The philosophy faculty of the Philosophy and Religion Department represent a wide range of interests and points of view. In terms of scholarly interests, the philosophy faculty is particularly strong in the areas of contemporary social and political thought, American philosophy, cognitive science, research ethics, social epistemology, the history and philosophy of science, philosophy of art, and philosophy of mind. Teaching interests of the philosophy faculty range even more widely and support a curriculum with unusual depth both in the history of philosophy and in more recent developments in the discipline.
Philosophy students are passionate and diverse, from many backgrounds and involved in many different organizations at MSU and beyond. Philosophy classes always have a core group of majors, but are also open to all students and often to Honors students as well. This creates many opportunities for philosophical topics to be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The Philosophy Major
For a major in philosophy, a student must take eleven courses (33 credits). These eleven courses must include the following six required courses: Ethics (PHIL 210), Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 212), Knowledge, Belief and Truth (PHIL 310), Existence and Reality (PHIL 312), History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy (PHIL 331) and History of Philosophy II: Modern Philosophy (PHIL 333). Of the remaining five courses required for the philosophy major, one must be a seminar and the other four should be distributed among courses on the history of philosophy and courses on fields of philosophy (the exact distribution to be determined in consultation with a faculty advisor).
The Philosophy Minor
For a minor in philosophy, a student must take six courses (18 credits). The courses must be distributed evenly between courses in the history of philosophy (odd numbered courses) and courses in particular fields of philosophy (even numbered courses). These requirements are more flexible than they appear and students should consult with their faculty advisor as they proceed through the program.