American University of Beirut

Department of Philosophy

Chairperson:Johns, Christopher
Professors:Brassier, Ray; Haydar, Bashshar H.
Associate Professors:Bashour, Bana M.; Gannage, Emma; Johns, Christopher; Muller, Hans D.
Lecturers:Agha, Saleh J.; Chehayeb, Fidaa
Instructors:Hariri, Muhannad; Hassan, Hani; Hassanieh, Mahmoud; Kasab, Jana; Sabra, Zeinab; Salloum, Rabih; Samaha, Raid; Wahab, Karam​

The Department of Philosophy offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Philosophy. Requirements for transfer to the department include approval by the department and a grade of C+ or more in any two Cultures and Histories courses (excluding the communication skills requirements in Arabic and English).

Mission Statement

The undergraduate program in Philosophy provides students with a knowledge of key historical and contemporary philosophers and philosophical problems, together with a range of responses to those problems. They promote respect for clarity, truth, critical reflection and rational argument. They promote independence and of thought rooted in a fair-minded understanding of opposing views. They strive to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate relevant portions of the contemporary philosophical terrain; competence at critical analysis; and the ability to write about abstract issues in a clear, nuanced and compelling manner. Both programs also seek to impart an awareness of the application of philosophical thought to other academic disciplines or to matters of public interest, encouraging students to apply their philosophical skills more widely.

BA in Philosophy

Students majoring in philosophy are required to take a total of at least 36 credits of philosophy courses, which must include PHIL 211, PHIL 218, one of PHIL 205, 206, 209 or 210, two of PHIL 213, PHIL 214, and PHIL 225, and at least two of the seminar courses, which are numbered PHIL 250-262. One of those courses must be a Writing in the Disciplines course. Selected courses between PHIL 250 and PHIL 262 will be offered as Writing in the Disciplines courses. Students should also choose, under the supervision of the department, a balanced program of systematic and historical courses. In fulfillment of university requirements, majors must also take the following:

University General Education Requirements

The General Education requirements are Understanding Communication - English (6 credits), Understanding Communication - Arabic (3 credits), Cultures and Histories (9 credits), Human Values (3 credits), Societies and Individuals (6 credits), Understanding the World and Quantitative Reasoning (9 credits with at least 3 credits from each), and Community Engaged Learning (3 credits).

At least one of the courses from Cultures and Histories or Human Values should be from the History of Ideas: CHLA. At least one course from your degree requirements (except Understanding Communication) should cover the theme of Social Inequalities

Students choosing a minor in philosophy are required to take a total of 15 credits in philosophy, including at least two of PHIL 211, 213, 214, 225.

Course Descriptions

24 + 12 Credits in Philosophy

Modes of Analysis Understanding Communication - English and Arabic (9) Cultures and Histories (9), Human Values (3) Societies and Individuals (Min. 6) Sciences, Math, and Technology (Unspecified), Understanding the World, Quantitative Reasoning (9:3/6+3/6) Community-Engaged Learning (3)

Lecture Courses

(9 + 12 + 36 + 6 + 9 + 3)


Required Arabic course (3)

Required English courses: ENGL 203(3), 204(3)


Required credits in the Cultures and Histories: 9 credits including History of Ideas and 3 credits Human Values

 philosophy courses (15): PHIL 211(3), 218(3) one course from the following: 205(3), 206(3), 209(3), 210(3) two courses from the following: 213(3), 214(3) 225(3)

8 elective courses from the following lecture and/or seminar courses (24): the following lecture 201(3), 205(3) 206(3), 208(3), 209(3), 210(3), 213(3), 214(3), 215(3), 216(3), 217(3), 218(3), 219(3), 220(3), 221(3), 222(3), 223(3), 224(3), 225(3), 226(3), 227(3), 230(3), 231(3), 232(3), 249(3)

Elective philosophy courses: PHIL 250(3), 251(3), 252(3), 253(3), 254(3), 255(3), 256(3), 257(3), 258(3), 259(3), 260(3), 261(3), 262(3), 263(3

Electives (6)

Electives (9): a course in computer literacy is recommended

Philosophy majors can satisfy this requirement with any Quantitative Reasoning course (including PHIL 220) except for PHIL 211

Requirement course (3)
Seminar (33)     
Laboratory (0)   Computer Lab (3) 
Research Project (93)​
 PHIL 210, 213–224, 230–232, 249–263   ​

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