The study of philosophy aims to cultivate wisdom and understanding regarding the foundational elements of the human experience, pursued through the application of rational argument and critical thinking.
An Associate in Arts degree in Philosophy at Arizona Western College will prepare students for transfer to a university by providing a basic knowledge and analytical skill in philosophy. The program lays the groundwork for students planning to pursue university studies in philosophy, law, education, communications, and art, among others.
Graduates of these programs will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:
- Recognize the distinctive contributions made by major philosophers and philosophical traditions down through history
- Articulate the contents of their thinking and reasoning through written prose, with appropriate attention to and concern for the conventions and principles of composition and argumentative discourse
- Identify the basic parts of arguments (i.e., premises and conclusions) as well as to distinguish an argument from a non-argument (e.g., an assertion, explanation, disagreement, etc.)
- Recognize the differences between inductive and deductive argument forms
- Evaluate the soundness/cogency of an argument by looking for problems of ambiguity, false premises, faulty assumptions, and structural invalidity (both formal and informal)
- Make connections between major philosophers and their particular writings and ideas
- Describe how the ideas of one philosopher were both influenced by and subsequently impactful on other thinkers
- Explain the unique contributions made by the major philosophers in the formation and development of the central branches of philosophical study (i.e., logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, etc.)
- Construct and advance, in writing, an original thesis, defining and clarifying key terminology, as well as providing true evidence that supports the thesis and renders it plausible
- Anticipate and respond to potential objections to one’s thesis, as well as explain why alternative views are questionable and implausible
- Obey conventional rules of grammar, syntax, and spelling, in addition to conforming one’s writing to a consistent set of style guidelines, citing any and all sources, and having a clear and logical arrangement of ideas