Philosophy, Minor

Department of Philosophy

College of Arts and Letters

To paraphrase English thinker, Dr. Walter Pater, ”What philosophy does is rouse the human spirit and startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.” 
This minor is intended to stimulate students to think about issues and assertions, not just in the realm of philosophy and personal code of conduct, but also in contemporary issues such as genetics, governance, ethics, behavior, and technology.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 to 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Student Learning Outcomes

  • The History Of Western Philosophy – having a good understanding of the historical origins of major philosophical ideas and styles.  A shared understanding of the history of philosophy provides a common framework for discussing both new and ongoing issues.  Students will:             
    • Critically read the original works of Plato and Aristotle and articulate the characteristic ideas and philosophical styles of these historical figures.
    • Critically read the original works of Descartes, Hume, and Kant, and articulate the characteristic ideas and philosophical styles of these historical figures.
  • Contemporary Philosophical Work – developing the ability to read, comprehend, and intelligently respond to the philosophical work of our own time.  Students will:
    • Read contemporary philosophical texts and provide a clear account of the passages through:
      • Finding and articulating the main ideas in contemporary philosophical work
      • Paraphrasing the important points in clear prose
      • Identifying the logical structure of the writing
      • Evaluating the plausibility of the points raised
    • Connect modern ideas and arguments to the historical heritage of these ideas.
  • Question critically both in the interest of (1) deepening their understanding of an idea and (2) articulating the idea’s strengths and weaknesses

Minor Requirements
  • Take the following 18 units:

    • PHI 240, PHI 241 (6 units)
    • Additional PHI courses, at least 9 units must be upper-division courses (12 units)

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.