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Department of Philosophy: Goals and Learning Objectives

Goals and Learning Objectives for Introduction to Philosophy

Goal 1: Initial Student Competence in Philosophical Inquiry

Objective 1: The student is able to read and plausibly interpret (with pedagogical help)
some primary texts in the history of philosophy. (This does not mean that the instructor
must use these texts, but if the instructor not using them, it still ought to be the case that
she or he is preparing students to read them).

Objective 2: The student is able to summarize with clarity and evaluate with insight some
of the arguments, problems, questions, or issues arguably central to philosophy
(including, but not limited, to what is specified below under goal 2) thereby
demonstrating competence to develop further his or her philosophical inquiry.

Goal 2: Initial Student Inquiry Concerning Fundamental Philosophical Issues and Their
Relation to the History of Philosophy

Objective 1: The student is able to summarize with clarity and evaluate with insight some
of the arguments, problems, questions, or issues arguably central to epistemology.

Objective 1a) The student is able to articulate clearly important aspects of the
thought of some of the authors arguably of chief significance within both the pre-
modern and modern periods of the history of philosophy in light of the above
epistemological considerations.

Objective 2: The student is able to summarize with clarity and evaluate with insight some
of the arguments, problems, questions, or issues arguably central to metaphysics.

Objective 2a) The student is able to articulate clearly important aspects of the
thought of some of the authors arguably of chief significance within both the
pre-modern and modern periods of the history of philosophy in light of the
above metaphysical considerations.

Objective 3: The student is able to summarize with clarity and evaluate with insight some
of the arguments, problems, questions, or issues, arguably central to ethics.

Objective 3a) The student is able to articulate clearly important aspects of the
thought of some of the authors arguably of chief significance within both the
pre-modern and modern periods of the history of philosophy in light of the above
ethical considerations.


Goals and Learning Objectives for Upper Level Philosophy Common Curriculum Courses

(Correlated with the Objectives of the Common Curriculum, as
Contained within Quotation Marks; Quotations from “The Goal and Objectives
of the Common Curriculum, Revised Draft, March 27, 2000.)

Goal 1. Development of “effective skills in research, writing, speaking, reading, and
listening.”

1a. Development of student ability to read and plausibly interpret (with
pedagogical help) some primary texts in intellectual and philosophical history.

1b. Development of a student’s ability to formulate clearly and explain cogently
her or his philosophical inquiry in either oral or written form.

1c. Development of student ability to analyze clearly the arguments and
interpretations present in both primary and secondary sources of philosophical
writing and to offer reasoned reflection on their cogency.

Goal 2. Development of “critical and analytical skills required to solve abstract and
concrete problems.”

2a. Development of student ability to analyze clearly the arguments and
interpretations present in both primary and secondary sources of philosophical
writing and to offer reasoned reflection on their cogency.

2b. Development of a student’s ability to formulate clearly and explain cogently
her or his philosophical inquiry in either oral or written form.

Goal 3. Development of capacity to understand and assess “ philosophical traditions”
(which encompass a rich diversity of movements and thinkers).

3a. Development of student capacity to articulate clearly and evaluate with insight
philosophical arguments, problems, questions, or issues linking what are arguably
works of significant authors within either the pre-modern or modern periods of
the history of philosophy.

Goal 4. Development of “the fullest capacity for intellectual and spiritual growth”
through the critical evaluation of significant philosophers and their beliefs.

4a. Development of student capacity to articulate clearly and evaluate with insight
philosophical arguments, problems, questions, or issues linking what are arguably
the works of significant authors within either the pre-modern or modern periods
of the history of western philosophy.

4b. Development of a student’s capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight his or her fundamental beliefs (e.g. about reality, knowledge, and ethics)
and to reflect on the relationship between these beliefs and how he or she lives.

Goal 5. Development of student capacity “to reflect on and critique presupposed values,”
especially ethical norms and standards in their variety and complexity “latent
within our world, our commitments, our beliefs, our methodologies, our
institutions, and our courses of study.”

5a. Development of a student’s capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight his or her fundamental beliefs (e.g., about reality, knowledge, and ethics)
and to reflect on the relationship between these beliefs and how he or she lives.

