Department of Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Studies

General Information | Degree Requirements | Courses

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

Chairperson:
Robinson, Keith A., Professor

Associate Professors:
Green, Rochelle M.
Merrick, Allison M.
Norton, Michael B.

Instructor:
Fishel, Jason L.
Franks, Valerie T.

Adjunct Faculty:
Burris, Mark
Burton, Larry
Franks, Matthew M.
Guy, Clarence H.
Hale, Edward
Hester, Micah
Jauss, Steve A.
ones, Craig
Jones-Cathcart, Andrew
Levy, Gene
Olsen, Leonard
Self, Monty

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 (44 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 19th and 20th Century
    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 3347 Philosophy of Law
    PHIL 4350 Classical Political Theory
    PHIL 4360 Modern Political Theory
    PHIL 4386 Seminar in Social/Political
    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 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)

Unrestricted General Electives

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


Joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy (emphasis in Legal and Moral Studies) 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.

Once accepted to Bowen, students must take one of the jurisprudence courses offered there in their second or third year of law school study.
Students who do not meet these criteria may complete their undergraduate degree and apply to the William H. Bowen School of Law at the end of the equivalent of their fourth year of undergraduate study.


Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Juris Doctor Degree

Core Requirements (44 hours)
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 (44 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 19th and 20th Century 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 3347 Philosophy of Law
    PHIL 4350 Classical Political Theory
    PHIL 4360 Modern Political Theory
    PHIL 4386 Seminar in Social / Political
    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 of which must be upper-level. Any unused course above and:

    PHIL 2320 Ethics and Society
    PHIL 3315 Philosophy and Narrative
    PHIL 3370 Existentialism
    PHIL 3372 Philosophy and the Arts
    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)

Unrestricted General Electives

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


Interdisciplinary Studies

The major/minor program allows the student to combine aspects of several academic disciplines both within and outside of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Interested students should contact Carmen Robinson at (501) 569- 8205 or by email at ccrobinson@ualr.edu. 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 (44 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
    LIST 3310 Reasoning Across the Disciplines
    LIST 4310 Liberal Arts Colloquium
    (to be taken at the end of the student’s course of study)
Three disciplines of study (18 hours in each, 54 hours total)

Two disciplines must be within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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), or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Online

The major in Interdisciplinary Studies is a completer program that can be completed wholly online. Interested students should contact Angela Bell at (501) 569-3411 or by email at arbell@ualr.edu. Program requirements are the same as the on campus program, but the areas that can be completed on line are limited to the following areas within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences:

American Sign Language
History Legal Studies Philosophy and Religious
Studies Political Science
Professional and Technical Writing
Psychology (General) Sociology

Areas outside the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences:

Criminal Justice
Health, Human Performance & Sport Management
Management
Mathematics
Speech Communication

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies major online, visit the website.


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 19th and 20th Century Philosophy
    PHIL 3335 Medical Ethics
    PHIL 3341 Contemporary Ethical Theory
    PHIL 3345 Ancient Greek 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 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: 1 course, 3 hours Required
    RELS 2305 World Religions
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

4 courses from any unused courses above and any of the below, 12 hours Required

    RELS 2333 Introduction to Religious Studies
    RELS 3330 Religious Countercultures
    RELS 3333 Reading Sacred Texts
    RELS 3338 Religion & Modern S. 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

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