Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

262-472-4775

Philosandreligion@uww.edu

The aim of the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at UW-Whitewater is to foster critical thinking and appreciation in the areas of reasoning, knowledge, reality, meaning, gender and race issues, ethics, history of religions, hermeneutics, religious rituals, and sacred stories. Research emphases may include German philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, social philosophy, aesthetics, biblical interpretation, classical Hinduism, Buddhism, and religion in the human sciences.

Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies is an intentionally multidisciplinary approach to education that emphasizes breadth of knowledge and academic inquiry. Courses are taken in a variety of academic disciplines, and earning a degree in Liberal Studies helps students:

1. Think critically and analytically, integrate and synthesize knowledge, and draw conclusions from complex information

2. Make sound ethical and value judgments

3. Possess a base of knowledge common to educated persons

4. Communicate effectively in written, oral, and symbolic form

5. Understand the value of the liberal arts

6. Understand the information gathering and organizing methodologies of the liberal disciplines, including the use of information technology

7. Apply the concepts and methodologies of the liberal arts to understand issues in society and in their own lives

The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a minor and 4 types of majors in Liberal Studies. Any of the 4 types of majors in Liberal Studies can be completed on-campus or as part of our online degree completion program.

Philosophy

Philosophy is a basic field of inquiry that is neither part of nor reducible to any other discipline. Philosophers explore ideas, questions, issues, and problems that arise from the entire spectrum of human experiences. Philosophy courses deal with fundamental issues concerning the nature of morality and the good life, methods of correct reasoning, the nature of knowledge and reality, aesthetics, and the foundations needed for a good society. Courses also survey the history of western philosophy in light of these issues and foster critical, analytical, and creative thinking skills that are relevant to any subject matter. As a discipline central to a liberal arts education, philosophy seeks to develop students’ skills and knowledge, preparing them for life as a whole. The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a minor in Philosophy.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies challenges students to explore ideas relating to the world's major religious traditions. Research can focus on the intellectual, historical, cultural, and personal dimensions of religion in human life. Knowledge in this field will help students understand historic and current cultural, political, and theological issues from a global perspective, and this knowledge is valuable in any career where contact with diverse populations occurs. The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a minor in Religious Studies.

Majors in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Liberal Studies Courses

LIBST 201   INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES   2 Units

An introduction to the concept of a liberal education, the methodologies of the liberal arts disciplines, and the use of computer technology for basic research. Students will create an individual plan of study to guide them through their Liberal Studies major and prepare them to complete a senior capstone project.
PREREQ: GENED 110, GENED 130, GENED 120 OR GENED 140 OR SOPHOMORE STATUS

LIBST 350   TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (GH)   3 Units

This course is an examination of the impact of various types of technology on a user's view of and behaviors regarding social responsibility. The use of digital technologies (such as social media, blogs, wearable technologies, video games) will be examined with regard to issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality, public health, political dissidence, and capitalism.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING

LIBST 366   SEX, GENDER, AND TELEVISION (GE)(GH)   3 Units

This course will focus on analysis of television production, content, and audience reception from the perspective of feminist and cultural theory, with consideration for historical and contemporary texts. Text and images will be examined for representations of sex, gender, women, and LGBT+ individuals with regard to how those representations impact meaning making, identity formation, politics, and social responsibility.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING

LIBST 400   CAPSTONE IN LIBERAL STUDIES   1 Units

Capstone in Liberal Studies provides a culminating experience for Liberal Studies majors. Students will evaluate their progress toward meeting the program's student learning objectives by assembling a portfolio of artifacts and by writing a reflective essay in which they demonstrate mastery of the program's student learning objectives.
PREREQ: LIBERAL STUDIES MAJOR & SENIOR STATUS

LIBST 493   INTERNSHIP IN LIBERAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics.

LIBST 496   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

LIBST 497   EXCHANGE STUDIES   Repeatable   1-12 Units

Variable topics.

