Graduate Catalog
Philosophy

PLESHETTE DEARMITT,  PhD
Chair
Room 325, Clement Hall
(901) 678-4365


MARY BETH MADER, PhD
Coordinator of Graduate Admissions

KAS SAGHAFI, PhD
Coordinator of Graduate Studies

E-mail: philosophy@memphis.edu
www.memphis.edu/philosophy

I. The Department of Philosophy offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a major in Philosophy. The master’s program is designed to provide comprehensive training in philosophy for students seeking work beyond the bachelor’s level, whether for self-enrichment, background for other areas, or in preparation for doctoral work. The doctoral program provides students with the broad background necessary for effective teaching as well as the specialized research skills required for a career in philosophy at the college or university level.

 All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

II. MA Degree Program

Program objectives are: (1) development of expertise in the discipline to teach introductory courses; (2) ability to write a research paper on a philosophical topic for formal presentation; and (3) ability to demonstrate knowledge and skills for advanced study.

A. Program Admission
The Philosophy Department admits students for the fall semester of each academic year. Information and application forms can be found on the department web site. Applications received after January 5 cannot be guaranteed consideration for an assistantship for the upcoming academic year.

B. Program Prerequisites

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university. Official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  2. A minimum of a 2.5 quality point average on a scale of 4.0. Students with less than a 2.5 quality point average may, on occasion, be admitted.
  3. An acceptable score on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination.
  4. At least 18 semester hours in undergraduate philosophy courses including the following courses or their equivalent: introduction to philosophy, ethics, elementary logic, history of ancient philosophy, and history of modern philosophy. Students who lack one or more of these courses may be admitted to the program only on the condition that they take the appropriate course as soon as possible.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from people qualified to judge the student’s ability to undertake graduate work.
  6. A 10-20 page writing sample and a 1-2–page statement of purpose should be submitted to the Coordinator of Graduate Admissions in Philosophy.

C. Program Requirements

  1. Thirty to thirty-three hours of class work, 24 of which must be at the 7000 level or above. Students who write a thesis are required to take 30 hours, 3 of which are credit for the thesis. Students who do not write a thesis are required to take 33 hours. Students who elect to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write. Students with approved collateral areas may take up to six hours outside the department if they are writing a thesis or nine hours if they are not.
  2. A written comprehensive examination covering the history of philosophy.

III. PhD Degree Program

Program objectives are: (1) development of expertise in the subject matter to teach a variety of undergraduate courses in area of specialization; (2) development of ability to produce original research papers of sufficient quality for presentation at professional meetings and conferences and publication in professional journals, in addition to ability to impart research skills to students at all levels; (3) ability to contribute to philosophical discussions across the subdivisions of the field; and (4) preparation to assume the role of a philosophy faculty member.

A. Program Admission

The Philosophy Department admits students for the fall semester of each academic year.  Information and application forms can be found on the department web site. Applications received after January 5 cannot be guaranteed consideration for an assistantship for the upcoming academic year.

  1. Fulfillment of university requirements for admission to the Graduate School, including a score on the GRE acceptable to the department.
  2. The equivalent of the BA degree, usually with a major in philosophy. This must include at least the following courses or their equivalents: intermediate logic, survey of ancient philosophy, survey of modern philosophy, and ethics. Students lacking one or more of these courses may be admitted to the program provisionally, on the condition that they make up the missing course work as soon as possible (graduate credit will not be granted for make-up work).
  3. Three letters of recommendation, to be submitted by persons competent to judge the prospective student’s ability to undertake graduate work. (These letters are to be sent directly from the referee to the department’s coordinator of graduate admissions).
  4. Transcripts of prior academic work. Official copies should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. A minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a scale of 4.00) will be expected.
  5. A 10-20 page writing sample and a 1-2–page statement of purpose should be submitted to the Coordinator of Graduate Admissions in Philosophy.

B. Retention Requirements

A student will be retained continuously in the program until completion of the degree providing the following conditions are met:

  1. All students will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.5. Should the student’s GPA fall below that mark, a period of one semester will be allowed to correct the deficiency. At the discretion of the chair and the coordinator of graduate studies, this period may be extended one additional semester.
  2. Students will be expected to demonstrate satisfactory progress in fulfilling the graduation requirements outlined below.

