Philosophy is a skill, not merely a subject matter. This skill, critical thinking, is what illuminates the traditional subject matter of the discipline, topics like the nature of reality or of knowledge or of goodness or God. As a skill, philosophy is more like riding a bike than geology or American history (although the discipline itself does have a venerable history). This skill of critical thinking enables one to question in such a way as to reveal the presuppositions of an issue, to discern the connections among those things relevant to that issue, and to recognize the consequences of these connections in light of further considerations. Critical thinking can be applied to issues well beyond those traditionally associated with philosophy—in fact, this sort of thinking can be applied to any issue that might be of interest to one (food, technology, social media, friendship, society, love, race, gender, etc.). Philosophy is, therefore, a most valuable and transferable skill.
The Minor in Philosophy is for those considering majoring in Philosophy or for those who would like to develop their critical thinking skills while majoring in another discipline. Regardless of what one studies or what one’s interests are, one will benefit from becoming a more engaged and critical thinker.
The Minor in Philosophy comprises seven courses: three from a wide range of introductory courses and four from an even wider range of upper-division ones. There are many ways of designing the minor to fit with one’s schedule and particular interests.
|A. Select three of the following:|
|Introduction to Philosophy|
|Puzzles and Paradoxes|
|Technology and Society|
|Introduction to Ethics|
|Contemporary Moral Problems|
|History of Ancient Philosophy|
|History of Medieval Philosophy|
|History of Modern Philosophy|
|History of Contemporary Philosophy|
|Introduction to Law and Society|
|Introduction to Symbolic Logic|
|B. Complete four additional upper-division courses selected from PHILOS 100W–199. (PHILOS 199 may be taken for four units only.)|
Residence Requirement for the Minor: Four upper-division courses must be completed successfully at UCI. By petition, two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, providing course content is approved in advance by the appropriate department chair.