Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Concentration

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

The bachelor of arts in philosophy examines how philosophers have answered some of the most enduring questions about human existence, while exploring how those answers continue to inform our thinking in the present. Students gain a deeper understanding of philosophy’s relevance to key contemporary issues—such as global warming, social justice and the defense of human rights, or the relationship between science and religion. Students can use this major as preparation for professions such as law or government service, as a pathway to graduate work, or to complement other interests by taking a double major in philosophy and a related field of study.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may apply to the honors program in the major. Students can apply in their second semester as a junior, before they have completed 90 credits and should have a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major. Eligible students should submit a transcript, one letter of recommendation from a member of the philosophy faculty, and one writing sample, a paper from one of the student’s courses in philosophy.

Students pursuing honors in the major complete 6 credits of honors coursework chosen from PHIL 422 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) or PHIL 425 Independent Study. To graduate with honors in philosophy, students must complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses without Concentration

Logic
PHIL 173 Logic and Critical Thinking 3
or PHIL 376 Symbolic Logic
History of Philosophy
PHIL 301 History of Western Philosophy: Ancient 3
PHIL 303 History of Western Philosophy: Modern 3
Analytic Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion 2
Issues in Analytic Philosophy
American Philosophy: Pragmatism
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Theories of Ethics
Philosophy of Art 2
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Ethics and Economics
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy of Mind
Theories of Decision
Continental Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion (with departmental approval) 2
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Recent Continental Philosophy
Hermeneutic Philosophy
Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Business Ethics
Bioethics (Mason Core)
Philosophy of Law
Classical Western Political Theory
Modern Western Political Theory
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Contemporary Western Political Theory
Philosophy after Auschwitz
Philosophy, Race, and Gender
Topics in Environmental Philosophy (Mason Core)
Ethical Issues in Global Health
Theories of Ethics
Ethics and Economics
Theories of Decision
Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Total Credits 18

Electives without Concentration

Select five or six electives from any philosophy courses including those listed above that are not used to meet another requirement. 1 15-18
Total Credits 15-18

Optional Concentrations

Students interested in a degree in philosophy with a concentration will complete the coursework for one of the concentrations below.

Available Concentrations

  • Concentration in Philosophy and Law (PHLW)
  • Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Concentration in Philosophy and Law (PHLW)

The concentration in philosophy and law offers philosophy majors the opportunity to focus their study of philosophy in a way that prepares them for the study of the law.

In addition to the specific courses listed below, other relevant courses may be applied to the requirements for this concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

Logic
PHIL 173 Logic and Critical Thinking 3
or PHIL 376 Symbolic Logic
History of Philosophy
PHIL 301 History of Western Philosophy: Ancient 3
PHIL 303 History of Western Philosophy: Modern 3
Analytic Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion 2
Issues in Analytic Philosophy
American Philosophy: Pragmatism
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Theories of Ethics
Philosophy of Art 2
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Ethics and Economics
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy of Mind
Theories of Decision
Continental Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion 2
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Recent Continental Philosophy
Hermeneutic Philosophy
Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Philosophy and Law
PHIL 311 Philosophy of Law 3
Select two courses from the following: 6
Classical Western Political Theory
Modern Western Political Theory
Contemporary Western Political Theory
Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
GOVT 428
Advanced Democratic Theory
GOVT 448
Ethics and International Politics
Electives in Philosophy
Select three electives from any philosophy courses including those listed above that are not used to meet another requirement. 9
Total Credits 33

Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

This is a high credit concentration for students interested in a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, political science, and economics.

Students pursuing this concentration, similar to all students pursuing a BA in philosophy, must complete at least 33 credits in philosophy earning a minimum grade of 2.00 in each course. No course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement. In addition to the specific courses listed below, other relevant courses may be applied to the requirements for this concentration with prior written approval of the undergraduate director.

Logic
PHIL 173 Logic and Critical Thinking 3
or PHIL 376 Symbolic Logic
History of Philosophy
PHIL 301 History of Western Philosophy: Ancient 3
PHIL 303 History of Western Philosophy: Modern 3
Analytic Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion 2
Issues in Analytic Philosophy
American Philosophy: Pragmatism
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Theories of Ethics
Philosophy of Art 2
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Ethics and Economics
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Theory of Knowledge
Philosophy of Mind
Theories of Decision
Continental Tradition
Select one course from the following: 1 3
Philosophy of Religion 2
Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought
Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism
Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology
Philosophy, Race, and Gender 2
Recent Continental Philosophy
Hermeneutic Philosophy
Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2
Required Courses for Concentration
GOVT 103 Introduction to American Government (Mason Core) 3
ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
GOVT/PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 3
GOVT/PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 422 Constitutional Interpretation 3
PHIL 357 Philosophy of the Social Sciences 3
or PHIL 371 Philosophy of Natural Sciences
PHIL 358 Ethics and Economics 3
or PHIL 311 Philosophy of Law
PHIL 429 Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy 3
Select one course from the following: 3
Game Theory and Economics of Institutions
Austrian Economics
Public Choice
Law and Economics
GOVT 467 Current Issues in Economic Policy 3
PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
Total Credits 54

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. All senior seminars (PHIL 421 Seminar (Mason Core), PHIL 422 Honors Seminar (Mason Core)) in philosophy are writing intensive. Philosophy majors should consult the undergraduate director for other courses that can be taken to fulfill this requirement.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
PHIL 1
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
GGS 101
Major World Regions
GGS 103
Human Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 110
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
GGS 301
Political Geography
GGS 303
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 305
Economic Geography
GGS 306
Urban Geography
GGS 315
Geography of the United States
GGS 316
Geography of Latin America
GGS 320
Geography of Europe
GGS 325
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
GGS 330
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
GGS 357
Urban Planning
GGS 380
Geography of Virginia
Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III
Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 World Dance (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 451 Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Global Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 338 Government and Politics of Russia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 426 The Russian Revolution 3
HIST 460 Modern Iran (Mason Core) 3
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Religions of the West (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Religions of Asia 3
RELI 240 Death and the Afterlife in World Religions 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West 3
RELI 365 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 374 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 375 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 379 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 387 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40