Loyola University Chicago
Chicago's Jesuit UniversityHomeSearchA-Z IndexCalendarContact UsDirectories

Undergraduate Studies Catalog


Lake Shore Campus:
Crown Center 3rd Floor
Phone: 773-508-2291
FAX: 773-508-2292

Water Tower Campus:
Lewis Towers 900
Phone: 312-915-6095
FAX: 312-915-8593

Professors Emeriti: R. Barry, F. Catania, S. Cunningham, L. French, BVM, F.T. Hecht, S.J., P. Maxwell, M. Schaldenbrand, , T. Sheehan, R. Westley, M. Vogel, S.J.

Arthur J. Schmitt Chair: A. Peperzak

Professors: J. Bannan, J. Blachowicz, T. Carson, A. Gini, D. Ingram, P. Moser (chairperson) D. Ozar, D. Schweickart, H. Seigfried D. Vaillancourt, V. Wike, T. Wren

Associate Professors: A. Collins, A. Cutrofello, H. Malm, T. O’Brochta, J. Trout, K. Thompson, A. VanderNat, J. Ward, M. Waymack, K. D. Yandell, F. Yartz

Assistant Professors: B. Dutton, P. Huntington, T. Kline, H. Miller, J. Parks, J. Scott

Research Professor: L. Sweeney, S.J.


The programs and courses are designed to help students develop the reflective ability and logical skills necessary for clear and careful reasoning, to acquaint them with basic and perennial philosophical questions and with classical and contemporary philosophical literature, and to encourage them to develop their own critically informed responses.


The Core requirement in Philosophy consists of three courses, one in each of the following areas: 1) Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 120); 2) Knowledge and Reality (PHIL 271-276); 3) Action and Value (PHIL 281-285).

PHIL 120 is the prerequisite for all other Philosophy courses. This course investigates such topics as human intelligence, the relation of the human person to nature, freedom vs. determinism, and the end or purpose of life (e.g. happiness, goodness, death, immortality). The second Core area deals with questions of the nature of reality and what we can know about reality. Is the world as we take it to be and what is our evidence for this? What are the basic entities that make up the real world, why do we take them to be fundamental? Is there a transcendent reality? What are knowledge and truth? The third area addresses questions regarding the nature of value, norms and obligations. What makes human life worth living and according to what norms and values can human life be evaluated? What is the process of arriving at moral decisions and in what way, if any, are human beings free? How ought social, economic, and political institutions of society be structured? What are the rights and responsibilities of the individual and society relative to each other? What is justice? Why be just?


All majors are required to take at least twelve courses in philosophy, of which at least nine are 300-level courses (or eight, if 274 is taken). Each student’s major program must include 120; one course from 271-273, 275 or 276; one course from 281-285; 274 or 301; 304; 309; and one course from 395-399. A 300-level ethics course may substitute for the "281-285" requirement; similarly the "271-273, 275 or 276" requirement may be satisfied by a 300-level course (not in a figure or historical period) in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, or philosophy of science. For further details and permissible substitutions consult with the director of the philosophy undergraduate program. Majors are required to discuss and plan their selection of courses with the undergraduate program director each semester prior to registration.

Requirements for the Honors Major in Philosophy: In addition to the 12 courses in philosophy required for the major, the honors major will take two additional 300-level courses, and do an oral defense of an honors thesis. For further requirements and information see the honors director in the Philosophy Department.

  Courses Credit Hrs.
Philosophy (see requirements listed above) 12 36
English 105 and 106 2 6
History core 2 6
Literature core 3 9
Mathematics core 1 3
Foreign language 2 6
Theology core 3 9
Natural science core 3 9
Social science core 2 6
Communicative/expressive arts core 1 3
Electives to complete minimum total of 128 credit hours variable 35
TOTAL 128   


All minors are required to take at least six courses in philosophy, including 120; one course from 271-276; one course from 281-285; and three additional courses, at least two being on the 300-level. The department has suggested sequences for students preparing for careers in law, business, medicine, or religion.

Students are encouraged to plan, in consultation with designated members of the undergraduate committee, a program based on their special interests.

