The Senior Portfolio and Senior Interview is assessed according to the
Students completing a major in philosophy will
1. Understanding of the history of philosophy.
An understanding of the history of philosophy includes knowing the seminal figures, their major doctrines and their methodologies.
2. Proficiency in philosophical investigation.
A proficiency in philosophical investigation includes the ability to interpret texts, explain theories, and identify relevant arguments.
3. Proficiency in critical thinking.
A proficiency in critical thinking includes the ability to ask relevant questions, examine different sides of an issue, and recognize and evaluate arguments.
4. Proficiency in independent thinking.
Including the ability to develop and defend original positions.
5. Proficiency in writing.
Specifically, stating and defending a clear and substantive thesis
Effective fall 2008, the undergraduate catalog includes the portfolio and exit interview as requirements for graduating with a B.A. Major in Philosophy.
During the course of your major in philosophy, you will be developing a file or portfolio of your work to show your progress as a philosophy major. All of your work is relevant, as this portfolio is not primarily intended to showcase your best work. It should document the stages of your education in philosophy. The main office (PSY 110) will maintain a file for each philosophy major, and students should add copies of their work throughout each semester. Include:
Show how the contents demonstrate you have achieved the objectives stated in 1-5 below. For example, if one of your papers, or a passage in a paper, is an example of your independent thinking, write independent thinking or IT on the paper or near the passage. The philosophy faculty is available to assist you.
- Understanding of the history of philosophy. (HP) An understanding of the history of philosophy includes knowing the seminal figures, their major doctrines and their methodologies.
- Proficiency in philosophical investigation (PI). A proficiency in philosophical investigation includes the ability to interpret texts, explain theories, and identify relevant arguments.
- Proficiency in critical thinking (CT). A proficiency in critical thinking includes the ability to ask relevant questions, examine different sides of an issue, and recognize and evaluate arguments.
- Proficiency in independent thinking (IT), including the ability to develop and defend original positions.
- Proficiency in writing (W), specifically, stating and defending a clear and substantive thesis.
Write an essay to include in your portfolio which summarizes and evaluates your philosophical development or progress in the five areas above. Offer specific examples of your progress. Also, in preparation for your Exit Interview, address these matters in your essay:
The Philosophy Faculty will review the portfolios to determine whether students have met program expectations and certify candidates for the Exit Interview. Any deficiencies in a portfolio must be addressed no later than one week before the Exit Interview.
The Department conducts a Senior Interview for graduating seniors. The Senior Exit Interview is an opportunity for Philosophical conversation, to celebrate each student's accomplishments in the program, and to discuss the state and future of Philosophy at Texas State University. The candidates discuss with the faculty their portfolios and their experience as philosophy majors. Each candidate is asked to select (or construct) a philosophical argument, to be prepared to present the argument and at least one possible objection, and to be able to place the argument in intellectual and historical context. The Senior Interview is held each semester on the last Thursday of classes at 3:30 p.m. in the Dialogue Room. Students graduating during the summer may participate in the Exit Interview of their last spring semester.