The minor in philosophy at UA Little Rock introduces students to important classical and contemporary philosophical works. Themes may include concepts of morality, justice, beauty, truth, and power; relations between mind and body, individual and society, or humanity and nature; and the nature and role of reason. Readings will represent a variety of philosophical approaches from different historical periods and both Western and non-Western traditions.
Why Explore Philosophy?
Studying philosophy helps sharpen critical and analytical skills and allows students to perform better in all of their studies. Our courses are theoretically rigorous and practically oriented and offer training in crucial, widely applicable skills – such as problem solving.
Students pursuing a minor in philosophy have the opportunity to explore a broad range of elective courses, including Ethics and Society, Contemporary Philosophy, Medical Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Eastern Thought, Philosophy and the Arts, and Environmental Philosophy.
Religious Studies Minor
Students seeking a minor in religious studies can explore world religions, logic, and critical thinking. They are introduced to basic themes, ideas, and methods of philosophy through reading and discussion of selected texts. Students may also choose from a broad array of electives.
The term “religious studies” refers to the academic study of multiple religious traditions. It seeks to understand the practices and belief systems of these traditions from both “outsider” and “insider” perspectives – that is, in objective terms as well as the terms of the traditions themselves. Such an understanding neither presupposes nor promotes a particular set of religious commitments. In religious studies we focus on the intellectual traditions of a variety of religions.
Why Study Religion?
There are many reasons to study religion, and many benefits. Here are just a few:
- Cultural Awareness: Religious beliefs and practices have been central to virtually every human culture throughout history. Studying religion, in promoting understanding of these beliefs and practices, promotes understanding of and respect for other cultures more generally. Such understanding also helps put one’s own culture into context.
- Ethical Awareness: Since, for many, religious beliefs form the basis for ethical and moral convictions, any approach to ethics should incorporate the kind of examination of various religious convictions that Religious Studies makes possible. Conversely, the study of religion often involves the consideration of a wide variety of ethical commitments and arguments.
- Interdisciplinary Connections: Since Religious Studies is a broad area rather than a single field, it utilizes the methodologies, procedures, and content of many different disciplines (such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, History, as well as Philosophy).
- Critical Thinking: Religious Studies helps students distinguish between arguments and convictions, and between statements of fact and statements of belief. Religious Studies also helps the student assess claims of truth, value, revelation, and morality.