Philosophy

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The Philosophy discipline offers learners a unique opportunity to take a variety of courses from different perspectives, all of which are rich in the myriad voices of global cultures and religions. Philosophy concerns the investigation of the fundamental questions of the human experience, such as “Is knowledge possible?”, “Do we have free will?”, “What is the meaning of life?” to “Is social justice possible?” In attempting to answer these questions, the discipline of Philosophy has provided the foundation of many other fields of inquiry, from psychology to sociology, law, and even business. At the core, Philosophy develops critical thinking skills, but in applying those skills, learners realize that philosophical inquiry has given rise to the development of science, the birth of civilizations, religions, ethical debates about when life begins and ends, principles of justice, environmental issues, animals rights, global warming, immigration, and even ideas about art, music, and the economy. Ultimately, Philosophy provides a learner pursuing any major an opportunity to enhance critical thinking skills while engaging in the analysis of arguments and theories about issues that have spanned the ages and still affect contemporary life. Career opportunities for Philosophy majors: Learners who have taken Philosophy courses are good candidates for all jobs requiring liberal arts education. Employers often look for people who can solve problems and can write and think critically. These are skills that philosophy enhances. Examples of careers include: communications, education, journalism, law, management and business, textbook editing, and politics.
Learning Outcome(s):
  1. Analyze and critique an argument
  2. Effectively argue in support of an opinion
  3. Write an argumentative essay
  4. Define key terms of philosophical vocabulary relevant to the course
  5. Distinguish different areas of philosophy
  6. Understand some of the diverse assumptions and the values and attitudes that shape our lives
Required Courses:
Units: 12
PHIL 1
Introduction to Philosophy (Active)
3
PHIL 3A
Ethics (Active)
3
PHIL 3B
Contemporary Moral Issues (Active)
3
PHIL 6
Comparative Religions (Active)
3
PHIL 9
Philosophy of Religion (Active)
3
PHIL 23
Independent Study (Active)
1-2
Total: 12

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The Associate in Arts in Philosophy for Transfer degree is designed to prepare students for a seamless transfer into the CSU system to complete a baccalaureate degree in Philosophy. Philosophy is the study of basic and fundamental issues, such as those concerning reality, knowledge, morality, and truth. Philosophers ask questions like: Do we have free will? What do I know? What is the nature of truth? How do I know I’m not a brain in a vat? Is there a universal morality? Does God exist? What distinguishes philosophy from other disciplines is its methodology. A philosopher’s methodology is systematic and relies heavily upon rational argument. The process demands rigorous, analytic, and critical thinking. The benefits of which include resolving confusion, unmasking assumptions, highlighting distinctions, and offering clarification. Courses in the Gavilan Philosophy Program are designed to transfer to four-year institutions and to prepare philosophy majors for upper-division coursework. Specifically, this degree is intended for students transferring to a California State University program. A degree in philosophy can lead to a career teaching and doing academic research in philosophy, but it also equips one with the writing, thinking, and problem-solving skills important for many careers, including the fields of law, business, politics, medicine and others.
Learning Outcome(s):
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the perennial questions, problems and theories in the major areas of philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, value theory, logic), including the arguments and views of the figures in the history of philosophy who address them.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in philosophical writing, which includes presenting and supporting a philosophical thesis and articulating and responding to counterarguments in a way that is clear, concise, accurate, precise, thorough, coherent, and well-organized.
  3. Demonstrate the virtues of a critical thinker, including being open-minded, unbiased, intellectually modest, truth-seeking, imaginative, appropriately skeptical, free-thinking, consistent, and empathetic.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the philosophical views of groups who are unrepresented, disenfranchised, undervalued, and nonwestern.
CORE REQUIREMENTS: Select 2 courses
Units: 6
PHIL 2
Introduction to Logic (Active)
3
PHIL 1
Introduction to Philosophy (Active)
3
or
PHIL 3A
Ethics (Active)
3
LIST A: Select 1 course. Any course in CORE not already used or one of the following:
Units: 3
PHIL 7A
History of Philosophy: Ancient to Medieval Times (Historical)
3
PHIL 7B
History of Philosophy: Renaissance to Modern Periods (Historical)
3
PHIL 4
Critical Thinking and Writing (Active)
3
LIST B: Select 2 courses. Any LIST A course not already used or two of the following:
Units: 6
HIST 7A
History of Western Civilization (Historical)
3
HIST 7B
History of Western Civilization (Historical)
3
PHIL 3A
Ethics (Active)
3
PHIL 3B
Contemporary Moral Issues (Active)
3
LIST C: Select 1 course. Any LIST A or B courses not already used or one of the following:
Units: 3
PHIL 9
Philosophy of Religion (Active)
3
PHIL 6
Comparative Religions (Active)
3
PHIL 15
Asian Philosophies (Historical)
3
PHIL 12
Introduction to Political Thought (Active)
3
Units Required for the Major: 18
Units:  
General Education Requirements:
Units: 37-39
Total Units for the Degree: 60 Units
Units:  
Total: 55-57