LIBST 498   INDEPENDENT STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable

LIBST 499   SENIOR THESIS   3 Units

Individual research under the supervision of a member of the faculty.

Philosophy Courses

PHILSPHY 121   TRUTH AND THE MEDIA (GH)   3 Units

There is a vast array of media outlets, political talking heads, and mass-marketed paraphernalia that claim to know what you should know, how you should feel about it, and what the best things are for you. We live thoroughly media-ted. This course critiques our current media culture on the veracity/rationality of their epistemic claims.

PHILSPHY 241   INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

An introduction to philosophical thought. Representative philosophers and representative issues, such as the nature of ethical reasoning, rival theories of knowledge, and the individual's relation to society, are considered. The emphasis is on argument and analysis, and on issues which are relevant to philosophical problems.

PHILSPHY 245   CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES (GH)   3 Units

An analysis and critical examination of contemporary moral issues related to business, science, and social policy as developed by current participants in the debate and moral philosophers of various periods and philosophical perspectives.

PHILSPHY 247   BIOETHICS (GH)   3 Units

This course introduces key ethical approaches as Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and feminist ethics and addresses their application to issues in health care practice. Ethical issues to be addressed may include: end-of-life decisions, family planning, genetic technology, access to health care, and the role of health care professionals.

PHILSPHY 248   ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS (GH)   3 Units

A critical examination of ethical issues and problems arising from human interaction with non-human animals and the natural environment. Topics, such as the moral status of non-human animals, the moral bases of an environmental ethics, biodiversity, and sustainable development, will be considered by examining the writing of philosophers representing various perspectives.

PHILSPHY 251   LOGIC (GH)   3 Units

By examining basic concepts, methods, and techniques for evaluating argumentation, this course aims at developing students' abilities to recognize, criticize, and construct arguments. The relationship between language and good reasoning will also be considered.

PHILSPHY 261   INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS (GH)   3 Units

A study of the main Western theories of moral value and obligation. These theories will be analyzed in terms of their adequacy for solving moral problems and their ability to articulate the morally good life. Consideration will also be given to challenges to normative ethics.

PHILSPHY 271   INTRODUCTION TO AESTHETICS (GH)   3 Units

An analysis and discussion of problems as to the nature of art, artistic truth or insight, aesthetic appreciation, evaluation of works of art, creativity, and the role of the artist in society.

PHILSPHY 281   SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

A discussion of ideas which are basic to thinking about society, its purposes, and its structure. Such ideas as justice, equality, rights, obligations and freedom are examined.

PHILSPHY 291   PHILOSOPHY OF THE NATURAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (GH)   3 Units

A critical examination of the methods, presuppositions, and concepts of the natural and social sciences. This course examines key concepts in the sciences such as time, space, explanation, verification, model construction, etc.

PHILSPHY 310   KNOWLEDGE AND REALITY (GH)   3 Units

This course examines key philosophical positions and figures regarding knowledge (epistemology) and reality (metaphysics). We will ask questions such as: What do we know? How do we know? What is reality? Why is there a world? What is space? What is time? and What is social ontology?
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHILSPHY 341   CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

An introduction to the major figures in Greek philosophy, including representative pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, and Aristotle, focusing on Classical sources of philosophy of science, ethics, political philosophy, and theory of knowledge.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STATUS OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHILSPHY 342   MODERN PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

This course concentrates on the main movements in philosophy from Descartes through Kant. Principal works and selections from the major philosophers will be read.

