PHILOSOPHY (PHIL)

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (JRC) 241, (651) 962-5350
W. Matthews Grant (chair), Clemenson, Coulter, Deavel, Distelzweig, Feeney, Frost, Giebel, Grant, Heaney, Kronen, Laumakis, Lemmons, Lu, Menssen, Pawl, Rota, Spencer, Stoltz, Stuchlik, Toner, Winter

Philosophy Department Web Site

Philosophy engages questions such as:
  • Is the human mind just a very complicated machine?
  • Can we have free will if the mind is a machine?
  • Must we have free will in order for life to be meaningful?
  • What makes an act moral or immoral?
  • When, if ever, can a government mandate moral acts or outlaw immoral acts?
  • Is it ever permissible to start a war with a preemptive strike?
  • Is the design in the world evidence that there is a God?
  • Do the world’s evils show that a good God cannot exist?
  • What is the role of philosophy in dealing with questions about God?
  • What is knowledge?
  • Can we know anything with certainty?
  • Are warrants for knowledge relative to particular cultures?

Philosophy considers these questions, and countless others, from the standpoint of human reason and experience. It emphasizes precise and careful argument, and sharpens your thinking skills.

The philosophy program at St. Thomas will introduce you to distinguished philosophical work over the centuries and into our own time. While attending carefully to philosophers whose works are foundational to the Catholic intellectual tradition, particularly Aristotle and Aquinas, the program is committed to broad integration of our understanding of reality. As you work to construct a philosophical worldview you will engage a variety of traditions, including non-Western, and confront questions prompted by the study of such subjects as the natural and social sciences, mathematics, medicine, business, law, theology, the fine arts, and literature.

Major in Philosophy

  • PHIL 110 or PHIL 115 or PHIL 197 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)

Plus eight credits in the history of philosophy

Four credits in classical Western philosophy
  • PHIL 200 Ancient Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 202 Medieval Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 340 Thought of Thomas Aquinas (4 credits)
  • or another course approved by the department
Four credits in an elective in the history of philosophy
  • PHIL 200 Ancient Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 202 Medieval Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 210 Chinese Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 304 Modern Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 306 Contemporary Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 308 Indian Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 340 Thought of Thomas Aquinas (4 credits)
  • PHIL 353 Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Nietzsche (4 credits)
  • or another course approved by the department
Plus:
  • Sixteen credits at the 300-level or above, including four credits at the 400-level (all 400-level courses require public presentation of a paper)
Plus:
  • Additional coursework in Philosophy to bring the total number of credits in philosophy either to forty-four (for single majors) or thirty-six (for double or triple majors).

Philosophy majors who are single majors must complete twenty-eight of their credits in philosophy at St. Thomas’s St. Paul campus; philosophy majors who are double majors must complete twenty-four of their credits in philosophy at St. Thomas’s St. Paul campus.


Minor in Philosophy

Either:
  • PHIL 110 (or PHIL 197) The Person and the Good
    or PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person
Plus:
  • Twelve additional credits in philosophy.  It is recommended that minors take PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)

Philosophy minors must complete twelve of their credits in philosophy at St. Thomas, unless they receive a waiver from the department chair.

A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Global Philosophy

Expand your perspective with the department’s experts in Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, and Tibetan philosophy.  Benefit from the insights these traditions provide and be prepared to navigate a globalized world.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus twelve credits from the following:
  • PHIL 210 Chinese Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 211 Buddhist Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 213 Comparative Applied Ethics East and West (4 credits)
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 260 Global Philosophy of Religion (4 credits)
  • PHIL 308 Indian Philosophy (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Philosophy, Ethics, and Society

Explore the foundations of morality and the application of moral and ethical principles to complex challenges facing the world today.  The track will prepare you to work for the common good both professionally and personally.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus twelve credits from the following:
  • PHIL 213 Comparative Applied Ethics East and West (4 credits)
  • PHIL 214 Introductory Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 234 Love, Sex, and Friendship (4 credits)
  • PHIL 235 Politics, Law, and the Common Good (4 credits)
  • PHIL 254 Biomedical Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 255 Technology and Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 256 Contemporary Social Issues (4 credits)
  • PHIL 258 Environmental Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 350 Advanced Ethical Theory (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Philosophy of Law and Politics

Develop philosophical tools and perspectives to think critically, creatively and constructively about the foundations of political, legal and policy questions.  This track can enhance and complement degrees in Business, Economics, History, Sociology, Political Science, and help prepare you for careers engaging law, policy and politics.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus twelve credits from the following:
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 235 Politics, Law, and the Common Good (4 credits)
  • PHIL 256 Contemporary Social Issues (4 credits)
  • PHIL 357 Political Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 359 Philosophy of Law (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Philosophy of Mind and Brain

