Philosophy Department Learning Objectives

Philosophy begins with wonder and curiosity about the world, yet is focused by an emphasis on clear reasoning and cogent argumentation. It asks about some of the deepest and most pressing issues confronting us-ranging from recondite topics in metaphysics to practical concerns about ethical actions-and fosters the critical skills needed to arrive at answers to these questions.

We offer a wide range of courses. You can try philosophy either by exploring a particular area (e.g., bioethics, philosophy in literature, existentialism, etc.) or by taking a general survey (e.g., continental thought, ethical theory, etc). Many philosophy courses have no prerequisites, and all our courses (except PHIL 060 - Logic) satisfy Area 3 of the Breadth of Study Requirements.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of their career, majors in the philosophy program at Pomona will:

  • Be able to formulate rationally grounded views on issues of central importance to human experience, including questions about the nature of the world, our place within it, and how we ought to act.
  • Be able to offer a balanced and fair evaluation of the views of others, both in readings and in discussions.
  • Be familiar with the history of philosophical thought, and with the general metaphysical, epistemological and ethical issues that guide the discipline today.
  • Be able to interpret and extract an author's arguments from a text, and to offer novel, substantive commentary on philosophical positions.
  • Be able to write clear and cogent arguments in defense of their positions.
  • Be able to discuss in an articulate manner issues that arise in class and in their own work.