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Philosophy Programs

Why Study Philosophy?

The Philosophy Program at UNF emphasizes a pluralistic approach to philosophical questions, traditions, and concerns. Our faculty are award-winning teachers and internationally recognized scholars engaged in cutting-edge research in analytic, continental, historical, and comparative or cross-cultural philosophy. 

Do you enjoy asking questions? Thinking deeply? Arguing or debating issues great and small? Learning about new or different perspectives? Analyzing ideas? If so, philosophy might be for you. Our program offers three major concentrations as well as four minor programs. Each semester we offer a range of lower and upper division courses open to any UNF student, regardless of major. View our full course offerings in the UNF Course Catalog and check in with us for offerings in the current and upcoming terms. We aim to introduce students to philosophy in ways that will serve them well, professionally and personally, for wherever their lives may lead.

Watch this video to debunk some common myths about philosophy majors:

Students who study philosophy gain key skills for the rest of their lives:

  • Critical, creative, and collaborative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Argument identification, construction, analysis, and evaluation
  • Clear and effective writing
  • Strong oral communication
  • Active and contemplative listening, impartial examination, and perceptive critique
  • Critical reading skills
  • Initiative and ability to work independently
  • Identify and work with assumptions and values in your own culture and across cultures
  • Teamwork and collaborative dialogue 
  • Articulate your own deepest questions and convictions
  • Research skills
  • Sifting complex information
  • Leadership
  • Reflection on values, ethics, and the nature of a flourishing life
  • Love of learning

Undergraduate training in philosophy helps to prepare students for meaningful lives and successful careers. 

Are you thinking about graduate school? Did you know that philosophy majors consistently do the best of all majors on the LSAT and the MCAT, and rank higher than any other humanities major in scores on the GMAT and the GRE? In fact, there is evidence that an education in philosophy creates real improvements in academic skills, especially reading and writing, when compared with other majors.  

Did you know? Among people with undergraduate degrees, the median earnings of philosophy majors exceed those of majors in any other humanities field, and are the 16th highest among all majors, according to a recent U.S. study. Mid career salaries of philosophers are also the highest among humanities fields, and come in above fields like Chemistry, Biology, and Communications. Learn more about this from Dr. Justin Weinberg, "Philosophy Majors Make More Money than Majors in any other Humanities Field," at the Daily Nous website.

Studying philosophy leads to a wide range of careers in fields including:

  • Law
  • Business
  • Computing and Technology
  • Education 
  • Engineering
  • Finance & Banking
  • Local, State, and Federal Government
  • Non-Profit
  • Insurance
  • Journalism
  • Media and Activism
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Literature, writing, and publishing
  • Research: Business, Educational, Governmental
  • Technical Writing

There are so many options for what you can do with a philosophy degree! Check out this US News and World Report article or this Times Higher Education article for more ideas. 

Famous philosophy majors include:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Bruce Lee
  • Stephen Colbert
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • Kumail Nanjiani
  • Stephen Breyer
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Angela Davis
  • Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Malala Yousafzai
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Jack Dorsey
  • Reid Hoffman
  • Harrison Ford
  • Steve Martin
  • Peter Thiel
  • Carl Icahn
  • Sheila Bair
  • Patrick Byrne
  • Your name here

Check out the American Philosophical Association website for more information on who studies philosophy.

Philosophy Major

The Philosophy Major consists in 11 courses (33 credit hours).  Students are under no obligation to select a particular track; those who make no selection will automatically be assigned to Track 1. Students in any track must still complete all courses required for the major. Considering a double major? Philosophy is a great complement to many other majors. Talk with us for more information!

Regardless of the track, philosophy majors are encouraged to engage in experiential learning opportunities in the major, including undergraduate research, study abroad, directed readings, internships, and thesis work.  

Track 1: General Philosophical Studies

Students in this track are free to select their 15 elective hours (five courses) from any courses offered by the program; they are encouraged, however, to include in their program of study courses identified by the different philosophy prefixes--PHH, PHI, PHM, and PHP.

Track 2: Legal, Political, and Social Studies

This track is available for students planning careers in public affairs, law, management, international relations or for those planning graduate work in social or political theory.

Track 3: Studies in Applied Ethics

This track is available for pre-professional students who wish to develop a comparative understanding of value issues across professions or are planning graduate work in theoretical or applied ethics.

View the Osprey Map [Course Sequence Guides] to keep on track for graduation. Osprey Maps should be used in consultation with an academic advisor after admission to UNF. 

To declare the major, contact COAS Philosophy Advisor Ms. Alex Lackard: a.lackard@unf.edu.

Philosophy Minor

The Department of Philosophy offers four minors: One in philosophy generally and three others in subfields tailored to specific interests or career objectives. All are 15 credit hours.

