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

photos of student in class
Philosophy Major: Ethics and Social Responsibility Option B.A.

What is ethics and social responsibility?

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 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
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • 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 must fulfill the requirements of the philosophy major plus the requirements of the option.

Major Requirements

Majors must take a total of 10 philosophy courses.

Core Requirements
PHIL 412Beginning Logic4
PHIL 500Workshop4
PHIL 530Ethics4
PHIL 570Ancient Philosophy4
PHIL 580Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant4
Select one of the following additional courses in the history of philosophy:4
Existentialism
Topics in History of Philosophy
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

Option Requirements

This option requires four courses (16 credits) from those listed below, with one PHIL 530 Ethics already strictly required for the major. Some others (PHIL 520, 525, 701, 740) can also be used to satisfy requirements for the major.

Select four of the following courses:16
PHIL 410Happiness, Well-Being , and a Good Life4
PHIL 424Science, Technology, and Society4
PHIL 424HHonors/Science, Technology and Society4
PHIL 430Ethics and Society4
PHIL 430HHonors/Ethics and Society4
PHIL 430WEthics and Society4
PHIL 436Social and Political Philosophy4
PHIL 436HHonors/Social and Political Philosophy4
PHIL 436WSocial and Political Philosophy4
PHIL 440Just Business: The Ethics of Markets and Money4
PHIL 444Remaking Nature/The Ethics and Politics of Genetic Engineering4
PHIL 450Environmental Ethics4
PHIL 450HHonors/Environmental Ethics4
PHIL 510Philosophy and Feminism4
PHIL 520Introduction to Eastern Philosophy4
PHIL 525Existentialism4
PHIL 525HHonors/Existentialism4
PHIL 530Ethics4
PHIL 635Philosophy of Law4
PHIL 660Law, Medicine, and Ethics4
PHIL 701Topics in Value Theory4
PHIL 740Advanced Topics in the Philosophy of Law4

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.

Although not required, students are strongly encouraged to consider the possibility of doing honors-in-major (and thus writing a thesis or an honors portfolio), and/or presenting research at the Undergraduate Research Conference, and/or fulfilling an undergraduate research grant in their senior year. This is especially encouraged for students considering graduate school in philosophy.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

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 you can "double count" toward both the philosophy major and Discovery categories if philosophy is your second major. A double major with philosophy as your 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 Dehumanization, PHIL 444A Who Am I? Concepts of Self, PHIL 525 Existentialism, or PHIL 570 Ancient Philosophy.
  4. World Cultures (WC) Discovery Category could be satisfied by 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