Planning a Major or Minor


Rhodes students frequently get their first exposure to college philosophy in Search and Life courses. Since Search includes philosophical texts in the first year curriculum, students interested in philosophy are encouraged to take Search.

Though argumentation is not the only means of exploring, defending, critiquing or creating a philosophical position, it nevertheless plays a vital role. To this end, students need to learn the basics of argumentation and critical thinking. This entails learning to identify the parts of an argument as well as good and bad argument patterns. Students are thus encouraged to take PHIL 206: Logic as early as possible.

To understand the range of issues and positions given to some of the basic questions raised in the tradition, the department offers an historical sequence that starts with the Ancient Greeks and runs up through the Twentieth Century. We encourage students to begin courses in the department’s history sequence early on. Though PHIL 201: Ancient Philosophy is not needed for PHIL 203: Early Modern Philosophy, taking these courses in their historical order is desirable.

Courses that focus on specific philosophical topics concern the general areas of metaphysics (PHIL 318), epistemology/theory of knowledge (PHIL 319), and ethics (PHIL 301 through 303). (Courses in Religion and Politics are cross-listed. We encourage students to consult the appropriatedepartments for more details on these courses.) Though most of these courses are in the upper levels (300 and 400 levels), few of them have prerequisites. We encourage students to take at least one of the lower level courses first. Any student wishing to take a 300 or 400 level course should consult with the professor.