Department of Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Studies

Stabler Hall, Room 307, (501) 569-3312, Website, View/Download PDF Version

Interim Chairperson:
Norton, Michael B.

Professor:
Robinson, Keith A.
Thomas, Jan L.

Assistant Professors:
McAuliffe, Jana
Spino, Joseph M.

Instructor:
Taylor, Reed W.
The Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies offers undergraduate instruction leading to the baccalaureate degree in philosophy, a minor in religious studies, and a minor combining study in philosophy and religious studies.

Students may choose to pursue a course of study within the baccalaureate degree in philosophy that emphasizes legal and moral studies that is designed to prepare them for early acceptance into UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law. The department also coordinates an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. For more information, see our website.

General Information

Major in Philosophy

Why study philosophy? Because making a living is not the same as having a life. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates tells a story about the navigator on a ship who is thrown overboard by the sailors, who see him as a useless stargazer: what is useful depends on whether you are focused on the task of steering the ship or the science of guiding it. To decide the right course of action, to wonder if a law is just, to analyze a speech or an article in the newspaper, to ask what you can do to help others or yourself, to engage any of the issues that make our lives worthwhile and meaningful-is to do philosophy. The choice is not whether to do philosophy, but whether to do it well or poorly, to live or merely exist.

Because it is practical. When you study philosophy you learn how to think critically about any topic. That is why philosophy majors consistently score higher than other majors on the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE tests. The ability to think critically, argue persuasively, and solve problems—which are the foci of philosophical training—have become increasingly necessary for success in the rapidly changing work environment in which we live. The study of philosophy is an excellent preparation for the study of law, medicine, business, or theology.


Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit (See page 25 for requirement details.)

Core (35 hours)

See page (See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page (See page 26 for details.

Major (30 hours)
Philosophy Foundation Courses (6 hours)

PHIL 1310 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1330 Critical Thinking
or PHIL 2350 Logic

Subfields (12 hours)
History (6 hours)

PHIL 3320 Modern Philosophy
PHIL 3321 Kant and 19th Century Philosophy

PHIL 3322 Contemporary  Philosophy
PHIL 3345 Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 4385 Seminar in History of Philosophy

Moral and Political (3 hours)

PHIL 3335 Medical Ethics
PHIL 3341 Contemporary Ethical Theory

PHIL 3346 Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 3347 Philosophy of Law

PHIL 4350 Classical Political Theory
PHIL 4360 Modern Political Theory
PHIL 4386 Seminar in Social/Political Philosophy
PHIL 4387 Seminar in Moral Philosophy

Mind, Knowledge and Culture (3 hours)

PHIL 3310 Theories of Knowledge
PHIL 3312 Science and Culture
RELS 3350 Eastern Thought
RELS 3360 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 4388 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology
Philosophy Electives (12 hours)
9 hours must be at the upper level. Any unused course from above and:

PHIL 2320 Ethics and Society (Also counts towards the core)
PHIL 3315 Philosophy and Narrative
PHIL 3370 Existentialism
PHIL 3372 Philosophy and the Arts

PHIL 3375 Environmental Philosophy 
PHIL 3377 Applied Ethics Practicum
PHIL 4333 Feminist Theory
PHIL 4373 Philosophy of Race
PHIL 4380 Topics in Philosophy
PHIL 4390 Independent Study

Minor (12-29 hours-Typical minor requires 18 hours)

Completion of a minor or completion of an individually-designed secondary concentration (minimum of 15 hours, of which at least 9 must be upper-level). The secondary concentration is proposed by the student in writing to the student’s major advisor along with a statement of explanation. The advisor and the department chairperson will evaluate the proposal and must approve it before it can become official. The secondary concentration should be organized in a coherent fashion and could include courses from any relevant program outside of the student’s major program (note that some courses have pre-requisites, co-requisites, or other restrictions).

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and/or 30 hours in residence.


Joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Juris Doctor degree

The emphasis on legal and moral studies within the philosophy major is a cooperative program between the Department of Philosophy and the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. This early acceptance program allows students to earn a BA and juris doctor (JD) in six years of full-time study (effectively fulfilling their minor requirements with their first successful year at the Law School), and grants acceptance into the UALR School of Law to those students who maintain the required standing in the program and fulfill certain requirements. Students in the program enter the School of Law in the beginning of their fourth year of undergraduate study. At the end of successful completion of the first year of the law curriculum, the students are awarded a BA in philosophy. At the end of their third year of study (or equivalent) at the School of Law, they are awarded a JD. For more information about the joint program, visit our website.To achieve early admittance to Bowen, students must meet the following requirements:

  • A major in philosophy with an emphasis in legal and moral studies.
  • A grade point average of 3.5 or above.
  • An LSAT score in the 75th percentile.
  • Completion of all UALR Core Curriculum requirements, including the requirement of foreign language proficiency.

Students who do not meet these criteria may complete their undergraduate degree and apply to the William H. Bowen School of Law during the equivalent of their fourth year of undergraduate study.

Students in the program must submit an application to Bowen by January 1st for enrollment the following fall. Once accepted to Bowen, students must take one of the jurisprudence courses offered there in their second or third year of law school study.


Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Juris Doctor Degree

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit (See page 25 for requirement details.)

Core (35 hours)

See page (See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page (See page 26 for details.

