Philosophy < Yale University

Director of undergraduate studies: Paul Franks ;
The Philosophy major prepares students to reflect critically and creatively on questions concerning the nature of things, the setting and limits of human sympathize, and the principles of value and right action. The draw a bead on of the major is to address these questions wherever they arise, whether in the philosophical custom, in early disciplines and practices, or in everyday life. Our courses are designed to encourage depth in think, asperity in argumentation, clearness in spell and talk, and the widest potential view of whatever national matter we take up .

Courses for Nonmajors and Majors

Introductory philosophy courses, numbered 001–199, are open to all students and have no prerequisites .

Course Numbering

Courses numbered 001–199 are introductory and have no prerequisites. Courses numbered 200–399 are average. Some have prerequisites ; others do not, and may be taken as a scholar ‘s first course in doctrine, though such a scholar should consult the teacher first. In general, it is a dependable mind to take a broadly based class in any area of philosophy before taking a specialize course. Courses numbered 400–499 are advanced, and are taught as specify registration seminars. These courses are intended primarily for juniors and seniors, though other students may be admitted with the teacher ‘s permission. Undergraduates should be sure they have adequate background to take such a course, including previous cultivate in the lapp area of philosophy.


Prerequisite to the standard major are two basic or average doctrine courses. Prerequisite to the concentration in psychology are two introductory or intercede courses in philosophy or psychology .

Requirements of the Major

The Philosophy course of study is divided into three broad groups : history of philosophy ; metaphysics and epistemology ; and ethics and value theory. The group in which a course belong is indicated in Yale Course Search ( YCS ). This information is found in the “ class information ” section of each course list. Students can besides search for courses satisfying a given group necessity in YCS by clicking the drop-down menu titled, “ Any Course Information Attribute. ” Students have the follow choices : YC Phil : Ethics & Value Theory, YC Phil : history of Philosophy, YC Phil : Metaphysics & Epistemology, angstrom well as YC Phil : Logic and YC Phil : Psychology Track .
The standard major requires twelve term courses ( including the prerequisites and the elder prerequisite ) that jointly expose students to a wide crop of philosophy and philosophers. In history of doctrine, majors are required to take ( 1 ) either PHIL 125 and 126 or both terms of Directed Studies ( DRST 003, 004 ), and ( 2 ) an extra, third gear course in history of doctrine. Majors are encouraged to take PHIL 125 and 126 angstrom early as potential ; these courses may be taken in either ordain. Majors must besides complete two courses in metaphysics and epistemology, two courses in ethics and value theory, and a course in logic ( such as PHIL 115 ), the end preferably by the fall of their junior year. Majors must besides take two advance seminars at the 400 level ( either or both of which can be counted toward one of the group requirements ) and satisfy the senior prerequisite as described below .
All courses in Philosophy count toward the twelve-course requirement. With approval from the director of undergraduate studies ( DUS ), courses offered by early departments may be counted toward the major requirements, though no more than two such courses will normally be allowed .
specific regulations for the group requirements are as follows :

  1. Some introductory courses do not count toward any group requirement.
  2. Courses automatically count toward the group under which they are listed in Yale Course Search (YCS). In rare cases, a course will be designated as counting toward a second group, although no one course can be counted toward two group requirements. Students may petition to have a course count toward a group other than the one under which it is listed, though the presumption will be against such petitions.
  3. Courses taken in other departments and applied to the major will not normally count toward a group requirement. Students may petition for credit toward a group requirement, though the presumption will be against such petitions.

The psychology concentration  The psychology concentration is designed for students interested in both philosophy and psychology. Majors in the concentration must take seven courses in philosophy and five in psychology, for a sum of twelve, including the prerequisites and senior requirement. The seven philosophy courses must include ( 1 ) two courses in the history of philosophy, normally PHIL 125 and 126 or DRST 003 and 004, ( 2 ) a course in logic, such as PHIL 115, preferably by the fall of the junior year, ( 3 ) two seminars, one of which may be in the Psychology department, with the approval of the DUS, and ( 4 ) at least two courses at the intercede or advance level that bear on the intersection of doctrine and psychology, at least one of which must be a doctrine seminar. Courses satisfying ( 4 ) must be approved by the DUS. The five psychology courses must include PSYC 110 or its equivalent. Each major must besides satisfy the senior requirement as described below .
Credit/D/Fail  At most one class taken Credit/D/Fail can count towards the philosophy major. Courses taken Credit/D/Fail can not fulfill any particular distribution requirements within the major—they can not fulfill the area requirements, or the seminar prerequisite, or the senior requirement, or ( on the psychology track ) the intersection prerequisite. But if all those requirements are fulfilled with classes taken for a letter degree, then one of the remaining 12 sum credits may be fulfilled with a class taken Credit/D/Fail.

Senior Requirement

The senior prerequisite is normally satisfied by completing a third doctrine seminar. Students taking a seminar to satisfy the aged necessity are expected to produce work superior in argument and joint to that of a criterion seminar paper. To this end, students taking a seminar for the elder necessity must satisfy extra requirements, which may include ( 1 ) extra readings, ( 2 ) submission of a complete draft of the final newspaper by the eighth week of the term that will then be significantly revised, and ( 3 ) one-on-one or small-group meetings with the teacher to discuss class material, the extra readings, and drafts in training. The specific nature of these extra requirements will vary from seminar to seminar. Students planning to satisfy the requirement with a third base seminar should express that intention to the teacher at the get down of the term, so the teacher can explain the exercise that will be required .
In particular cases, students may meet the aged necessity through either a one-term or a two-term freelancer project supervised by an teacher ( PHIL 490, 491 ). Students must petition to fulfill the elder requirement through an independent project, and blessing is not guaranteed. Applicants must submit a proposal to the DUS, in reference with an appropriate supervisor, by the goal of the condition anterior to beginning the independent learn .


By nonpayment, advising in the philosophy department is done by the DUS. Juniors have the choice of selecting an option advisor—which should be done by the beginning of October in the junior year—but all seniors are advised by the DUS. The adviser aids students in choosing courses and signs their schedules during the course survival period .
Other majors involving philosophy Majors in Mathematics and Philosophy and in Physics and Philosophy are besides available. Students interested in philosophy and psychology should besides consider the major in Cognitive Science .


Prerequisites  Standard major—2 intro or intermediate phil courses ; Psychology concentration—any 2 courses in phil or psych
Number of courses  12 term courses, incl prereqs and senior req
Specific courses required  Standard major— PHIL 125 and 126, or DRST 003 and 004 ; Psychology concentration— PSYC 110 or equivalent

Distribution of courses  Standard major—3 courses in hist of phil ( incl PHIL 125 and 126, or DRST 003 and 004 ), 2 in metaphysics and epistemology, 2 in ethics and prize theory, and 1 in logic ; 2 phil sems at 400 flat ; Psychology concentration—7 courses in phil, as specified ; 5 courses in psych
Substitution permitted  Standard major—2   associate courses in other depts, with DUS license
Senior requirement  a one-third sem in phil, or a one- or two-term mugwump undertaking ( PHIL 490, 491 )

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