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Philosophy & Religion | Learning Outcomes

BA Philosophy

I. General Philosophical Literacy: Students should demonstrate that they are able to successfully navigate the historical and disciplinary branches of philosophy and different philosophical approaches, showing knowledge of the breadth and depth of the discipline.

  1. Demonstrates how to locate a particular topic within its relevant larger philosophical context.
  2. Uses conceptual frameworks including epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, and other philosophical specializations.
  3. Explains this history or genealogy of ideas and concepts.

II. Argumentation Skills: Students should display acuity and expertise in logical reasoning and philosophical analysis.

  1. Recognizes different forms of argumentation.
  2. Identifies the presupposed or unacknowledged premises.
  3. Critiques arguments.
  4. Constructs sound and persuasive arguments.
  5. Recognizes and uses different kinds of support in shaping arguments in different philosophical areas.

III. Research Skills: Students should demonstrate their ability to effectively navigate both the library and online research tools.

  1. Demonstrates ability to use standard reference works (e.g., Encyclopedias and Dictionaries of Philosophy).
  2. Uses online databases (e.g. Philosopher’s Index, JSTOR, Project Muse, etc)
  3. Locates and evaluates relevant scholarly books and articles.
  4. Distinguishes between primary and secondary sources.

IV. Communication Skills: Students should display their ability to communicate complex arguments and concepts effectively, both orally and in writing.

  1. Presents arguments in a clear and straightforward manner.
  2. Clearly identifies and communicates the central ideas.
  3. Listens and responds to questions carefully and thoughtfully.

BA Religious Studies

I. General Literacy in the Study of Religion: Students (A) should show that they are aware of the history of one or more religious traditions and (B) should be able to identify different approaches to studying religions. 

    1. Locates a particular topic within its historical context.
    2. Explains the important ideas within a religious tradition and shows knowledge of the main texts and practices of a religious tradition.
    1. Demonstrates awareness of different approaches to the study of religion.
    2. Identifies and explains the conceptual tools that are used to study a religion.

II. Formal Argumentation Skills: Students should show that they can formulate and develop analytical arguments when writing on topics related to religious studies.

  1. Clearly states the thesis of own essay.
  2. Recognizes and studies different beliefs and/or practices in shaping own arguments about one or more religions.
  3. Presents textual evidence from different time periods and/or religious traditions in support of own arguments.
  4. Constructs sound and persuasive arguments.

III. Research Skills: Students should be able to conduct their own research projects using library and online resources.

  1. Conceives of own topic to research outside of class.
  2. Uses online resources to identify and locate relevant scholarly books and articles.
  3. Distinguishes between primary and secondary sources.
  4. Compiles the results of own research into a comprehensive report.

IV. Communication Skills: Students should be able to present complex concepts and arguments effectively in the classroom.

  1. Clearly identifies and communicates the central ideas of own presentation.
  2. Presents arguments orally in a clear and straightforward manner.
  3. Listens and responds carefully and thoughtfully to questions about own presentation.
  4. As an audience member, poses incisive questions about the material that has been presented.

 

MA Philosophy

I. Critical Engagement: Students will be able to engage critically with philosophical texts and situate them in the context of the history of philosophy.

II. Sustain Point: Students will be able to support and sustain a central philosophical point throughout each of their Qualifying Papers.

III. Oral Defense: Students will be able to defend orally the ideas in their Qualifying Papers.

 

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