3330 Philosophy

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Arts in Philosophy
    • Concentration in Neurophilosophy
  • Dual Master of Arts in Philosophy and Juris Doctor in Law (in cooperation with the College of Law)

Department of Philosophy
34 Peachtree St., Suite 1100
404/413-6100
E-mail: philgrad@gsu.edu
philosophy.gsu.edu

George Rainbolt, Chair
Timothy O’Keefe, Director of Graduate Studies

The department’s M.A. program serves two different communities of students. First, it serves those who seek the M.A. as preparation before seeking admission to a philosophy Ph.D. program. Second, it serves those who seek the M.A. as a terminal degree to advance their chosen careers. In addition to a traditional M.A. in Philosophy, the Department offers two special programs: an M.A. in Philosophy with a specialization in empirically based philosophy of mind (the Neurophilosophy Track) and, in conjunction with the College of Law, a J.D./M.A. program. The J.D. /M.A. track allows students to receive the M.A. in philosophy and the J.D. in four years instead of five that would normally be required.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Philosophy by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the address above.

Degree Requirements, Thesis Option

  1. Twenty-seven hours of graduate coursework in philosophy.
  2. Distribution requirements
    1. Logic requirement: PHIL 6500 Symbolic Logic
    2. History Requirement: at least one history course. See below for the list of courses in this area.
    3. Value Theory Requirement: at least one course in value theory. See below for the list of courses in this area.
    4. Metaphysics and Epistemology Requirement: at least one course in metaphysics or epistemology. See below for the list of courses in this area.
    5. Seminar requirement: at least four letter-graded courses with the word “Seminar” in the title. This requirement is exempt from the usual “no double-counting” rule for distribution requirements; e.g. PHIL 8030 can count both toward this requirement and the history requirement.
  3. Six hours of thesis research.
  4. A thesis.
  5. An oral thesis defense.

Degree requirements, non- thesis option

The non-thesis option requires thirty-three hours of graduate coursework in philosophy (six more than the thesis option), and it has the same distribution requirements as the thesis option. It does not require six hours of thesis research, a thesis, or an oral thesis defense. Students taking the non-thesis option are not eligible to graduate with distinction and should expect to receive no letters of recommendation to philosophy Ph.D. programs.

History Courses

Value Theory Courses

Metaphysics and Epistemology Courses

Neurophilosophy Concentration

In addition to meeting the requirements noted above, students seeking the M.A. with a Neurophilosophy concentration have the following additional requirements

  1. PHIL 6330, Philosophy of Mind, PHIL 6340, Philosophy and Cognitive Science, PHIL 8330, Seminar in Philosophy of Mind, or PHIL 8340, Seminar in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. This requirement is exempt from the usual “no double-counting” rule for distribution requirements; e.g. PHIL 8330 can count both toward this requirement and the seminar requirement.
  2. Six hours at the graduate level of courses relevant to neurophilosophy from other departments, such as Neuroscience or Psychology. (These courses count towards the 27-hour requirement and must be approved, in advance, by the Philosophy Neurophilosophy Faculty and the Philosophy Director of Graduate Studies.) For the purposes of the rule below that only six hours of credit earned outside the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University may be applied towards the Georgia State M.A. in philosophy, these courses count as courses taken in the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State.) 3.
  3. Must take least three letter-graded courses with the word “Seminar” in the title. (This is one less than the number required of other students.)
  4. Must write a thesis on a topic related to Neurophilosophy (topic will be approved by the Philosophy Neurophilosophy Faculty and the Philosophy Director of Graduate Studies).

The J.D./M.A. Track

The J.D./M.A. track, offered in conjunction with the College of Law at Georgia State University, allows students to receive the M.A. in philosophy and the J.D. in four years instead of the usual five.

The J.D./M.A. track is a demanding course of study. Each student in the track is assigned an adviser from the College of Law faculty and an adviser from the faculty of the Department of Philosophy. Students must work closely with their advisers to make sure that they correctly progress towards the degrees.

  1. Nine hours of qualifying courses in law. (The student will, in consultation with her or his advisers, select the most appropriate three courses.)
  2. Eighteen hours of graduate coursework in philosophy with the following distribution requirements:
    1. Two seminar courses.
    2. Either PHIL 6700 Ethics or PHIL 6800 Social and Political Philosophy.
    3. In addition to the courses taken to fulfill requirements 2.b., at least one of the following courses:
      • PHIL 6700 Ethics (3)
      • PHIL 6740 Biomedical Ethics (3)
      • PHIL 6820 Philosophy of Law (3) (If the student has already taken LAW 7295 Jurisprudence, credit for PHIL 6820 will be given only if the J.D. adviser and the M.A. adviser determine that PHIL 6820 Philosophy of Law, would not substantially duplicate LAW 7295.)
      • PHIL 6800 Social and Political Philosophy (3)
      • PHIL 6822 Topics in Philosophy of Law (3)
      • PHIL 6850 African American Ethical and Legal Issues (3)
      • PHIL 6860 Philosophical Perspectives on Women (3)
      • PHIL 8700 Seminar in Ethics (3)
      • PHIL 8740 Seminar in Biomedical Ethics (3)
      • PHIL 8810 Seminar in Social and Political Philosophy (3)
      • PHIL 8820 Seminar in Philosophy of Law (3)
    4. Epistemology Requirement—at least one of the following courses:
    5. Metaphysics Requirement–at least one of the following courses:
  3. Either PHIL 6820 Philosophy of Law or LAW 7295 Jurisprudence. PHIL 6820 Philosophy of Law counts towards requirement 2.C. and LAW 7295 Jurisprudence, counts towards requirement 1. (If one of these two courses has been taken, credit for the second will be given only if the J.D. adviser and the M.A. adviser determine that the second would not substantially duplicate the first.)
  4. Six hours of thesis research.
  5. A thesis.
  6. An oral thesis defense.

Other Notes Concerning the J.D./M.A. Track

Students must independently meet the admission requirements of the Department of Philosophy and the College of Law. Admission to the College of Law creates no presumption favoring admission to the Department of Philosophy. Admission to the Department of Philosophy creates no presumption favoring admission to the College of Law.

Students on the J.D./M.A. track may, if they wish, count one seminar course towards both the seminar requirement and one other requirement. For example, PHIL 8300 might fulfill both the seminar requirement and the Metaphysics Requirement.

The Department of Philosophy will only grant credit for those law courses in which the student earns a grade of 80 or higher.

Law students may not take any philosophy courses while completing the first year law curriculum.

The J.D. degree must be completed within six years of the initial semester of enrollment in the J.D. program.

Students enrolled in the J.D./M.A. program may subsequently elect not to pursue both degrees and may remain in either the J.D. or M.A. program, but any hours earned in a degree program from which a student withdraws will not be credited toward a degree granted by the program in which the student remains.

Additional Restrictions Which Apply to All Tracks

  1. Only three credit hours of PHIL 8950 Directed Readings may be counted towards the degree. Additional hours of PHIL 8950 may be taken, but they will not count towards the degree.
  2. Other than the exceptions specifically indicated above, only six hours of credit earned outside the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University may be applied towards the Georgia State M.A. in philosophy.

The M.A. with Distinction

Students who meet all of the following three requirements shall be awarded the M.A. with distinction:

    1. A graduate Georgia State philosophy GPA of 3.85 or higher.
    2. A thesis and thesis defense that, upon vote of the committee grading the thesis, are judged to merit distinction.
    3. The Director of Graduate Studies judges that the student’s record at Georgia State University is one of distinction.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the additional information about the Department of Philosophy which has been placed on its website, www.gsu.edu/philosophy.