BA in Philosophy
See Program Requirements
The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core curriculum) required for the major: 36.
Each major in philosophy will arrange a program of courses in conference with the chair or a member of the department who is assigned as the student's advisor. The program will be designed in terms of the student's interests, needs, vocational plans, and the year in which the student declares a major. The major will require 36 hours of courses. Only one 100-level course may count toward the major.
All philosophy majors must take four history of philosophy courses. Two of these, which need not be taken in sequence, must be PHI 310 (Ancient Philosophy) and PHI 330 (Early Modern Philosophy). Thereafter, any two additional courses in the history of philosophy may be taken. These courses are PHI 312, PHI 315, PHI 320, PHI 340, PHI 350, PHI 360, PHI 370, PHI 380, PHI 390.
In order to graduate, all philosophy majors must complete two 400-level seminars in philosophy. Seminar major figures and topics rotate among faculty in the Department.
In the last year a senior thesis (PHI 410) is optional. The successful completion of PHI 400 is a prerequisite for taking PHI 410. This thesis consists of a major paper (minimum length: 50 pages) on a topic selected by the student and directed by one member of the Department. The student will meet with the mentor on a regular basis during the semester of the senior thesis. Upon completion of the paper, an oral examination will be conducted by the full Department.
Honors status in the major is granted if the student's GPA in philosophy is at least 3.33 or higher upon completion of all requirements for the major.
Students enrolled in the HONORS Program and who are also philosophy majors may substitute their Honors senior thesis course for the Philosophy Senior Thesis (PHI 410), if the thesis is mentored by a philosophy faculty member and if the thesis is on a philosophical topic.
Every major intending to pursue graduate study and teach in philosophy will be expected to take German or French through the intermediate level. German is preferred to French, although ideally both sets of courses should be taken.
All majors are encouraged to take PHI 205 Symbolic Logic.
The gender-neutral language policy of the Department prohibits the use of sexist language in classes, course materials, and at Departmental events.
Philosophy of Law Guest Lecturers
Professor of Philosophy Robert Loudon has lined up a series of guest lectures in his Philosophy of Law (PHI 260) class for the Fall 2015 semester. All USM students of philosophy and law are welcome to attend these lectures.
Tuesday, October 6 at 2:45 PM in Luther Bonney #502, Portland Campus
The Hon. James B. Haines, Jr. will be the Guest Lecturer in Professor Robert Louden's Philosophy of Law class on October 6 at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502. Judge Haines is the Libra Visiting Professor at the University of Maine School of Law. Before joining the College, Haines served on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine for nearly 25 years. He was Chief Judge of this court from 1997 to 2004 and 2011 to 2013. Judge Haines also served on the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit from 1996 to 2014.
Tuesday, November 10th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502, Portland Campus
Alexander F. McCann, Esq. will be the Guest Lecturer in Professor Robert Louden’s Philosophy of Law class on November 10th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502. A 1986 graduate of USM (B.A. in philosophy), McCann has a successful law practice in Portland.
Thursday, November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502, Portland Campus
Robert J. Ruffner, Esq. will be the Guest Lecturer in Professor Robert Louden’s Philosophy of Law class on November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502. Ruffner, a trial attorney specializing in criminal defense, is a 1996 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Mr. Ruffner began practicing in Maine in 1999 as a Domestic Violence prosecutor with the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office. He then joined the litigation firm of Friedman Babcock & Gaythwaite where he practiced insurance and criminal defense. Ruffner formed his own practice in 2001 to focus on Criminal Defense.