Requirements for a Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy

For this minor a student must take six courses in ethics. At least four of these six courses must be taken from the Philosophy Department, and at least two of them must be at the 300-level.

As many as two ethics courses can be taken outside of the Philosophy Department. Philosophy majors cannot receive the minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy. However, Philosophy majors who satisfy the requirements for the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy will upon graduation receive the degree "A Major in Philosophy with a Concentration in Ethics."

All sections of the following courses count for the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy:

Communication 217, Ethics and Communication

Criminal Justice 350, Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Justice

Philosophy 281, Action and Value: Ethics

Philosophy 282, Action and Value: Society

Philosophy 283, Action and Value: Business

Philosophy 284, Action and Value: Medicine

Philosophy 285, Action and Value: Selected Topics

Philosophy 321, Ethics and Society

Philosophy 323, Philosophy of Law

Philosophy 324, Topics in Ethics

Political Science 341, Political Ethics and Public Service

Theology 192, Moral Problems

Theology 194, Business and Christian Theology

Theology 340, Foundations of Christian Morality

Theology 342, Perspectives on Life and Death

Theology 344, Theology and Ecology

In addition to the courses listed above, individual sections of courses that are not in this list but that are taught as ethics classes can count toward the minor on a case by case basis. For example, some sections of topics courses, such as PHIL 389 and PHIL 398, can count toward the minor, provided such courses are ethics courses. In addition, two or more sections of one topics in ethics course, such as PHIL 324, can count toward the minor if those sections are different ethics courses.

A student can incorporate ethics courses taken for the Core Curriculum into this minor. A student needs take only three additional courses required for the Core. For example, if a student took the following three courses for Core requirements, PHIL 281 (or another 280s course) and THEO 192 and THEO 194, then the student would need to take three additional ethics courses from Philosophy (two of them at the 300 level) in order to receive the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy. This feature can be useful in planning the courses for one’s minor.


120. Philosophy of Human Nature.
An introduction to philosophical thinking through the question: What does it mean to be human? As a first course in philosophy, it is an introduction to what philosophy is and to works of major philosophers. As a treatment of the meaning of human nature, the course considers the human person as physical being, as knower, as responsible agent, as a person in relation to other persons, to society, to God, and to the end, or purpose, of human life.

271. Knowledge and Reality: Religion. (RCS 271)
An inquiry into religious belief with respect to the truth it discloses. Typical subjects include: the reality of God or other objects of religious belief, the justification of such belief, the logic of religious belief in relation to that of other kinds of belief, the nature of religious experience.

272. Knowledge and Reality: Metaphysics.
This course will take up basic questions about reality and inquire into fundamental principles by which the nature of reality can be coherently explained. An analysis of issues such as: the nature of being and existence; the principles in terms of which anything (e.g., physical and non-physical things, God) is said to be real; and the nature of the relations between things (e.g., space and time, mechanical and goal-directed causality).

273. Knowledge and Reality: Science.
Examines the nature of scientific knowledge and the principles used to acquire it. Episodes in the history of the natural and social sciences will illustrate scientific principles and practices. As part of this analysis, we will examine the philosophical foundations of inductive reasoning, explanation, observation, causation, and evidence. We will give special attention to scientific issues that have distinctive social and ethical impact, and will discuss general metaphilosophical issues, such as the role of philosophy in clarifying and commenting on science.

274. Knowledge and Reality: Logic.
A detailed study of the rules of valid judging and reasoning, both deductive and inductive and from both the traditional and symbolic point of view. Central to the course is logical analysis, in particular a study of the consistency and logical consequences of a given set of statements. The issues of evidence, truth, and explanation will be discussed, and some time will be spent on applying logical analysis to concrete problems concerning our knowledge of reality.

275. Knowledge and Reality: Truth.
This course is an inquiry into the foundations of knowledge and the nature of truth. It examines traditional and contemporary approaches to truth, and theories about the relationship between knowledge and reality. Some of the topics are the status of knowledge and facts, doubt, evidence, the problems of the verification and justification of knowledge, and particular problems regarding the truth of certain types of statements, such as moral statements and statements about the future.