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PHIL 1Introduction to Philosophy (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. Philosophy 1 is intended as a survey of the major areas and traditions of philosophy. The course examines central and significant questions about the meaning of life, who determines what is morally right or wrong, the ideal society, the various notions social justice, what is reality, and many other ideas. In pursuing these questions, students will be asked to read texts from writers around the world, both contemporary and ancient, discuss current events, and apply 'theory' to movies such as "The Matrix" trilogy, novels, and any other relevant application of the student's own choice. (C-ID: PHIL 100) ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2016.
PHIL 2Introduction to Logic (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. Logic is the study of good reasoning. This course will explore two important modes of reasoning: deduction and induction. We will use formal methods from sentential logic, including truth tables and proofs, to test for correct or 'valid' inferences. Common mistakes in reasoning (i.e., fallacies) will be examined, as well as language and scientific reasoning. Practical application in logic outside the classroom will be emphasized. ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2016.
PHIL 3AEthics (3.0)Historical
3.0 Lecture. This course examines the central theories and perennial issues in ethics. The ethical systems of Aristotle, Kant, and the utilitarians will be investigated. These systems will be applied to contemporary moral problems. Questions about objective morality, the ideal society, social justice, and moral agency will be pursued. This course is also listed as AJ 3A. (C-ID: PHIL 120) ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2014 to Fall 2020.
PHIL 3AEthics (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course examines the central theories and perennial issues in ethics. The ethical systems of Aristotle, Kant, and the utilitarians will be investigated. These systems will be applied to contemporary moral problems. Questions about objective morality, the ideal society, social justice, and moral agency will be pursued. (C-ID: PHIL 120) ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Option of a standard letter grade or Pass/no pass.) Effective: Fall 2020.
PHIL 3BContemporary Moral Issues (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. Contemporary Moral Issues in an applied ethics class that covers major ethical theories and contemporary moral issues in a pluralistic manner. This course will cover such issues as abortion and euthanasia, cloning, experimentation on human subjects, capital punishment, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and sexual morality, world hunger and poverty, colonialism and post-colonialism, and so forth. ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2015.
PHIL 4Critical Thinking and Writing (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course is designed to introduce the relationship between critical thinking and critical writing in a way that will be both enjoyable to the student and helpful in other aspects of life. The student will learn techniques of critical thinking, playing close attention to the current events, movies and popular media, music lyrics, as well as the textbook. Students will learn to identify deductive and inductive arguments and be able to evaluate their strength, create a strong argument of their own on a given topic, as well become experts in the area of critical analysis. The goal is to enable students to become strong, well informed, articulate members of the community as well as individuals with an empowered sense of self as an agent of change. Students will write a minimum of 6,000 words. PREREQUISITE: English 1A (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2015.
PHIL 6Comparative Religions (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. Religion is a topic that ignites controversy -- most societies engage in religious practices, believe strongly in that tradition, and find a sense of identity within it. The controversy arises when differences are misunderstood, misrepresented, or placed in a hierarchy of assumed supremacy of one religion as superior to others. In this class, students explore the underlying commonality of various religious traditions, explore the uniqueness of the religions with which they are unfamiliar, and learn to see that diversity among beliefs doesn't have to create hostility. Students will explore religions from Indigenous Peoples throughout the world, East Asia (e.g. India), China, the Middle East, as well as some more recent trends in religion. Previously known as PHIL 6A. ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2016.
PHIL 7AHistory of Philosophy: Ancient to Medieval Times (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course introduces students to the key themes in ancient philosophy as advanced by the major thinkers and schools of ancient philosophy. Typical themes include the theories of reality, cognition, virtue, and cosmology, whilst the philosophical movements to be covered include the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Hellenistic philosophers. (C-ID: PHIL 130) Advisory: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Spring 2018.
PHIL 7BHistory of Philosophy: Renaissance to Modern Periods (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course is a survey of the history of Western philosophy from the Renaissance to the modern period, i.e., the philosophy of the 16th through the 18th century. Particular attention will be paid to the metaphysics and epistemology of the 'rationalists' (Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza), the 'empiricists' (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), and Kant. (C-ID: PHIL 140) ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Spring 2015.
PHIL 9Philosophy of Religion (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. In this course we will systematically explore religious claims. The issues to be investigated include: Does God exist? What is God's nature? Can the existence of God be reconciled with human suffering? Can faith and reason be reconciled? Can conflicting religions simultaneously be true? Other topics include: the afterlife, religious experience, miracles, freedom and divine foreknowledge, and the relationship of religion and science. ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Summer 2015.
PHIL 12Introduction to Political Thought (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course provides students with an introduction to and grounding in classical and modern political thought. Students will be introduced to theorists such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Marx. Students will also examine such timeless questions as: "What is justice?" "What is the good life?" and "What is power?" among others. This course is also listed as POLS 12. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Fall 2013.
PHIL 15Asian Philosophies (3.0)Active
3.0 Lecture. This course is designed to introduce the student to the major Asian philosophical traditions. This will consist of reviewing major East, South East, and South Asian philosophical traditions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism) and the non-Western approach to epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, and logic. We shall attempt to evaluate, examine, and compare many important theoretical principles and the ways they have influenced each other as well as Asian and Asian-American cultures and societies. ADVISORY: Eligible for English 1A. (Standard Letter Grade.) Effective: Spring 2014.
PHIL 23Independent Study (1.0-2.0)Active
3.0-6.0 Lab. Designed to afford selected students specialized opportunities for exploring areas at the independent study level. The courses may involve extensive library work, research in the community, or special projects. May be repeated until six units of credit are accrued. This course has the option of a letter grade or pass/no pass. REQUIRED: The study outline prepared by the student and the instructor must be filed with the department and the dean. (Option of a standard letter grade or Pass/no pass.) Effective: Spring 2011.

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