Current Courses

View our full course offerings in the UNF Course Catalog

Spring 2023

Required for Majors and Minors

PHI 3084 Philosophical Methods, Matheson, TR 12:15-1:30pm

PHI 2101 (GM) Introduction to Logic

                  Matheson TR 9:25-10:40

                  Carelli DL/online

Value Theory

PHI 3633 Bioethics, Kline, DL online

PHI 3640 Environmental Ethics, Fenner, MW 1:30-2:45pm

PHI 4641 Business Ethics, Haney, DL online

PHM 3304 Political Philosophy, Hardy, TR 3:05-4:20pm

History of Philosophy

PHP 3786 Existentialism, LaChance Adams, R 6:00-8:45pm

PHI 3930 (CRN 12240) ST: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Classical Philosophies, Carelli, MW 3:00-4:15

Knowledge and Reality

PHI 3939 ST: Knowledge East and West, Creller, T 6:00-8:45pm

Diverse Perspectives

PHH 3810 Introduction to Buddhism, Mattice, MW 4:30-5:45pm

REL 3111 Religion and Film, Denison, DL online

REL 3930 ST: Sex and God, Treyz, TR 10:30-12:05

Elective

PHI 3930 (CRN 13288) ST: Philosophy and Pop Culture, Hardy, TR 4:30-5:45

 

Special Topics Course Descriptions

 

PHI 3930/12240 ST: Jewish, Christian, Islamic Classical Philosophy Carelli MW 3:00-4:15 In this course we will explore the ways in which all three major religions of the Abrahamic tradition—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—utilized ancient Mediterranean thought to practice philosophy. After a brief survey of some foundational figures from ancient Greco-Roman philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Proclus) we will interpret and analyze the views of such thinkers as Philo, Origen, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Maimonides, and Aquinas, paying particular attention to how these thinkers synthesized ancient Greco-Roman views of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political theory with their respective religious traditions. Finally, we will turn to Spinoza, the 17th Century thinker who challenged many of the assumptions these earlier thinkers made concerning the application of philosophy to religious texts. 

 

PHI 3930/13288 ST: Philosophy and Pop Culture Hardy TR 4:30-5:45 This course combines an examination of philosophical problems with themes and insights found in popular culture along with an examination of popular culture and its impact on society. The course may cover philosophical issues related to metaphysics, epistemology, personal identity, artificial intelligence, theories of mind, moral development, consent, ethics and political philosophy. We will consider questions like: does pop culture reflect society or shape it? Are Facebook friends really friends? Are sex scenes in Euphoria and Game of Thrones art or exploitation? Who has the authority to determine what is canon or “true” in fictional properties? If you have super powers, is there a reason to be moral? Should Batman kill the Joker? Are the Hulk and Bruce Banner the same person? When the Doctor regenerates, is it the same person?

 

PHI 3939 ST: Knowledge East and West Creller T 6:00-8:45 This course is an examination of knowing in a cross-cultural context. If different times and places have different way of understanding knowers, knowledge, and knowing, then how can epistemology operate without becoming viciously circular? In order to investigate these comparisons, we will take a tour through various approaches to knowledge, including ancient Greece, Warring States China, and Enlightenment Europe. 

 

REL 3930 ST: History of Religion: Sex and God Treyz TR 10:30-12:05 Religion concerns all aspects of human life: birth, death, food, power, wealth, and sex. This course examines how sexual taboos and practices help structure and maintain a community and how they share features with these other types of social and ritual practices. We will examine how religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, have used proscriptions and prescriptions about sex and gender to determine who has power, how gender is enacted, how genders interact, reproduction, family structures, marriage, and celibacy.

 

General Education Courses

 

HUM 2020 Introduction to Humanities

                  Ingersoll MW 4:30-5:45

                  Treyz TR 9:25-10:40

                  Treyz TR 12:15-1:30

                  George MW 1:30-2:45

                  Worsham DL/online

PHI 2100 (GW)Critical Thinking

                  Rainbolt DL/online

PHI 2630 (GW) Ethical Issues

                  Haney DL/online

                  Haney DL/online

                  Honors: Hardy TR 1050-12:05

PHI 2101 (GM) Introduction to Logic (fulfills Math gen ed, required for philosophy majors)

                  Matheson TR 9:25-10:40

                  Carelli DL/online

PHI 2010 (GW) Introduction to Philosophy

                  Hardy TR 1:30-2:55

                  Rainbolt TR 9:25-10:40

                  Rainbolt TR 10:50-12:05

                  Creller MW 1:30-2:45

                  Polding 9:00-10:15

                  Polding MW 10:30-11:45

                 George MW 3:00-4:15

                 George MW 4:30-5:45

                 Fenner MW 11:00-11:50

                       DL Breakouts: Fullford

                       DL Breakouts: Worsham

                 Honors: Creller, MW 3:00-4:15

                 Evans DL

                 Merritt-Deitz DL

                 Byron DL