Center for Values and Social
Mission Statement and Programs
The Center for Values and Social Policy
was founded in 1980 in order to bring the resources of philosophical
analysis to bear on matters of social philosophy. The Philosophy Department,
through the Center, offers B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees with a concentration
in values and social policy. These programs are designed to help students
acquire both the philosophical skills and the broad understanding
of public issues required to participate effectively in policy discussions
and social research. The Center also conducts reasearch; sponsors
lectures, conferences, and a visiting fellows program; publishes working
papers and a newsletter; and collaborates with professionals from
other departments and institutions. The concerns of the Center include
both theoretical and applied topics in moral, social, political, and
Bachelor of Arts
The B.A. requires 30 hours in philosophy
and 15 hours in allied fields. With the help of an advisor, each student
selects an area of specialization such as environmental policy, medical
ethics, or philosophy and women. A course schedule is then designed
around this specialization. Some of the undergraduate courses in values
and social policy that the Center offers are Ethics, Social and Political
Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, and Marxism. For a complete list
of the courses being offered in the current or coming semester, please
refer to the Center Courses section of the Center Home Page.
The M.A. and Ph.D. are designed to combine
broad philosophical training and a focus in values and social policy.
The M.A. program requires satisfaction of minimum background requirements
in philosophy, a logic requirement, 30 hours of graduate study, a
thesis, and (when appropriate) an internship.
The Ph.D. program requires 45 hours of
graduate study, satisfaction of a logic requirement, a language exam,
the fulfillmemnt of course distribution requirements in ethics, the
history of philosophy, and metaphysics and epistemology, and a dissertation.
Recent theses and dissertations have been
on a variety of topics including the notion of informed consent, the
concept of wilderness, Native American views of property, the social
construction of "trash," poverty, and ecofeminism.
Center graduate courses include Philosophy
and Social Policy, Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, Social and Political
Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Bioethics and Health Policy and Professional
Ethics. For a list of current and upcoming courses, refer to the Center
Courses section on the Center Home Page.