Integrate and contextualize insights from psychology, neuroscience, and even computer science by developing and applying philosophical tools and perspectives to examine the nature of the mind and the relationship between mind and brain.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus one of the following:
  • PHIL 265: Minds, Brains, and Computers (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 330: Philosophy of Mind (4 credits)
Plus eight credits from the following:
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 265: Minds, Brains, and Computers (4 credits)
  • PHIL 304: Modern Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 330: Philosophy of Mind (4 credits)
  • PHIL 385: Philosophy of Science (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Philosophy of Religion

Develop and apply philosophical perspectives and tools to address questions concerning the existence and nature of God, the compatibility of faith and reason, and the nature and meaning of religious belief and experience.  An ideal track to complement study in Theology or Catholic Studies, for those interested in apologetics, or for anyone who wants to think philosophically about the nature of religion and its place in the world.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus twelve credits from the following:
  • PHIL 202 Medieval Philosophy (4 credits)
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 240 Faith and Doubt (4 credits)
  • PHIL 250 Christian Mysteries from a Philospohical Viewpoint (4 credits)
  • PHIL 260 Global Philosophy of Religion (4 credits)
  • PHIL 272 Evolution and Creation (4 credits)
  • PHIL 340 Thought of Aquinas (4 credits)
  • PHIL 365 Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 460 Philosophy of God (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Minor in Philosophy and Science

Develop philosophical tools with which to examine fundamental questions about the nature of scientific methods and findings.  This track is designed for students in STEM and related fields and for those concerned to deepen and sharpen their philosophical perspective on the sciences and their place in society.

All minors take either:
  • PHIL 110 (or 197) The Person and the Good (4 credits), or
  • PHIL 115 Philosophy of the Human Person (4 credits)
Plus:
  • PHIL 385 Philosophy of Science (4 credits)
Plus eight credits from the following:
  • PHIL 220 Logic (4 credits)
  • PHIL 241 History and Philosophy of Medicine (4 credits)
  • PHIL 254 Biomedical Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 255 Technology and Ethics (4 credits)
  • PHIL 265 Minds, Brains, and Computers (4 credits)
  • PHIL 272 Evolution and Creation (4 credits)
  • PHIL 380 Epistemology (4 credits)
  • Another course approved by the department.

*A student may not have more than one philosophy minor, and may not minor in philosophy while also majoring in philosophy.

Course Number Title Credits
PHIL  110 The Person and the Good 4
PHIL  115 Philosophy of Human Person 0 TO 4
PHIL  197 Topics 4
PHIL  200 Ancient Philosophy 4
PHIL  202 Medieval Philosophy 4
PHIL  210 Chinese Philosophy 4
PHIL  211 Buddhist Philosophy 4
PHIL  213 Applied Ethics: East and West 4
PHIL  214 Introductory Ethics 4
PHIL  218 Philosophy of Sport 4
PHIL  219 Philosophy of Sport 2
PHIL  220 Logic 4
PHIL  221 Critical & Inductive Reasoning 4
PHIL  230 Disability and Human Dignity 4
PHIL  234 Love, Sex, & Friendship 4
PHIL  235 Politics, Law, and Common Good 4
PHIL  240 Faith and Doubt 4
PHIL  241 Hist. & Philosophy of Medicine 4
PHIL  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
PHIL  245 Philosophy of Art and Beauty 4
PHIL  250 Christian Mysteries 4
PHIL  254 Biomedical Ethics 4
PHIL  255 Technology and Ethics 4
PHIL  256 Contemporary Social Issues 4
PHIL  258 Environmental Ethics 4
PHIL  260 Global Philosophy of Religion 4
PHIL  265 Minds, Brains, and Computers 4
PHIL  269 Research 2 OR 4
PHIL  272 Evolution and Creation 4
PHIL  296 Topics 2
PHIL  297 Topics 4
PHIL  298 Topics 4
PHIL  300 Philosophical Discussions 2
PHIL  304 Modern Philosophy 4
PHIL  306 Contemporary Philosophy 4
PHIL  308 Indian Philosophy 4
PHIL  320 Aristotelian Logic 4
PHIL  325 Intermediate Symbolic Logic 4
PHIL  330 Philosophy of Mind 4
PHIL  335 Aesthetics 4
PHIL  340 Thought of Thomas Aquinas 4
PHIL  350 Advanced Ethical Theory 4
PHIL  353 Machiavelli,Hobbes,Nietzsch 4
PHIL  354 Biomedical Ethics 4
PHIL  356 Contemporary Social Issues 4
PHIL  357 Political Philosophy 4
PHIL  359 Philosophy of Law 4
PHIL  365 Natural Phil & Metaphysics 4
PHIL  380 Epistemology 4
PHIL  385 Philosophy of Science 4
PHIL  389 Research 2 OR 4
PHIL  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
PHIL  398 Topics 4
PHIL  460 Philosophy of God 4
PHIL  485 Seminar 4
PHIL  486 Seminar 4
PHIL  489 Topics 4
PHIL  490 Topics 4
PHIL  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4