Philosophy & Religious Studies
PHIL 104 Religions of the West
#16969 (3 credits)
In this class, we will explore the relationship of religion and culture in an attempt to answer such questions as: What function does religion have within different cultural systems? What role does religion play in constructing and maintaining ideas about gender? How does ritual serve to promote and reinforce cultural values and norms? Although we will focus our attention on religion, in general, we will be drawing on the three western monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) to illustrate the issues we explore. Using a variety of texts – including both written and visual – we will attempt to balance our study of religion both with critical theory and with examples of specific cultural practices.
PHIL 282 Asian Philosophy
#6591 (3 credits)
This is an introductory course surveying the major classical Chinese philosophical traditions. In addition to becoming familiar with these traditions, students will cultivate their critical reading and thinking skills by engaging with primary texts, and writing about them. Recurring themes that will be covered include ethical cultivation, human nature, and the role of social context(s) in moral action.
PHIL 300 History of Philosophy I: Modern
#6576 (3 credits)
3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday
In 1641, Rene Descartes published a short work of philosophy that changed the way the world thought about everything. This publication occurred at a time when Western Europe was seeing major advancements in science, economics, and political structures. In this crucible of change, the modern era of philosophy was born. This was an exciting era of philosophical questioning. It was also one of the most prolific eras of major ideas. This course will explore this 200-year period. We will be examining epistemic, metaphysic, and ethical issues. Where does knowledge come from? Should I trust my sensory experiences? Can we use science or reason to prove that God exists? How do the mind and the body interact? Is there such a thing as causation? Does the world that we experience have independent existence, or are we only able to experience events as they are represented in the mind? How do emotions affect our reasoning? What is the basis for ethical behavior? These are some of the most challenging questions asked in philosophy. The sophistication of the philosophers’ answers might amaze you.
The department offers a wide range of classes for all experience levels. Whether you are a curious student who has never taken a philosophy course or someone who is finishing their major, we have the right course for you. No prerequisites are required.
Congratulations To Our 2020 Graduates!
We are proud to celebrate another wonderful group of philosophy majors and minors. We are, however, heartbroken that the pandemic has prevented us from celebrating their accomplishments in person.
Please enjoy this two-minute commencement address given by Dr. Weinstein as he received his Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship in 2016.
Both philosophy and religion are concerned with the fundamental human questions, as well as the traditions to which they are attached. Areas of investigation include but are not limited to questions regarding the meaning of life, the ability to live ethically, and the human quest for the sacred. These concerns form the core of liberal arts education.
Learn more about program information, requirements, costs and aid, and how to apply.
Accelerated Undergraduate and Graduate Degree
Complete a B.A. in philosophy and get a J.D. in just six years.