Philosophy Major: Ethics and Social Responsibility Option (B.A.)

Philosophy Major: Ethics and Social Responsibility Option (B.A.)

photos of student in class

What is the ethics and social responsibility option in philosophy?

The ethics and social responsibility option in philosophy is designed for students who are especially concerned with exploring issues around individual and social moral responsibility, including in the areas of business, medicine, politics and technology. You’ll learn critical analytical and communication skills while exploring topics through a philosophical lens. You’ll be able to explore deep questions around issues such as the ethics of markets and money, law and medicine, and the implications of rapidly emerging technology. Majors in the philosophy degree program pursue careers in fields including business, education, law, medicine, technology and public service.

Why study ethics and social responsibility at UNH?

Our internationally-renowned professors in the philosophy program are experts in ethics and social and political philosophy, and they emphasize discussion, debate and writing in their courses. You’ll be able to participate in the weekly on-campus and student-led Socratic Society discussions, and occupy various leadership roles in the department, the university and the community.

Potential careers

  • Business professional
  • Communications executive
  • Community service organizer
  • Ethicist
  • Healthcare professional
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • Technology professional
  • Writer

Philosophy Department
Hamilton Smith Hall Room 250E
95 Main Street
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone (603) 862-2060
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)

philosophy@unh.edu

 

  • Philosophy Major | Systems Engineer at Google
    Why did you major in philosophy? I had this crazy idea after high school that I wanted to be a professional rock climber. I never got close to good enough, but devoted a lot of time to training and weekend trips to Rumney. It was awesome and I don't at all regret my time in the mountains, but it...
    Philosophy Major | Systems Engineer at Google
    Why did you major in philosophy? I had this crazy idea after high school that I wanted to be a professional rock climber. I never got close to good enough, but devoted a lot of time to training and weekend trips to Rumney. It was awesome and I don't at all regret my time in the mountains, but it...
  • Philosophy Major | Securities Lawyer
    Why did you major in philosophy? Philosophy's appeal lay in both the topics it addressed, and the way it addressed them. It promised to help me understand big questions and ideas in a clear, consistent and methodical way. The idea of becoming a clear thinker was enormously attractive. What are you...
    Philosophy Major | Securities Lawyer
    Why did you major in philosophy? Philosophy's appeal lay in both the topics it addressed, and the way it addressed them. It promised to help me understand big questions and ideas in a clear, consistent and methodical way. The idea of becoming a clear thinker was enormously attractive. What are you...
  • Philosophy Major | Registered Nurse
    Why did you major in philosophy?  As a second-semester freshman, I was seeking a course to satisfy my general education requirement in the arts, and decided to take Philosophy and the Arts. In this course, I was captivated by our conversations surrounding the meaning of beauty, and was challenged...
    Philosophy Major | Registered Nurse
    Why did you major in philosophy?  As a second-semester freshman, I was seeking a course to satisfy my general education requirement in the arts, and decided to take Philosophy and the Arts. In this course, I was captivated by our conversations surrounding the meaning of beauty, and was challenged...
  • Philosophy Major | Hubspot
    Read more about how Guillaume Delloue is using his Philosophy major.
    Philosophy Major | Hubspot
    Read more about how Guillaume Delloue is using his Philosophy major.
  • Philosophy Major | NYC Attorney
    Why did you major in philosophy? I chose philosophy because I thought it would provide the best training for law school.  And I was hooked by Professor deVries’ treatment of the ancients.  Interesting stuff you did as a UNH undergrad? Thesis, study abroad, etc. I participated in The Washington...
    Philosophy Major | NYC Attorney
    Why did you major in philosophy? I chose philosophy because I thought it would provide the best training for law school.  And I was hooked by Professor deVries’ treatment of the ancients.  Interesting stuff you did as a UNH undergrad? Thesis, study abroad, etc. I participated in The Washington...

Curriculum & Requirements

While completing the philosophy major, students may select the option in ethics and social responsibility. This option provides official recognition for those who choose to emphasize concern with moral responsibility in personal and social contexts, including the political and corporate arenas. Students will choose courses in environmental ethics, law, evolution, social and political philosophy, and feminism. 

Students must fulfill the requirements of the philosophy major plus the requirements of the option. Majors must take a minimum of ten (10) philosophy courses, for a total of 40 credits. A single course can satisfy multiple requirements for the major. The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.00. Candidates for a degree must satisfy additional University requirements for graduation, such as: 

  1. University "Writing Intensive" Requirements,
  2. Liberal Arts Foreign Language Requirement (B.A. candidates only),
  3. minimum number of credits (128 credits for B.A. degree), and
  4. University Discovery Requirements.

Consult with your adviser early and often to plan the optimal path for fulfilling major and University requirements. 

