University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Introduction to the Major (AIM)


Gateway/Entry-Point Courses into Philosophy Major/Minor

PHIL 010 is the appropriate introduction to the major. It has no prerequisites. Individual sections have very different emphases. Students should consult course descriptions and section names online at the registration website for the particular terms in which they are interested.

PHIL 010 Introduction to Philosophy: Selected Problems / East/West / Ethics

Courses introducing philosophical argument and analysis in a variety of ways. Content, readings and assignments vary by section.

  • Selected Problems includes the study of such fundamental problems as knowledge and belief, mind and body, freedom and determinism, the existence of God, moral and aesthetic values, and liberty and the authority of government.
  • East/West is an introduction to the historical dialectic of philosophy by comparisons and contrasts between the Chinese and Western traditions of philosophy.
  • Ethics is study of fundamental problems in moral philosophy: What is a morally decent life? How can we know? Why should we care?

If a student has already taken a 0-level philosophy course other than PHIL 013, the following two courses are appropriate follow-ups, as are many other at the 100-level:

PHIL 101 History of Ancient Philosophy

A study of the works of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and their successors.

PHIL 102 History of Modern Philosophy

Study of works of the major philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Reid and/or others.

Contact Information

Don Loeb, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Phone: (802) 656-4042
Department Website: