B.A. in Philosophy
Investigate the core principles of ethics, knowledge, and reality that inform decision-making in every career.
Through courses in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, value theory, and the history of philosophy, philosophy majors at the University of Mississippi consider the questions at the core of human experience. They consider the nature of reality, the extent of human knowledge, the basis of moral and ethical thought and behavior, the resolution of conflict, and the origin of belief.
Philosophy majors clarify their own beliefs, develop a basis for ethical decisions, and formulate a coherent approach to life. They learn how to think logically, analyze problems, assess proposed solutions, communicate clearly, conduct research, and think creatively and imaginatively. The Department of Philosophy and Religion has particular strengths in ethics, supported in part by the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Lectureship in Ethics Endowment.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Philosophy exposes students to the core arguments and principles that ground decision-making in nearly every professional venue. Related careers include law, medicine, education, business, corporate training, public relations, journalism, counseling, and social services.
With support from the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Lectureship in Ethics Endowment, philosophy students have the opportunity to join the Ethics Bowl debate team that travels to regional and national competitions. In partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, the department administers the Frate Fellowship in Bioethics, allowing students to confront ethical challenges in a real world hospital setting while working with nurses, doctors, and medical administrators. Faculty-led Study USA courses include Environmental Ethics that travels to the Washington D.C. area.
B.A. in Philosophy Faculty
Philosophers in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mississippi have many different areas of expertise, including philosophy of law, language, mind, religion, politics, science, film; epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, applied, moral psychology, Asian philosophy, ancient philosophy, and early modern philosophy.
A major in philosophy for the B.A. degree consists of 30 semester hours of philosophy as indicated below, which must include at least two 400- or 500-level philosophy seminars and Phil 499. Of these 30 hours, students must take (I) 3 hours of logic, as well as at least 6 hours in each of the following content areas: (II) Epistemology and Metaphysics, (III) Value Theory, (IV) History of Philosophy.
I. Logic (3 hours)
- Phil 103: Logic: Critical Thinking
- Phil 319: Symbolic Logic
II. Epistemology and Metaphysics (6 hours)
- Phil 322: Epistemology
- Phil 323: Metaphysics
- Phil 325: Theories of Truth
- Phil 332: Personal Identity and the Self
- Phil 333: Philosophy of Language
- Phil 340: Philosophy of Technology
- Phil 342: Philosophy of Mind
- Phil 351: Philosophy of Religion
- Phil 360: Philosophical Issues in Science/Religion
- Phil 422: Seminar in Epistemology/Metaphysics
- Phil 432: Seminar in the Philosophy of Mind/Language
- Phil 460: Seminar in the Philosophy of Science/Religion
- Phil 590: Advanced Seminar in Epistemology/Metaphysics
III. Value Theory (6 hours)
- Phil 102: Introduction to Professional Ethics
- Phil 104: Contemporary Moral Issues
- Phil 204: Intro to Ethical Policy Debate
- Phil 320: Aesthetics
- Phil 321: Ethical Theory
- Phil 328: Biomedical Ethics
- Phil 331: Political Philosophy
- Phil 344: Moral Psychology
- Phil 345: Environmental Ethics
- Phil 347: Advanced Ethical Policy Debate
- Phil 350: Philosophy of Law
- Phil 352: Care Ethics
- Phil 353: Consequentialism
- Phil 355: Philosophy of Film
- Phil 357: Business Ethics
- Phil 421: Seminar in Ethical Philosophy
- Phil 431: Seminar in Legal/Political Philosophy
- Phil 591: Advanced Seminar in Value Theory
IV. History of Philosophy (6 hours)
- Phil 301: History of Philosophy I (Ancient and Medieval)
- Phil 302: History of Philosophy II (Early Modern and Modern)
- Phil 307: Medieval Philosophy
- Phil 310: Socrates and Sophistry
- Phil 311: Plato
- Phil 313: Aristotle
- Phil 314: Kant and the Problems of Philosophy
- Phil 318: Existentialism
- Phil 324: History of Analytic Philosophy
- Phil 330: History of Western Political Philosophy
- Phil 401: Seminar in the History of Ancient Philosophy
- Phil 402: Seminar in History of Modern Philosophy
An optional emphasis in religious studies consists of 30 semester hours of philosophy and religion that must include Phil 101 and Phil 499; either Phil 103, 301, or 302; any other 12 hours in philosophy (6 hours of which must be at the 300 level or above); and any other 12 hours in religion (6 hours of which must be at the 300 level or above). At least one philosophy or religion class must be a 400 or 500-level seminar.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy program are the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Hadley Jo Pearson
"My interest in philosophy was sparked in a small honors Introduction to Philosophy where we engaged in thinking about ethics, the nature of knowledge, logic, etc. As a premedical student, I knew I would be studying science for the rest of my life, so I wanted to seize the opportunity to explore something different." Prior to her graduation in 2014, Hadley Jo spent two years researching soft coral's response to global warming in preparation for her honors thesis. After graduation, she attended UM Medical School, where she graduated as the top student in the class. She is completing her internship and moving to San Francisco for a residency in dermatology.
Why study philosophy at UM?
"Philosophy trains you to be both big-picture and detail oriented; you must be able to follow complex theories and piece them together to form the ultimate conclusion, while also ruthlessly looking out for that one error in the argument that makes it all come crashing down. In medical school classes, this combination of skills has allowed me to excel, since I am accustomed to paying attention to both the big picture and the details."
Join the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl or the philosophy honor society, Phi Sigma Tau.