PHILSPHY 346   19TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

This course concentrates on the main movements in 19th century philosophy. Selections from principal works of major philosophers of the period, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, Husserl, Peirce, and James, will be critically examined.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR 3 UNITS OF PHILOSPHY

PHILSPHY 347   20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY (GH)   3 Units

This course concentrates on the main movements in 2oth century philosophy. Selections from principal works of major philosophers of the period, such as Ayer, Wittgenstein, Quine, Carnap, Heidegger, Sartre, Irigary, Lyotard, and Derrida will be critically examined.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR 3 UNITS OF PHILOSPHY

PHILSPHY 364   EXISTENTIALISM   3 Units

Existentialism is the philosophy of the individual - existing, concrete individual, As a reaction against totalitizing systems that leave individuals as small cogs in the wheel of history. Existentialists tackle questions about what it means to be an individual and the struggle of living in freedom - and so shall we.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR 3 UNITS OF PHILOSPHY

PHILSPHY 381   PHILOSOPHY OF GENDER AND RACE   3 Units

This course examines the philosophical assumptions underlying concepts of gender and race. Topics include: historical and contemporary arguments about race and gender as biological categories; the relationship between the use of these categories and the persistence of sexism and racism; and race and gender in theories of subjectivity.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHILSPHY 390   FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY   3 Units

An introduction to feminist philosophy including its relation to other philosophical traditions, its historical development, and its relevance to concerns in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHILSPHY 490   WORKSHOP   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable

PHILSPHY 494   SEMINAR   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics.Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member. Repeatable

PHILSPHY 496   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings. Repeatable

PHILSPHY 497   EXCHANGE STUDY   Repeatable   1-12 Units

Variable topics.

PHILSPHY 498   INDEPENDENT STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable

Religious Studies Courses

RELIGST 111   INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN RELIGIONS (GH)   3 Units

An introduction to the major religious traditions in the cultural areas of South, Southeast, and East Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 111 AND ASIANSTD 111

RELIGST 112   INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN RELIGIONS (GH)   3 Units

An introduction to the major religious traditions that have shaped Near Eastern and Western culture; especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

RELIGST 135   INTRODUCTION TO ISLAMIC CIVILIZATIONS (GH)   3 Units

This course examines emergence and evolution of Islamic Civilizations from the seventh century though the modern era. It covers the birth and spread of Islam, the rise and fall of Muslim Empires, religious and political institutions, scientific and cultural achievements, and the position of women and religious minorities.
CROSS-LISTED: HISTRY 135 AND RELIGST 135

RELIGST 222   INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM (GH)   3 Units

A basic introduction to Judaism, this course explores Jewish traditions from their origins in ancient Israelite religion; Rabbinic Judaism; Jewish philosophy and mysticism; contemporary Jewish movements; the primary texts of Judaism; and the religious experience, values, beliefs, practices, and symbols of a variety of "Judaisms" throughout the world.

RELIGST 232   BUDDHISM: THE MIDDLE WAY (GH)   3 Units

This course introduces the wide range of Buddhist ideas and practices that have developed in Asia. It considers the social context in which Buddhism developed, the philosophical bases of all Buddhist schools, the development of the Mahayana, Buddhist Tantra, and Buddhist practices in South, Southeast and East Asia.
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 232 AND ASIANSTD 232

RELIGST 242   NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIONS (DV)(GH)   3 Units

This course explores the historical development and manifestations of Native American religions from before European contact to the present. The course examines the diverse experiences of Native Americans, analyzes the changing roles of Native American religions, and questions traditional conceptions of Native Americans and Native American religions throughout American history.

RELIGST 252   THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE (GH)   3 Units

This course will survey the Bible and some other related Near Eastern literature, focusing on the development of genres, motifs, and other literary forms that have influenced the form and content of Western literature, including the parable, the proverb, the loss of Eden, exile and return, origin stories, and hero stories. (Offered jointly with English).
PREREQ: ENGLISH 101 AND ENGLISH 102 OR ENGLISH 161 AND ENGLISH 162 OR ENGLISH 105.
CROSS-LISTED: ENGLISH 252 AND RELIGST 252

RELIGST 301   CRITICAL ISSUES IN MODERN RELIGION (GH)   3 Units

An introduction to selected critical issues relating to contemporary academic concerns. A variety of religion to modern culture and intellectual positions will be analyzed and discussed.

