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Students who major in philosophy can expect to achieve the following learning goals:
They will have read some of the major texts written by many of the historically most important philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Averroes, Aquinas, Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant and others.
They will have read some of the very best contemporary philosophical writing such as books and articles written by:
They will have mastered the fundamentals of modern formal logic.
They will have discussed and analyzed the positions taken in classic and contemporary texts on most of the centrally important philosophical questions. For example:
The existence and nature of God
Freedom and responsibility
The possibility of knowledge
The nature of scientific explanation
The nature of morality: absolute or relative, objective or subjective
The obligation to obey the law
The nature and possibility of a just society
The relation of mind and body
The nature of human consciousness
They will have written many brief essays exploring and developing their own views on those questions and they will have written many longer essays in which they will have attempted to defend their own views in light of the philosophically important alternatives.
As a result, their abilities to read difficult texts, to analyze and clarify the arguments in those texts, to explore and defend their views in short and long form writing will have improved. And their understanding of the complexities involved in taking a responsible stand in relation to the questions that have defined the philosophical tradition for millennia will have deepened.