5b. Development of student capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight the presuppositions and values implicit in some other academic disciplines
and Loyola as a Jesuit university.

5c. Development of student capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight the philosophical (e.g., epistemological, metaphysical, or ethical) or the
anti-philosophical aspects of salient issues in contemporary life and culture.

Goal 6. Development of student capacity to see connections and relationships between
academic disciplines as different perspectives on “the interrelationships among”
(and between) “all things.”

6a. Development of student capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight the presuppositions and values implicit in some other academic disciplines
and Loyola as a Jesuit university.

6b. Development of student capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with
insight the philosophical (e.g. epistemological, metaphysical, or ethical) or the
anti-philosophical aspects of salient issues in contemporary life and culture.

Goal 7. Development of student capacity to formulate clearly and evaluate with insight
the discussions and debates about the meaning and practical implementation of
“social justice characteristic of the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Jesuit
mission.”

7a. Development of student capacity to summarize with clarity and evaluate with
insight some of the philosophical arguments, problems, questions, or issues
arguably germane to the meaning or practical implementation of justice.

Goals and Learning Objectives for Majors and Minors

Goal 1: Student Understanding of, and Participation in, Pervasive Philosophical Inquiry

Objective 1: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently the problematic concerning philosophy itself, extant within the
course content offered by our pluralistic department, including (but not limited to)
arguments about its origin, central questions, key issues, major authors, history, practice,
and ends.

Objective 2: Development of a student’s capacity to formulate articulately, analyze
lucidly, and evaluate cogently her or his fundamental beliefs (e.g., about reality,
knowledge, and ethics) and to reflect on the relationship between these beliefs and how
he or she lives.

Objective 3: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently the presuppositions and values implicit in both other academic
disciplines and Loyola as a Jesuit university.

Objective 4: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently the philosophical (e.g., epistemological, metaphysical, or ethical)
or the anti-philosophical aspects of salient issues in contemporary life and culture.
.
Goal 2: Student Competence in Philosophical Inquiry

Objective 1: Development of student ability to identify rightly types of argument,
argument forms, premises and conclusions, and cogently to distinguish strong from weak
argumentation.

Objective 2: Development of student ability to analyze lucidly the arguments and
interpretations present in both primary and secondary sources of philosophical writing
and to offer reasoned reflection on, and nuanced evaluations of, their cogency.

Objective 3: Development of student ability to formulate articulately and develop
cogently variants of philosophical inquiry (e.g., cases of source interpretation or position
argument).

Objective 4: Development of student ability to formulate articulately and develop
cogently an extended philosophical interpretation and/or thesis in a research paper

Goal 3: Student Understanding of, and Participation in, Philosophical Inquiry
Concerning Fundamental Philosophical Issues

Objective 1: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably central questions, problems, or positions in
epistemology.

Objective 2: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably central questions, problems, or positions in
metaphysics.

Objective 3: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably central questions, problems, or positions in
ethics.

Objective 4) [Specific to the Pre-Law Track] Development of student capacity to
formulate articulately, analyze lucidly, and evaluate cogently (thereby developing a
theoretical and practical comprehension of) the philosophical questions, issues, and
concepts that are implicit in the creation and application of law.

Goal 4: Student Understanding of, and Participation in, Philosophical Inquiry
Concerning Significant Authors and/or Central Issues in the History of Philosophy

Objective 1: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably the works of significant authors and/or central
philosophical issues present within the ancient period of philosophy.

Objective 2: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably the works of significant authors and/or central
philosophical issues present within the medieval period of philosophy.

Objective 3: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably the works of significant authors and/or central
philosophical issues present within the modern period of philosophy.

Objective 4: Development of student capacity to formulate articulately, analyze lucidly,
and evaluate cogently what are arguably the works of significant authors and/or central
philosophical issues present within the contemporary period of philosophy.

Objective 5: [Specific to the Pre-Law Track] Development of student capacity to
formulate articulately, analyze lucidly, and evaluate cogently central questions, problems,
or positions in significant philosophical writings that have arguably had the greatest
impact on the development of our legal system.
 

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