RELIGST 302   RELIGIOUS ETHICS (GH)   3 Units

The comparative study of the ethical dilemmas and discourse within religious narratives and traditions. The course presents selected ethical dilemmas and raises questions requiring students to analyze the positions embedded within religious narratives, and develop their own informed ethical positions. Topics include war, human rights, ecology, economic justice, and sexuality.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

RELIGST 303   ASIAN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT (GH)   3 Units

A study of selected texts and religious thought from India, China, and Japan in relation to their impact on personal spiritual development and cultural integration.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 303 AND ASIANSTD 303

RELIGST 304   CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC THOUGHT AND PRACTICE   3 Units

This course will explore - thematically rather than cronologically - major trends in contemporary Islamic thought and practice through a study of key thinkers and a close reading of their works. Such trends include modernism, reformism, fundamentalism, nationalism, centrism, liberalism and feminism.
PREREQ: RELIGST 112 (FORMERLY 212) OR RELIGST 135 OR HISTRY 135 OR ARABIC 141 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

RELIGST 330   RELIGION, SEXUALITY AND GENDER (GH)   3 Units

This course will trace changing conceptions of gender roles and the functions of women in various religious traditions. Feminine and masculine images of divinity will be compared and recent scholarship in feminist theology on questions such as the nature of divinity, immortality, and religious devotion will be examined.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 330 AND WOMENST 330

RELIGST 333   GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION (GI)   3 Units

This course examines the role of religion in contemporary American society and in communities around the globe from a geographic perspective. Significant places and spatial patterns associated with religions will be investigated along with the relationship between religion and the political landscape. Students will be expected to identify, visit, and analyze two religious sites in their community.
CROSS-LISTED: GEOGRPY 333 AND RELIGST 333

RELIGST 340   EVIL AND RELIGION (GH)   3 Units

This course presents a variety of ways of examining the problem of evil in several of the world's religious traditions--as a philosophical and theological problem for understanding the relationship between God and human beings in monotheistic religions, but also in broader comparative perspective through the confrontation of evil in polytheistic and non-theistic religions.

RELIGST 351   RELIGION IN AMERICAN CULTURE (GH)   3 Units

An examination of the significant role played by religious ideas and traditions in American society from colonial times to the present in historical and cultural perspectives.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STANDING OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

RELIGST 353   SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION   3 Units

A study of the function and forms of religious groups in primitive and contemporary societies; a theoretical examination of religion as a basic social institution. (Offered jointly with sociology).
PREREQ: THREE CREDITS OF SOCIOLOGY
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 353 AND SOCIOLGY 353

RELIGST 365   RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEATH AND DYING (GH)   3 Units

A critical examination of philosophical and religious materials dealing with death and dying. Issues such as the nature of death, the fear of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the concept of immortality, ethical and legal problems raised in the dying process, the ethics of hospice care, and the morality of euthanasia will be considered.
PREREQ: SOPHOMORE STATUS OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

RELIGST 371   MODERN RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS (GH)   3 Units

Modern Religious Movements will introduce students to the historical development and contemporary manifestations of various religions or religious traditions throughout the world from the early modern era to the present. It explores both those religious forms born within the modern era and those religious movements that are shaping religious expression today.

RELIGST 388   THE HOLOCAUST: NAZI GERMANY AND THE GENOCIDE OF THE JEWS   3 Units

This course will examine the origins, implementation, and legacies of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. It is intended to help students gain an appreciation of the importance of the Holocaust to the Jewish experience, while understanding that other groups also were victimized. (Offered jointly with Sociology).
PREREQ: THREE CREDITS OF SOCIOLOGY, HISTORY OR RELIGIOUS STUDIES.
CROSS-LISTED: RELIGST 388 AND SOCIOLGY 388

RELIGST 490   WORKSHOP   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable

RELIGST 494   SEMINAR   Repeatable   1-3 Units

RELIGST 496   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings. Repeatable

RELIGST 497   EXCHANGE STUDY   Repeatable   1-12 Units

Variable topics.

RELIGST 498   INDEPENDENT STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable