Why study philosophy?


Here you will find information on the Undergraduate Program in Philosophy at the University of Albany, SUNY. In addition to the brief overview below, you can click your way to more details...

Overview of the Undergraduate Program

The Philosophy Department offers a general major which provides students with a background in the history of philosophy, e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, as well as in values and logic related courses. Details on the major requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

The following are areas that might be of interest to all undergraduates:

  • Reasoning and Analysis. PHI 112 (Introduction to Reasoning and Analysis) concentrates on argument and the role of evidence in determining belief; PHI 114 (Morals and Society) is a general introduction to moral reasonings and some of the problems of ethical evaluation; PHI 210 (Introduction to Logic) deals with formal logic; PHI 410 (Perspectives on Reasoning) examines the nature and varieties of reasoning.
  • Values. In the area of values and ethics, the Department regularly offers PHI 114 (Morals and Society); PHI 116 (World Views); and PHI 212 (Introduction to Ethical Theory).
  • History. These courses are aimed at providing the student with some appreciation of the history of western thought from Socrates and Plato to Bertrand Russell and Sartre. These courses are of particular interest to students in history, political science and classics, but they also provide useful background for students in the natural and social sciences. PHI 310 (Ancient Philosophy) is taught every Fall and PHI 312 (17th and 18th Century Philosophy) is taught every Spring; in addition, other courses in the history of philosophy are taught on a rotating basis.