Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, philosophy majors at Lewis & Clark College will be able to:

  • Identify and assess claims by critically determining the logical relations between them; specifically, by identifying premises and conclusions and whether those arguments are sound or cogent,
  • Identify philosophical puzzles and problems; recognize kinds of philosophical claims (e.g. metaphysical vs. epistemological) and their relationships,
  • Appreciate the value of philosophical thinking, reading, interpretation, and the dialogue it provides,
  • Identify and appreciate different forms of value (e.g. instrumental vs. intrinsic; moral vs. non-moral),
  • Use standard philosophical tools and methods including conceptual analysis and thought experiments,
  • Use criteria to assess the relative merits of competing theories such as coherence, consistency, conservativeness, simplicity, predictive success, and common sense,
  • Read philosophical texts critically but charitably; identify, understand, and assess the adequacy of arguments, explanations and hypotheses,
  • Write effective, informed and insightful philosophical prose with respect to philosophical issues or problems,
  • Cooperatively engage verbally in philosophical dialogue and communication,
  • Identify and evaluate important sources of information (i.e., find useful and reliable 
texts), and
  • Engage contemporary and historical philosophical conversations about philosophical problems.