C. Graduation Requirements

  1. General Requirements
    1. A minimum of 72 hours of graduate credit beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. At least 60 hours credit must be at the 7000 level or higher.
    2. At most 18 hours of graduate work may be transferred from graduate work elsewhere and applied towards the 72 hours needed for the PhD. Only graduate hours that were not used for a previous graduate degree, that relate in content to the graduate program, and that do not exceed university time restrictions can be transferred.
    3. For students who have attained a master’s degree, a minimum of 42 hours of graduate credit is required beyond that master’s degree. At least 36 hours of graduate credit must be at the 7000 level or higher. More hours may be required at the discretion of the department’s advisory committee.
    4. No more than 18 credit hours of dissertation (PHIL 9000) will count towards satisfying the total number of graduate hours required for the PhD. A minimum of 6 hours of dissertation is required for the PhD.
  2. Residency Requirements:
    At least 24 credit hours must be earned while the student is in continuous residence in the program.
  3. Distribution Requirements
    1. Core Requirements—Students must take a core of twelve hours in major figures in the history of philosophy (at least three in ancient and three in modern); six hours in theoretical philosophy (three hours in Continental Philosophy and three hours in Analytic Philosophy); and six hours in practical philosophy (three in Social and Political Philosophy; and three in Ethics).
    2. Additional Requirements—Students must take the Proseminar, normally during the first year of graduate work. At least one course must be a systematic study of a major figure. At least two courses must be in the analytic tradition and two in the continental tradition; these will normally be courses in the twenty-four hour core.
  4. Examination Requirements:
    1. Comprehensive Examinations—The Comprehensive Examinations must be taken and passed no later than the student's fourth semester in the program. There are two parts to the examination, one in the history of ancient philosophy and one in the history of modern philosophy.  Each part consists in a four-hour written exam. A general reading list is provided for each area. Only students who pass both parts of the comprehensive examination may continue work for the PhD.
      NOTE: It is expected that the doctoral comprehensive examination will be coordinated with the master’s comprehensive examination, so that those whose scores fail to qualify them for advanced doctoral study but are sufficient for the master’s degree may then complete the requirements for a terminal master’s degree.
  5. Language Requirements:
    Students must demonstrate sufficient ability to translate philosophical texts by sitting for a two-hour translation examination in two of the following languages: French, German, Classical Greek, Latin. Other languages may be substituted if they are shown to be relevant to the student’s course of study.
  6. Dissertation Requirements
    1. Dissertation Committee—The student must select a dissertation director. The coordinator of graduate studies in consultation with the graduate faculty will select three additional readers.
    2. Dissertation Proposal Defense—The student will submit a proposal for the dissertation to the committee and defend the proposal before the graduate faculty. This defense will normally occur before the end of the sixth semester.
    3. Dissertation Defense—The dissertation committee will schedule a defense of the completed dissertation in coordination with the chair and the coordinator of graduate studies. Notice will be given, copies of the dissertation made available, and a public oral defense of the dissertation will be held. Upon approval of the dissertation committee and faculty, the dissertation will be submitted to the Graduate School and the degree awarded.
    4. Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before beginning to write.

PHILOSOPHY (PHIL)

Unless otherwise stated, the following courses may be repeated for credit whenever the topic of the course is not identical to the topic of another course the student is taking or has previously taken.

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
PHIL 6801-20. Special Topics in Philosophy. (3). Topics in areas of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, logical theory, axiology. Area to be covered will be in the online course listing. May be repeated for a maximum of 15 hours credit.

PHIL 7800-7810–8800-8810. Special Topics in Philosophy. (3).


PHIL 6211 - Ancient Philosophy (3)
Readings from primary sources, supplemented by commentary from antiquity and modern scholarship, including Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic period.

PHIL 6311 - Modern Philosophy (3)
Readings from major philosophers of 17th to early 19th centuries, supplemented by commentaries from modern and contemporary sources.

