Department of
Philosophy

Undergraduate

Clusters in Philosophy

The department offers six clusters. Clicking on the name of a cluster below will direct you to the official list of courses for that cluster on the cluster search engine.

The Logic cluster satisfies the College Program's natural science divisional requirement; the others satisfy the humanities requirement. Detailed information about these clusters may be obtained in the philosophy department (532 Lattimore Hall).

Note: every introductory (100 level) philosophy course is part of some philosophy cluster, and most introductory courses allow continuation in most of the clusters.

  1. Ethics and Values: This cluster explores issues in theoretical and applied ethics. Students may begin this cluster with any introductory course in philosophy (other than PHL 110: Introductory Logic). Typically, students begin this cluster with one of the introductory courses in ethics: PHL 102 (Ethics), or PHL 103 (Contemporary Moral Problems). One of these is required for the cluster. Students must also take one upper level course in ethics (PHL 220-230). These upper level ethics courses include material on ethical issues in: medicine, philosophy of law, social and political philosophy, and recent ethical theory. Courses in aesthetics and the foundations of feminism may also count toward the completion of this cluster. The third course in the sequence may be another introductory ethics course, another upper level ethics course or another introductory course in philosophy. This cluster fulfills the humanities cluster requirement.
  2. History of Philosophy: This cluster includes courses covering the history of philosophy from ancient times through the early twentieth century. Students may begin this cluster with any introductory course in philosophy (other than PHL 110: Introductory Logic). Typically, students begin this cluster with one of the basic courses in history of philosophy: PHL 201 (History of Ancient Philosophy), or PHL 202 (History of Modern Philosophy). One of these courses is required for the cluster. These courses survey the major texts and philosophers of these periods. The second course must be an upper level history of philosophy course (PHL 265-269). Upper level courses cover some of the same text as introductory courses, but in much greater detail. The third course may be from either of the previous two course groups or some other introductory philosophy course. This cluster fulfills the humanities cluster requirement.
  3. Knowledge, Mind, and Nature: This cluster introduces students to the basic methods of philosophical reasoning and allows them to pursue their philosophical interests by taking more advanced courses in the theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Students can begin the cluster with any introductory level course in philosophy, and then continue with two upper level courses in Traditional Philosophical Disciplines (PHL 240-249) or Philosophy of Science (PHL 250-259). This cluster fulfills the humanities cluster requirement.
  4. Philosophy and Law: This cluster explores analytical techniques and philosophical issues related to the study of the law. Two specific courses are required for the cluster: PHL 105 (Reason and Argument) and PHL 226 (Philosophy of Law). In addition, this cluster requires: one course in ethics, selected from PHL 102 (Ethics), PHL 103 (Contemporary Moral Problems), or one upper level ethics courses, PHL 220-230. This cluster fulfills the humanities cluster requirement.
  5. Philosophy and Teaching Internship: This cluster combines study of the philosophy of education and training in the basic skills of argument analysis with practical experience as interns in the Rochester City School District. Interns work with elementary school children, focusing primarily on teaching clear thinking and writing. This cluster fulfills the humanities cluster requirement.
  6. Logic: The logic sequence begins with the basic course in symbolic logic and is followed by two courses that explore theoretical questions about logic and develop more advanced logical systems. The cluster begins with PHL 110 (Introductory Logic) and is followed by two additional courses in logic, selected from PHL 211-219. These include Intermediate Logic, Advanced Logic, Logic and Philosophy, and Mathematical Logic. Either CSC 171 or CSC 172 or LIN 265 may be substituted for one of the upper-level Philosophy courses. This cluster fulfills the natural science cluster requirement.