276. Knowledge and Reality: Selected Topics.
The questions defining the area of knowledge and reality are studied by examining one specific topic such as art, language, the mind, etc.

281. Action and Value: Ethics.
The course examines norms for human action: their nature, possibility; and foundations; alternative theories of morality and value; the role of values and norms in the process of making moral decisions and their application in practice.

282. Action and Value: Society.
This course examines the norms or principles that establish and justify societies and determine the rights and responsibilities of a society in relation to its own members, of the members in relation to each other and to society as a whole, and of a society in relation to other societies. The course considers the application of these principles to such issues as justice, human rights, political and social institutions, and world community.

283. Action and Value: Business.
Ethical dimensions of business are investigated from a philosophical perspective. The course aims at integrating readings of philosophical ethics with business case studies. Fundamental issues such as freedom, responsibility, rights, and justice are discussed as they relate to actual business situations.

284. Action and Value: Medicine.
This is a course on the role of moral reasoning in the healthcare setting. Typical issues include: the meaning of such basic concepts as health and disease, truth-telling in medical practice and informed consent in experimental settings, the criteria for distributing medical resources and the issues of a right to health care, and questions about authority, responsibility and professional autonomy in the making of healthcare decisions.

285. Action and Value: Selected Topics.
The questions defining the area of action and value are studied by examining a specific topic such as technology, economics, environment, etc.

301. Symbolic Logic.
An introduction to the use of symbolic logic as a tool emphasizing the arts of formalization and proof construction, introducing the students to the terminology and chief concepts of logic.

304. History of Ancient Philosophy. (CLST 304)
Origins of philosophical problems among the Greeks and the main types of philosophical answers; extensive readings in the pre-Socratic fragments and records, in Plato, and in Aristotle.

305. Augustine to Abelard. (CATH305) (MTSU 344)
Major thinkers of the 4th to the 12th century, including at least some of the following: Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Scotus, Erigena, Boethius, Avicenna, Averroës, Moses Maimonides, Anselm, Abelard.

306. 19th Century Philosophy.
The development of post-Kantian philosophy from idealism toward phenomenology. Readings of sources and critical evaluations.

307. 13th and 14th Century Philosophy. (CATH 307)
Major thinkers of the 13th and 14th centuries, including at least some of the following: Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Dun Scotus, William of Ockham, Roger Bacon.

309. Classical Modern Philosophy.
Study of selected modern philosophers with an evaluation of their principles. Typical authors include Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant.

310. Issues in Philosophy of Human Nature.
Intensive consideration of such issues as freedom, determinism, language, love, person, the interpersonal, time, society, truth, aesthetics, life, consciousness, mind-body, meaning, immortality, transcendence, etc.

311. Issues in Metaphysics.
Typical issues include transcendence, being, existence in its individual and communal dimensions, causality, relations, analogy, purpose, the possibility of metaphysics, and the relations of metaphysics to other disciplines.

312. Problems in Philosophy of God.
Classical and contemporary approaches to knowledge of the existence of God: divine names, attributes, providence and evil, providence and human freedom.

319. Studies in Philosophy and Literature.
A study of selected works of literature and a discussion of philosophical issues in relation to these works. Issues such as the nature of literary work, the relations of philosophical and literary language, and methods of interpretation may be studied.

320. The Philosophy of St. Augustine. (CATH 320) (MSTU 346)
Survey of principal works; detailed consideration of the Confessions; Augustine’s influence.

321. Ethics and Society.
Rights, duties, and virtues of the human as an individual and as a member of society; the basic human societies of the family and the state; social justice; international society; war and world order.

322. Philosophical Perspectives on Women. (WOST 322)
Some of the issues discussed may be: the ontology of woman, i.e., the nature of womanhood and its position in the community of humankind; representations of women by "western" philosophers, perhaps in comparison with eastern thought; the nature of self-respect and its relation to women; views on women’s oppression; affirmative action programs; the relation between sexism and racism; and the relative importance of race, class, and sex in discussion of women’s status.