PHIL 6421 - Philosophy Of Mind (3)
Survey of major issues and positions in recent philosophy of mind; behaviorism; reductive, non-reductive, and eliminative versions of materialism; functionalism; mental causation; phenomenal consciousness; psychoanalysis and the unconscious; computational and connectionist models of mind.

PHIL 6422 - Rec Anglo American Phil (3)
An examination of major developments in philosophy in England and the United States from 1900 to present with reading from such philosophers as Russell, Moore, Ayer, Wittgenstein, James, Dewey, Lewis, Quine, and other contemporary authors.

PHIL 6441 - Recent Continentl Phil (3)
Major figures in 20th century European thought; movements such as phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, critical theory, and hermeneutics.

PHIL 6551 - Social & Political Phil (3)
Theories of society, culture, institutions, government, law, power, authority, rights, and obligation.

PHIL 6632 - Advanced Logic (3)
The nature of axiomatic systems and foundations of mathematics.

PHIL 6661 - Philosophy Of Science (3)
Survey of several central issues in the philosophy of science. Topics may include issues such as competing understandings of scientific practice, scientific explanation, the continuity and discontinuity of scientific theories, and the relations between the various sciences.

PHIL 6671 - Aesthetics (3)
Treatment of philosophical theories concerning the nature and role of art and the possibility of aesthetic evaluation.

PHIL 7001 - Proseminar (3)
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHIL 7002 - Tchng Skills Grad Asst (3)
This course is designed to impart the skills necessary for both serving as a teaching assistant as well as for designing and teaching one's own philosophy course. May be repeated for up to 12 hours. NOTE: Philosophy majors may not use this course to fulfill degree requirements. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

PHIL 7020 - Seminar Major Figures (3)


PHIL 7030 - Sem Continentl Phil (3)


PHIL 7040 - Sem Normative Phil (3)


PHIL 7201 - Sem Classical Phil (3)


PHIL 7203 - Sem Contemporary Phil (3)


PHIL 7301 - Sem Modern Phil (3)


PHIL 7414 - Seminar In Metaphysics (3)


PHIL 7421 - Seminar In Epistemology (3)


PHIL 7442 - Seminar On Heidegger (3)


PHIL 7514 - Cognitive Science Seminar (3)
Systematic study of current topics in Cognitive Science with an emphasis on its interdisciplinary nature. Topics will vary each semester. Only nine credit hours may be counted toward degree requirements.

PHIL 7541 - Social/Political Phil (3)


PHIL 7551 - Seminar Ethical Theory (3)


PHIL 7994 - Reading And Research (1-9)
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

PHIL 7996 - Thesis (1-9)
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

PHIL 8001 - Proseminar (3)
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHIL 8002 - Tchng Skills Grad Asst (3)
This course is designed to impart the skills necessary for both serving as a teaching assistant as well as for designing and teaching one's own philosophy course. May be repeated for up to 12 hours. NOTE: Philosophy majors may not use this course to fulfill degree requirements. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

PHIL 8020 - Seminar Major Figures (3)


PHIL 8030 - Sem Continentl Phil (3)
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours.

PHIL 8040 - Sem Normative Phil (3)


PHIL 8051 - Collo Phil Problems (3)


PHIL 8201 - Sem Classical Phil (3)


PHIL 8203 - Sem Contemporary Phil (3)


PHIL 8252 - Sem On Aristotle (3)


PHIL 8301 - Sem Modern Phil (3)


PHIL 8414 - Seminar In Metaphysics (3)


PHIL 8421 - Sem In Epistemology (3)


PHIL 8442 - Seminar On Heidegger (3)


PHIL 8514 - Cognitive Science Seminar (3)
Systematic study of current topics in Cognitive Science with an emphasis on its interdisciplinary nature. Topics will vary each semester. Only nine credit hours may be counted toward degree requirements.

PHIL 8541 - Social/Political Phil (3)


PHIL 8551 - Seminar Ethical Theory (3)


PHIL 8994 - Adv Reading & Research (1-12)
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit hours. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

PHIL 9000 - Dissertation (1-12)
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit hours. Grades of S, U, or IP will be given.

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Last Updated: 4/9/14