About Philosophy

the thinker

The Philosophy Department at SJSU can offer you a Philosophy Program of very high quality, small classes in your major, an active student body, and support for your academic growth. The Department of Philosophy has been recognized for its breadth and the scholarly activity of its faculty. The Department is strong in traditional areas of philosophy and active in innovative ones (e.g., Feminist Philosophy; Applied Philosophy). The Department is noted for its treatment of philosophy in a global context (Comparative Philosophy; Asian Philosophy; African and African American Philosophies), and for its engagement with issues reflecting its Silicon Valley setting (Computers and Philosophy; Science, Technology and Human Values; Philosophy of Technology; Philosophy of Science).

For more information about the programs that we offer, please visit the curriculum section of our site.

University Learning Goals

San José State University graduates will have developed:

  •  Specialized Knowledge
  •  Broad Integrative Knowledge
  •  Intellectual Skills
  •  Applied Knowledge
  •  Social and Global Responsibilities

 

Philosophy Department Mission Statement

The Philosophy Department has four missions similar to, and based on, the university missions:

  • To enrich the lives of its students through philosophical study, discussion, and reflection
  • To transmit knowledge of philosophy to its students along with
  • The necessary skills for applying it in service of our society (helping bring philosophical ideas to bear on important community issues), and
  • To expand the base of knowledge through promotion of faculty and student research and scholarship in philosophy.

These missions are distinct but mutually supportive.

BA Philosophy Learning Outcomes

revised spring 2009

Graduates with a BA in Philosophy will

  1. Be able to identify, discuss and constructively engage with, in both written and oral fashion, core areas and methods of Philosophy, and major figures and ideas in various historical periods and in various traditions from around the world.
  2. Have the ability to understand texts and oral presentations and to identify and critique the arguments expressed in these texts.
  3. Have the ability successfully to collect and evaluate information and carry out research projects and successfully share the results in both written and oral form.
  4. Have an understanding of the demands of responsible citizenship and an understanding of how to make and defend ethical choices.
  5. Have an understanding of the ways in which culture, race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, and national membership influence perceptions about reality, knowledge, and value.

MA Philosophy Learning Outcomes

revised spring 2009

Graduates with a MA in Philosophy will

  1. Be able to identify, understand and critically discuss, both orally and in a sustained major written essay, and in a written exam taken without the benefit of notes, major figures and ideas in various historical periods and in various traditions from around the world. Identify and discuss, both orally and in a sustained major written essay, core areas of Philosophy.
  2. Have high level skills in communication, critical inquiry and the ability to collect and evaluate information successfully, and to use all of these skills in their own original research.
  3. Have an understanding of the demands of responsible citizenship and an understanding of how to make and defend ethical choices.
  4. Have an understanding of the ways in which culture, race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, and national membership influence perceptions about reality, knowledge and value.
  5. Be able to teach and assess all these skills and competencies at the lower division undergraduate level.