a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z #



George P. Alcser, M.A.
Madame Cadillac Building, MC 350
Direct: (313) 927-1351
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Philosophy (B.A.)
Philosophy Minor

George P. Alcser, M.A.
Steven Patterson, Ph.D.
Sarah L. Heidt, Ph.D.

Philosophy Overview


Philosophy, the love of wisdom and learning, is basic to any balanced education.

To study philosophy is to seek truth without compromise. Philosophers ask deep and important questions about a wide variety of topics, and seek answers to those questions in community with colleagues. Philosophical investigation involves the careful and critical examination of facts, thoroughgoing inquiry into the reasons we have for what we think, and careful attention to how we think, both as individuals and in groups.

The academic benefits of philosophy are sharpened critical and analytical thinking skills, enhanced imaginative capacity, and heightened intellectual discipline. Personal benefits of philosophical study include a more open mind, an enhanced sense of the moral worth of oneself and others, and greater facility in careful thinking about problems whose difficulty mirrors that of real life problems. 

Philosophy leads you to make competent judgments, form sound opinions and develop a coherent view of the world and of your place in it. The philosophical skill set includes clear and critical thinking, logical analysis, careful attention to language, and creative problem solving. Thus philosophy makes an excellent foundation for interdisciplinary studies.

Specific Information

The Philosophy program supports the general education objectives of the college and of academic majors in a wide variety of disciplines by offering courses that enable students to cultivate and sharpen their critical thinking abilities, their analytical abilities, and their abilities to assess and to make informed evaluative judgments.  Students who desire to develop these abilities beyond their initial philosophy class are encouraged to enroll in the Philosophy Minor program.  Students who wish to specialize in these skills, or who simply find enjoyment in the intellectual challenge that philosophy presents are encouraged to consider majoring in philosophy.

The Philosophy program offers courses that cover a wide range of topics, including courses in the history of philosophy, courses in logic and critical thinking, courses in the study of normative ethics and political theory, and courses devoted to the application of philosophical tools and concepts to concrete social problems.  Additionally, the department also encourages and supports students who wish to pursue a philosophical study of particular interests by offering directed readings and independent study opportunities.

Career Information

Philosophy provides an excellent foundation for any profession. This is because the study of philosophy enhances one’s analytical abilities, one’s intellectual independence, one’s ability to openly and honestly engage the ideas of others, one’s abilities to write and to think critically and carefully about complex problems that defy easy solution, and one’s abilities to express oneself with clarity and precision. All of these are among those abilities most generally desired by employers of all types.  Those who study philosophy find themselves very well prepared to excel and to become leaders in whatever profession they might choose.  Though the study of philosophy is of general benefit no matter what one’s calling, it is particularly beneficial to those considering careers in education, business, the health professions, journalism, law, public policy, religion, and the human services. 




Marygrove College offers the Bachelor of Arts in philosophy via consortium arrangement with the philosophy department of the University of Detroit Mercy.  Students who choose to major in philosophy at Marygrove College are required to take at least some classes from the University of Detroit Mercy. 

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in philosophy requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in philosophy and completion of the following components:

A. General Education Requirements


B. Required Philosophy Courses

Introductory Course
PHL 126

Logic and Argumentation (both are required)
PHL 276
PHL 250 (at U of D Mercy)

History of Philosophy (choose one)
PHL 201
PHL 202

Value Theory (choose one)
PHL 215
PHL 225
PHL 228
PHL 370

Metaphysics and Epistemology (choose one)
PHL 406 (at U of D Mercy)
PHL 407 (at U of D Mercy)

Senior Seminar
PHL 496

In addition to the above, students must take at least 9 credit hours in philosophy at the 300 level or above in order to complete the Major.  To fulfill this requirement, students may take any philosophy course at the 300 level or higher either at Marygrove or at the University of Detroit Mercy.  A student’s total number of credits from the University of Detroit Mercy, including those courses designated as required above, may not exceed 12.

C. Minor

D. Electives


Philosophy Minor

Students who wish to develop their philosophical skills or who are considering careers in law, business, or medicine can all benefit from a Minor in philosophy. The Minor in philosophy requires 20 credit hours in philosophy courses, including these required courses: PHL 126 or 156, and PHL 276. The remaining 14 credits are chosen in accord with an individualized plan created by the student and the coordinator of the philosophy Minor. For more information contact the coordinator of the Philosophy program.

Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHL 126 Persons and Values 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisite: None.

Offered every term.

This course is an introduction to philosophy by way of a critical examination of some classic problems that shape human experience, which may include issues concerning the nature of reality, human knowledge, the nature of the self, the nature of justice, and the nature of the good.

PHL 201 Western Philosophical Traditions I 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 107 or equivalent.

The history of western philosophy, from the pre-Socratics to Copernicus is covered in this class.  Special attention is paid to the ways in which ancient Greek philosophy sets the stage for Medieval and Renaissance philosophy.

PHL 202 Western Philosophical Traditions II 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 107 or equivalent.

The second half of the western philosophy sequence covers the period extending from the Renaissance to the present. Special attention is paid to the mutual influence of emerging scientific thought and the philosophy of the periods covered.

PHL 210 World Philosophical Traditions 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 107 or equivalent.

This course introduces philosophy by way of a historical survey of major philosophical traditions across the world’s cultures from antiquity to the present. Areas covered may include India, East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the West.

PHL 215 Contemporary Moral Issues 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 107 or equivalent.

The primary focus of this course is the application of concepts, ideas and theories from philosophical ethics to the ethical dilemmas that confront persons and societies today.  Issues to be covered may include abortion, assisted suicide, pornography, affirmative action, and gender discrimination, and other such issues.

PHL 225 Ethics 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 107 or equivalent.

Normative moral philosophy is studied in this class through a survey of the major positions and thinkers in the western philosophical tradition of ethics.

PHL 228 Ethics in the Health Professions 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105 or equivalent. ENG 107 or equivalent

This is a survey of basic ethical considerations in contemporary issues in the health care professions. Case studies highlight the legal and moral aspects of patients’ rights, care of the newborn, quality of life, geriatric care and transplant surgery.

PHL 276 Critical Thinking 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105‚ ENG 107 or equivalent. Offered every term.

Critical thinking is a foundational course in the study of argumentation. The primary focus of the course is on the reconstruction, classification, analysis, and evaluation of arguments using both formal and informal techniques, but with a special emphasis on the concepts and techniques of informal logic.

PHL 291 Independent Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: PHL 126 or 276, ENG 108 or equivalent, and LS 105, permission of instructor and by arrangement with the department.

This is a directed readings course, to consist of a focused study of a student-selected topic in consultation with instructor.

PHL 325 Special Topics in Moral Philosophy 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276.

This course is a focused, analytical study of a single, significant moral issue in contemporary life. Topics will vary as they will be drawn from the contemporary context.

PHL 370 Social and Political Philosophy 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276.

This course comprises an in-depth study of both classic and contemporary problems in social and political philosophy, with emphasis on developing a comprehensive understanding of the concept of justice and of its application to contemporary issues. Writing intensive course.

PHL 382 Business and Professional Ethics 3 hours
Prerequisites: PHL 126‚ BUS 266‚ LS 105‚ ENG 108.

A descriptive survey of ethical theories and perspectives common to all professions is the subject of this course. Students will engage in reflection on contemporary ethical approaches through case studies and selected readings, and conduct analysis of some major dilemmas in business and other professions.

PHL 395 Directed Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108, LS 105, any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276, and permission of instructor by arrangement with the department.

This is a directed research course, to consist of a focused study of a student-selected topic in consultation with instructor.

PHL 396 Philosophy of Religion 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126 or 276.

Among the topics to be studied in this class are: the meaning of God and the logic of God-talk; arguments for and against the existence of God; the peculiarity of religious language; critical views of religion as myth and as worldview.

PHL 491  Independent Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, and ENG 108, PHL 126, 210, or 276, normally at least 12 hours in philosophy, permission of the

instructor by arrangement with the department.

This is an advanced research course focused on a student-selected topic in consultation with instructor.

PHL 496 Senior Research Project 3-4 hours
Prerequisites: Philosophy major; by arrangement with the department; completion of 21 credit hours in philosophy, including all other major requirements.

This is the capstone course in the philosophy major. Students will study and generate independent and original work on a substantive philosophical issue, and formally present their findings to students and faculty in a departmental or interdepartmental setting.

More Information