Philosophy, BA, Law, Justice, and Social Policy Emphasis

Arts & Humanities (ah)

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Department Chair: Nate Olson

Office: Humanities Office Building (HOB), 230

Phone: (661) 654-2291


Program Maps for Arts and Humanities

Program Description

The study of Philosophy enables students to explore critically various systems of beliefs and values, to grapple with the foundations of their own beliefs and values, to develop habits of critical thinking, writing, and reading, and to use these skills to address real world problems. Students completing a major in Philosophy have the option of pursuing an emphasis in one of three areas: Ethics and Moral Reasoning; Law, Justice, and Social Policy; and Mind and World. Program goals and objectives can be found on our website.

Graduates in Philosophy gain a set of skills that will be valuable for pursuing any career path, for leading a fruitful life, and for engaging as a responsible citizen and community member. CSUB Philosophy graduates have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of fields, including education, law, journalism, business, government, and non-profit organizations. The Department hosts a chapter of the Phi Sigma Tau International Honors Society in Philosophy. Through its association with the Kegley Institute of Ethics, the department offers students the opportunity to engage with major public issues of the day. The annual CSUB Philosophy and Religious Studies Undergraduate Conference provides a forum for the presentation of work by undergraduates from CSUB and other universities in all areas of philosophical and religious studies.

Philosophy Program Learning Outcomes

Goal 1 – Intellectual and Practical Skills: Students will develop the intellectual and practical skills required for effective personal, professional, and civic life. Intellectual Empathy: Students will accurately represent and fairly evaluate diverse views and values. Formal Logic: Students will analyze and evaluate arguments using formal systems of deductive logic. Research and Writing: Students will research and write well-supported essays on philosophical issues. Oral Defense: Students will defend philosophical positions using well-organized oral presentation skills. Practical Philosophy: Students will apply philosophical skills in community and/or professional settings.

Goal 2 – Disciplinary Knowledge: Students will develop a broad understanding of the major themes in the field of philosophy. History of Philosophy: Students will describe and explicate the historical development of philosophical ideas. Value Theory: Students will analyze and compare normative theories of the just, the good, and/or the beautiful. Metaphysics and Epistemology: Students will analyze and compare philosophical views of the nature of reality and our knowledge of it.