Dr. Steven Gable, Associate Professor of Philosophy (program chair)
Dr. Minerva San Juan, Associate Professor of Philosophy


Philosophy explores the ideas, values, principles, and arguments through which we shape our lives and our learning. The study of philosophy engages students in living the examined life and in developing intellectual abilities important for life as a whole beyond the knowledge and skills required for any particular profession. It supports graduate studies in philosophy as well as certain professions, like law, the ministry, and government service; and it complements other interests, such as literature, political science, sociology, and education. It develops analytical, critical, and interpretive capacities needed to pursue other disciplines and to engage with life in general. It develops discipline and motivation to confront problems for which there are no easy answers. A strong education in philosophy thus enhances the human capacity to respond wisely and prudently to the challenges of personal, professional, and public life.

Trinity’s mission as a Catholic university committed to the empowerment of women and to the advancement of social justice calls for an in-depth analysis of the ways in which philosophical ideas both contribute to and militate against the human flourishing of people of all genders, races, classes, and ethnic groups. The Program offers the opportunity for such analysis.

The Program in Philosophy supports Trinity’s general education curriculum by its emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of human knowledge. The courses offered all emphasize the foundational assumptions of the traditional disciplines and examine the ways in which these assumptions are interrelated. The program also offers internships and practica that range from experiential learning opportunities with migrant workers in Apopka, advocacy for patient autonomy at St. Elizabeth’s, implementation of subject-protection guidelines at the National Institutes of Health, and work with various area hospitals’ ethics committee.

The Philosophy Program offers a minor in the College of Arts and Sciences; students interested in pursuing an individualized minor in bioethics should consult the Program Chair. The Program also supports all the College’s majors and allows for students to construct an individualized or interdisciplinary major.

Minor Requirements

The minor requirement in philosophy requires the completion of 21 credits selected from program offerings in consultation with the Philosophy Program Chair and the student’s faculty advisor. In addition to a minor in philosophy, students may select program offerings to construct minors in areas of individual interest; possible minors include bioethics.

Required Courses (21 credits)

ONE course chosen from between:

PHIL 103 Reasoning and Argumentation
PHIL 105 Introduction to Propositional Logic

TWO courses chosen from:

PHIL 211 Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 215 Modern Philosophy
PHIL 225 Islamic Philosophy

ONE course chosen from :

PHIL 241 Introduction to Theoretical Ethics
PHIL 245 Ethics I

ONE course:

PHIL 341 Moral Psychology

ONE course chosen from:

PHIL 361 Readings in the Theory of Knowledge
PHIL 365 Readings in the Philosophy of Science

ONE seminar chosen from:

PHIL 345 Ethics II
PHIL 465 Seminar on Dissent
PHIL 455 Seminar in Existentialism
PHIL 449 Seminar in Ethics

Recommended Courses

POLS 201 Civil Rights and Liberties
POLS 353 Modern Political Thought
SOCY 421 Sociological Theory
HIS 326 History of Science: Mapping the Known Universe
HIS 328 Darwin and Darwinism: Race, Gender, and Power
HIS 363 Enlightenment and the French Revolution
HIS 390 Close Encounters: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the /Middle Ages

Program Policies

Advanced Placement:
Three credits granted for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP examination in logic in fulfillment of the 100-level minor requirement.

CLEP Policy:
Credits earned through CLEP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the philosophy minor.

Grades in Minor Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the minor.

Pass/No Pass:
With the exception of practica and internships, courses fulfilling minor requirements may not be taken pass/no pass.

Senior Assessment:
All students in any of the minors offered in the Philosophy Program are required to take a capstone seminar that will include a comprehensive assessment.

Study Abroad:
Students may meet minor requirements with courses taken during their study abroad.

TELL Policy:
The Philosophy Program supports and encourages the College’s TELL Policy. Students applying for experiential learning credits should consult with the program faculty.

Transfer Credits:
Transfer credit from appropriately accredited institutions of higher learning may be counted for minor requirements, dependent on program review and approval. Associations recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEA) confer appropriate accreditation; these associations include but are not limited to regional accreditors.

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