Major Requirements

Core Requirements20
PHIL 412
Beginning Logic
PHIL 500
Workshop
PHIL 530
Ethics
PHIL 570
Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 580
Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant
Select one of the following additional courses in the history of philosophy:4
PHIL 525
Existentialism
PHIL 610
Topics in History of Philosophy
PHIL 620
20th Century European Philosophy
an approved seminar
Discovery Capstone Requirement 8
Select two 700-level seminars of the student's choice, at least one of these should be taken in the senior year 1
Electives8
Any two additional philosophy courses
Total Credits40

Ethics and Social Responsibility Option Requirements

This option requires four courses (for a total of 16 credits) from those listed below, with one PHIL 530 Ethics already strictly required for the major. Students may “double count” these courses toward the general requirements of the philosophy major, for example by counting these courses toward the ten (10) total courses required for the major. 

Select four of the following courses:16
PHIL 410
Happiness, Well-Being , and a Good Life
PHIL 424
Science, Technology, and Society
PHIL 424H
Honors/Science, Technology and Society
PHIL 430
Ethics and Society
PHIL 430H
Honors/Ethics and Society
PHIL 430W
Ethics and Society
PHIL 436
Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 436H
Honors/Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 436W
Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 440
Just Business: The Ethics of Markets and Money
PHIL 444
Remaking Nature/The Ethics and Politics of Genetic Engineering
PHIL 450
Environmental Ethics
PHIL 450H
Honors/Environmental Ethics
PHIL 510
Philosophy and Feminism
PHIL 520
Introduction to Eastern Philosophy
PHIL 525
Existentialism
PHIL 525H
Honors/Existentialism
PHIL 530
Ethics
PHIL 635
Philosophy of Law
PHIL 660
Law, Medicine, and Ethics
PHIL 701
Topics in Value Theory
PHIL 740
Advanced Topics in the Philosophy of Law

PHIL 495 Tutorial Reading and PHIL 795 Independent Study normally do not count toward fulfilling major requirement credits; exceptions may be granted by special permission.

Note that it is in the nature of 700-level seminars to presuppose by default that students have completed the main 400-level and 500-level core requirements (PHIL 412 Beginning Logic, PHIL 500 Workshop, PHIL 530 Ethics, PHIL 570 Ancient Philosophy, PHIL 580 Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant) and so free reference is made to materials, views, techniques, etc. covered in those lower-level core requirements.

Discovery Requirements

For students majoring in only philosophy: philosophy majors may "double count" any two courses toward the major and also to satisfy Discovery requirements. For example, a philosophy major can count (1) PHIL 412 Beginning Logic toward the major requirement as well as using this course to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Discovery Category and (2) they can also count PHIL 421 Philosophy and the Arts toward both the major and the Fine and Performing Arts Discovery Category. Because PHIL 412 Beginning Logic  and PHIL 570 Ancient Philosophy are required for the major and also satisfy Quantitative Reasoning and Humanities Categories, respectively, all majors could simply count these two courses toward their Discovery requirements. In various circumstances—for instance if a student already satisfied those Discovery requirements before becoming a philosophy major—one might prefer to count other philosophy courses toward different Discovery Categories, and they are free to do so.

For students double majoring with philosophy: The Department sets no limits on how many courses students may "double count" toward both the philosophy major and Discovery categories if philosophy is your second major. A double major with philosophy as the second major could in principle count any of the following courses toward the major while satisfying five Discovery Categories:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Discovery Category could be satisfied by PHIL 412 Beginning Logic.
  2. Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) Discovery Category could be satisfied by PHIL 421 Philosophy and the Arts.
  3. Humanities (HUMA) Discovery Category could be satisfied by PHIL 401 Introduction to Philosophy, PHIL 410 Happiness, Well-Being , and a Good Life, PHIL 430 Ethics and Society, PHIL 436 Social and Political Philosophy, PHIL #437 Social and Political Philosophy, PHIL 440 Just Business: The Ethics of Markets and Money, PHIL 440A Honors/Who Are You? Personal Identity and Humanity, PHIL 440B Honors/Humanism and DehumanizationPHIL 444A Who Am I? Concepts of Self, PHIL 525 ExistentialismPHIL 531 Topics in Professional and Business Ethics, or PHIL 570 Ancient Philosophy.
  4. World Cultures (WC) Discovery Category could be satisfied by PHIL 440C Honors/The Copernican Lens: Finding a Place for Humanity or PHIL 520 Introduction to Eastern Philosophy.
  5. Environment, Technology, and Society (ETS) Discovery Category could be satisfied by PHIL 424 Science, Technology, and Society, PHIL 435 Human Nature and Evolution, PHIL 444 Remaking Nature/The Ethics and Politics of Genetic Engineering, PHIL 447 Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and People, or PHIL 450 Environmental Ethics.

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus
LEARN HOW TO APPLY
thompson hall in summer
SCHEDULE A VISIT
student at Career Event
REQUEST INFORMATION