the end of June.

+ Read More