Major (30 hours)
Philosophy Foundation Courses (6 hours)

PHIL 1310 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1330 Critical Thinking
or PHIL 2350 Logic

Subfields (15 hours)
History (6 hours)

PHIL 3320 Modern Philosophy
PHIL 3321 Kant and 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 3322 Contemporary Philosophy
PHIL 3345 Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 4385 Seminar in History of Philosophy

Moral and Political (3 hours)

PHIL 3335 Medical Ethics
PHIL 3341 Contemporary Ethical Theory
PHIL 3346 Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 3347 Philosophy of Law (required)
PHIL 4350 Classical Political Theory
PHIL 4360 Modern Political Theory
PHIL 4386 Seminar in Social/Political Philosophy
PHIL 4387 Seminar in Moral Philosophy

Mind, Knowledge, and Culture (3 hours)

PHIL 3310 Theories of Knowledge
PHIL 3312 Science and Culture
RELS 3350 Eastern Thought
RELS 3360 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 4388 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology

Philosophy Electives (9 hours)

6 hours must be at the upper level. Any unused course from above and:
PHIL 2320 Ethics and Society (required; also counts towards the core)
PHIL 3315 Philosophy and Narrative
PHIL 3370 Existentialism
PHIL 3372 Philosophy and the Arts
PHIL 3375 Environmental Philosophy
PHIL 4333 Feminist Theory
PHIL 4373 Philosophy of Race
PHIL 4380 Topics in Philosophy
PHIL 4390 Independent Study

Minor (none required)
Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and/or 30 hours in residence.


Interdisciplinary Studies

The major/minor program allows the student to combine aspects of several academic disciplines. For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies major, visit the website.


Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit (See page 25 for requirement details.)

Core (35 hours)

See page (See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page (See page 26 for details.

Major (60 hours)
Required courses (6 hours)

IDST 3350 Reasoning Across the Disciplines
IDST 4350 Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone

Three Disciplines of Study (18 hours in each; 54 hours total)

Students will choose 2 areas from departments or programs housed in the College of Social Sciences and Communication or the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences and a 3rd area from either these colleges or from any other department or program offering an approved minor or 18-hour course of study. This includes any minor available at UALR. Consult with the BAIS Education Counselor for other options.

Minor (none required)
Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and/or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Online

The major in Interdisciplinary Studies is a degree program that can be completed wholly online.
Program requirements are the same as the on-campus program, but the areas that can be completed online are limited to the following areas in the College of Social Sciences and Communication and the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (student must select at least 2 areas of study from this list):

Criminal Justice
History
Legal Studies
Mathematics
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Political Science
Professional and Technical Writing
Psychology (General)
Sociology
Speech Communication

Other available areas for the online degree are (students may select one area from this list or a third from the list above):

Health, Human Performance & Sport Management
Management
Mathematics
Speech Communication

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies major online, visit ualr.edu/interdisciplinary.


Minor in Philosophy (18 hours)

Foundation: 2 courses, 6 hours Required

PHIL 1310 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1330 Critical Thinking
or PHIL 2350 Logic

Electives: 4 courses, 12 hours Required

PHIL 2320 Ethics and Society
PHIL 3310 Theories of Knowledge
PHIL 3312 Science and Culture
PHIL 3315 Philosophy and Narrative
PHIL 3320 Modern Philosophy
PHIL 3321 Kant and 19th Century Philosophy
PHIL 3322 Contemporary Philosophy
PHIL 3335 Medical Ethics
PHIL 3341 Contemporary Ethical Theory
PHIL 3345 Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 3346 Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 3347 Philosophy of Law
RELS 3350 Eastern Thought
RELS 3360 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 3370 Existentialism
PHIL 3372 Philosophy and the Arts
PHIL 3375 Environmental Philosophy
PHIL 3377 Applied Ethics Practicum
PHIL 4333 Feminist Theory
PHIL 4350 Classical Political Theory
PHIL 4350 Modern Political Theory
PHIL 4373 Philosophy of Race
PHIL 4380 Topics in Philosophy
PHIL 4385 Seminar in History of Philosophy
PHIL 4386 Seminar in Social / Political
PHIL 4387 Seminar in Moral Philosophy
PHIL 4388 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology
PHIL 4390 Independent Study


Minor in Philosophy/Religious Studies (18 hours)

3 required foundation courses (9 hours)

PHIL 1310 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1330 Critical Thinking
or PHIL 2350 Logic
RELS 2305 World Religions

3 elective courses (9 hours)
1 upper-level course in Philosophy (PHIL)
1 upper-level course in Religious Studies (RELS)
1 elective course in either Philosophy or Religious Studies

Minor in Religious Studies (18 hours)

Most people experience religion from within some particular religious tradition. However, to study religion from the academic standpoint is to adopt the perspective of a detached but empathetic observer. Using the tools and methodologies of the humanities and social sciences, the student of religion seeks to better understand the perspective of religious people, to map and explain the various elements of religious life, and finally, to evaluate the claims made by religious people and the role of religion in human life.The minor is of value to students preparing for further study in religious studies or allied fields after graduation, such as graduate school or seminary, and to those who want to understand one of humanity’s most basic responses to life.

Foundation: 2 courses, 6 hours Required

RELS 2305 World Religions
RELS 3300 Theories of Religion

Major Religious Traditions: 1 course, 3 hours Required

RELS 3320 Christianity
RELS 3370 Judaism
RELS 3350 Eastern Thought
RELS 3336 Islam
RELS 4385 Seminar in Major Religions

Electives: 3 courses, 9 hours Required

Any unused course from above and:

RELS 3330 Religious Countercultures
RELS 3333 Reading Sacred Texts
RELS 3338 Religion & Modern South Asia
RELS 3340 Meditation Techniques
RELS 3360 Philosophy of Religion
RELS 3363 Psychology of Religion
RELS 4321 Religion, Society & Culture
RELS 4380 Topics in Religion


Courses in Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies

To see the full listing of all undergraduate courses for Music, select the relevant four-letter code to review the undergraduate courses within that discipline:

PHIL – Philosophy
RELS – Religious Studies