Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

General Information

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy. The Department offers a major, a minor, and a wide variety of courses that may be taken as electives or to fulfill the core curriculum requirements.

Philosophy asks questions of morality and ethics, such as: What is the good life? What is justice? What principles can be used to make moral choices?

Philosophy also asks questions of knowledge and reason, such as: Can we know anything for certain? What are the principles of logical thinking? How can reasoning be applied in all areas of knowledge and society?

Philosophy also asks questions of self and society, such as: How do we attain self-knowledge? How can reason be applied to the problems of life? What are our obligations as individuals to society? What is the connection between freedom and responsibility?

Among the many benefits of examining such questions, you learn to think for yourself, contemplate what kind of person to be, prepare for success in a variety of careers, and grow as a leader.

Philosophy helps to prepare you for a career in law, business, medicine, media, education, and public service.


The requirements for a major in philosophy are: three courses in the history of philosophy (PHIL 2011, PHIL 2021, and PHIL 2031), one course in logic (PHIL 2040), one course in ethics (PHIL 2045, PHIL 2400, or PHIL 2410), a senior thesis, and five other three-hour courses in philosophy. Majors may take only one PHIL 1000-level course, including courses taken in fulfillment of the Examined Life area of the Core. Majors are required to pass a comprehensive examination, and regular attendance at all Philosophy departmental meetings is required. In order for a philosophy course to be counted for degree credit, a student must earn a "C" or better.


The requirements for a minor in philosophy are: logic (2040), one course in ethics (2045, 2400, or 2410), and any additional four courses in philosophy. The Department recommends that at least one of the additional four courses come from the history of philosophy sequence (2011, 2021, 2031). In order for a philosophy course to be counted for degree credit for the minor, a student must earn a “C” or better.

Honors in Philosophy at Graduation

Students are eligible to graduate with an honors distinction in Philosophy. To do so, the student must complete a minimum of three philosophy courses (9 credit hours) with an overall philosophy GPA of 3.3. Please contact Dr. Schafer, the Head of the Philosophy Department.

International Honor Society in Philosophy

Xavier has a chapter of the International Honor Society in Philosophy, Phi Sigma Tau. Please contact Dr. Bayer, the Chapter Advisor.

Please consult the current Xavier University of Louisiana catalog for further information about the curriculum in Philosophy.


Department of Philosophy


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