Student Learning Outcomes
Philosophy, BA Student Learning Outcomes
SLO 1 Analytic Reading
- Students will be able to extract arguments from primary texts.
- Students will be able to distinguish valid from invalid arguments, plausible from implausible premises.
- Students will be able to offer even-handed interpretations of texts, making issues and concerns relevant to the contemporary reader.
- Students will be able to contextualize texts relative to one another.
SLO 2 Argumentative Skills
- Students will be able to give valid arguments with plausible premises, anticipating likely objections.
- Students will be able to clearly explain a philosophical problem, canvasing some of its purported solutions, giving arguments for and against each.
SLO3 Philosophical Knowledge
- Students will be able to identify central ideas associated with central figures and movements from the history of philosophy.
- Students will be able to identify central ideas and movements within contemporary metaphysics and epistemology.
- Students will be able to identify central ideas and movements within contemporary value theory.
- Students will be able to offer critical discussion that goes beyond mere reporting.
- Students will be able to articulate fully abstract claims in explicit, minimally figurative language.
- Students will be able to sustain a coherent intellectual narrative, including what is relevant, excluding what is not.
- Students will demonstrate a mastery of standard written English in matters of grammar, diction, and style.
Core Philosophy Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to read analytically and critically. (SLO 2)
- Identify the writer’s purpose(s) and its or their implications.
- Analyze the major points made in developing the main point or thesis and the kinds of material used for the development and/or support.
- Analyze the writer’s basic assumptions and its implications.
- Analyze the writer’s voice, tone, style, and effectiveness of the writer’s argument or major points.
Students will be able to critique an argument effectively. (SLO 3A)
- Identify the conclusion of the argument.
- Identify the claims intended to support conclusion—that is, the premises—both explicit and implicit.
- Assess to what degree the premises, if true, support the conclusion.
- Assess the likelihood that the premises are true.
Students will be able to construct an effective argument. (SLO 3B)
- Identify and clearly state a thesis or conclusion that is supported by the best available evidence.
- State the best available evidence in the form of clear, unambiguous premises or claims.
- Determine which premises or claims, if any, require the support of more basic premises or claims.
- Make explicit any implicit premises, claims, or contexts.
- Anticipate the strongest objections that can be made against the argument.
Last Updated: June 26, 2017