323. Philosophy of Law.
Relation of law and philosophy; philosophical presuppositions of laws; law as social control; theories of origin and purpose of law; current legal problems involving value judgments.

324. Topics in Ethics.
Issues selected from all fields of moral theory and metaethics.

326. Political Philosophy.
An examination of the major issues of political philosophy. Various theories of political society will be studied with a view to explaining the chief characteristics of political society and their relationships to important aspects of the human character.

327. Topics in Political Philosophy.
This course will concentrate on a specific issue in political philosophy. Typical topics include civil disobedience, war and peace, theories of political revolution, theories of utopia, and punishment and criminal justice.

330. Theory of Knowledge.
Major philosophical positions; analysis of knowledge; truth; error; probability; different ways of knowing; influence of history and culture.

333. Language: Theories Ancient and Modern. (LING 333)
Different theories, mainly by linguists and philosophers, on the nature, role, and structure of human language, from the ancient world to the present. Relations of these theories to larger cultural and historical contexts, and especially to literary methods.

335. Asian Philosophy. (ASIA 335) (INTS 334) (RCS 335)
A study of fundamental tenets of major Eastern philosophies (Chinese, Japanese, Indian) in comparison to Western tradition. Course may vary in emphasis on particular philosophies and themes.

340. Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. (MSTU 348)
Background in the life, works, sources, scholarship, and controversies of St. Thomas; the structural principles of his thought, as shown in extensive readings from his work.

350. Directed Reading.
Independent research according to program developed jointly by the student and a faculty director. Open to majors and to non-majors with the permission of the chairperson.

360. Contemporary European Philosophy.
Readings and discussion of contemporary French and German philosophers.

370. Introduction to American Philosophy.
Study of American philosophers with an evaluation of their principles. Philosophers likely to be considered are Edwards, Emerson, Peirce, James, Royce, Mead, Dewey.

381. Philosophy of Science.
Reading and discussion of selected texts from classical and contemporary philosophers and scientists. The theories and nature of scientific methods; the metaphysical foundation of science.

382. Philosophy of Social Science.
Study of philosophical problems involved in and topics emerging from the practice of contemporary behavioral sciences: theory, fact and value, causality, relativism, functionalism, statistical generalization, social planning.

383. Philosophy of Psychology.
A philosophical analysis of significant theoretical positions in psychology, addressing foundational issues that arise, for example, in methodology, perception, motivation, learning, and personality theory. It will approach these issues through the writings of acknowledged authorities, discussing them in relation to such philosophical interests as the nature of knowledge and of science, personal identity, and the prospects of freedom, responsibility, and human communication.

384. Topics in Philosophy and Science.
The emphasis varies with each offering. For example, historical periods (e.g., the Scientific Revolution of the 17th-18th centuries); influences of the sciences on classical philosophical positions (e.g., Kant, Positivism); or analysis of special concepts in the physical and biological sciences (e.g., space and time, matter, cosmology, evolution).

387. Philosophy of Mind.
Critical study of issues such as the classical mind-body problem and related problems; possibility and nature of personal identity; solipsism and knowledge of other minds; function of mental and conduct concepts like belief, consciousness, perception, thinking, sensations, and brain processes.

389. Contemporary Issues.
Selected topics.

390. Independent Study for Majors.
Prerequisite: philosophy major.
In-depth independent research developed jointly by the student and a faculty director. The topic should be one with which the student has some familiarity so that the research can be an examination of it in-depth.

391. Topics in Philosophy of Religion.
Analysis of religious concepts; their philosophical significance. Types of religions and their philosophical implications.

394. Philosophy of Marxism.
A study of the philosophical dimensions of the thought of Karl Marx, his 19th century precursors and 20th century interpreters.

395. Seminar in Ancient Philosophy.

396. Seminar in Medieval Philosophy. (CATH 396) (MSTU 350)

397. Seminar in Classical Modern Philosophy.

398. Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy.

399. Integrative Seminar.
Analysis and discussion of special problems found in the various areas of philosophical thought aimed at synthesizing the student’s previous philosophic experience.

Back to Undergraduate Studies Main

Back to Top

Loyola Home Page

Loyola University Chicago