http://www.uwplatt.edu/philosophy

Contact: Shane Drefcinski
Office: 419 Warner Hall
Phone: 608.342.1828
E-mail: drefcins@uwplatt.edu

About the Philosophy Program and Major

Philosophy literally means the “love of wisdom.” As a discipline of the mind, it calls us to think critically about the most fundamental questions of life. What does it mean to be human? How are we humans related to the rest of reality? What constitutes reality? Is the universe friendly or indifferent to human purpose? To what extent are we free or not free? What purposes ought we to pursue? What is good and evil? What are the possibilities and limitations of human power and understanding? By what criteria can such questions be addressed? What constitutes knowledge? Are there different ways of knowing? What role do assumptions play in what we think is true? By challenging students to think carefully about questions like these, the philosophy program provides an excellent foundation for graduate school as well as a pathway not only to making a life but also to making a living in careers such as law, teaching, business, the ministry, journalism, and art.

UW-Platteville offers a major in philosophy and a minor in philosophy. Both options encourage students to address in a disciplined way the most fundamental questions of life.

Mission Statement

With regard to our mission, the philosophy program has two main goals:

The first goal is to help students in their courses, but especially our philosophy majors and minors, to become what UW-Platteville pledges in the first item of its mission statement, namely, “to become broader in perspective, more literate, intellectually more astute, ethically more sensitive, and to participate wisely in society as a competent professional and knowledgeable citizen.”

The second goal is to provide our majors and minors the opportunity to develop in-depth their ability to think critically about the most fundamental (and inescapable) questions that humans can raise about reality, knowledge, and values. As a corollary to this second goal, we aim to give our majors and minors a solid preparation for whatever they pursue after graduation, whether it be graduate studies, law school, medicine, education, academic computing, journalism, social work, ministry, a fine art, or business.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who major or minor in philosophy will:

  1. acquire a broad understanding of the history of Western philosophy
  2. become more ethically sensitive through the careful study of various ethical theories
  3. enhance their ability to analyze and clarify ideas
  4. refine their ability to think logically
  5. demonstrate their ability to present their ideas and arguments effectively, both orally and in writing

General Requirements Bachelor of Arts Degree

Total for graduation120
General education44-58
Major studies36

Philosophy majors, in addition to the requirements for the major, are also required to take one of the following foreign language courses: FRENCH 2040, GERMAN 2240 or SPANISH 2840. Majors in philosophy are also required to take one English literature course at the 2000 level or above.

PHLSPHY 1130 Introduction to Philosophy 3 Credits

An introduction to basic philosophical questions through a consideration of different types of philosophy as developed by some of historys most influential thinkers and as related to various aspects of human life.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

PHLSPHY 2330 Origins of Western Philosophy 3 Credits

Representative thinkers and the development of different traditions in Western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the Renaissance.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Fall

PHLSPHY 2430 Philosophy in the Modern World 3 Credits

The principal thinkers and movements of Western philosophy from the Renaissance into the 20th century.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Spring

PHLSPHY 243W Philosophy in the Modern World 3 Credits

A WRITING EMPHASIS COURSE IS DESIGNED TO EFFECTIVELY USE WRITING TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING OF COURSE SPECIFIC CONTENT THROUGH VARIOUS MEANS SUCH AS SELF-REFLECTION, ANALYSIS, PROBLEM SOLVING AND RESEARCH. The principal thinkers and movements of Western philosophy from the Renaissance into the 20th century.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities, Writing Emphasis
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: ENGLISH 1230
Typically Offered: Occasional

PHLSPHY 2530 Ethics 3 Credits

The major types of theories of right and wrong that underlie moral evaluations.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Fall

PHLSPHY 2540 Science, Technology, and Ethics 3 Credits

This course explores the epistemological, ontological, and ethical questions raised by science and technology. Among the topics addressed are: various views of science and the different metaphysical views which are behind them, various views of nature and human nature, and the different kinds of ethics that result from these competing epistemologies and ontologies.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: sophomore standing to enroll in this class
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring

PHLSPHY 2550 Business Ethics 3 Credits

This course explores ethical questions in business from the perspectives of employers, employees, and consumers, according to the methods of philosophy and grounded in philosophical ethical theories. Students will be introduced to the basics of Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics and will then apply these theories to various issues in business ethics.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Spring

PHLSPHY 2630 Logic 3 Credits

An introductory study of the structure of reasoning and argumentation with practical applications in the socio-political sphere, science and philosophy.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Spring-EVEN

PHLSPHY 2730 Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures 3 Credits

An introduction to the Old Testament including historical background, an introduction to critical analysis and the necessary tools of interpretation, and a survey of the major themes, traditions and thought content of the Old Testament.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Fall

PHLSPHY 2830 Introduction to the New Testament 3 Credits

An introduction to the New Testament including historical background, introduction to the problems and methods of interpretation, and a survey of major themes, traditions and thought content of the New Testament.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Typically Offered: Spring

PHLSPHY 2930 Major Traditions in Eastern Religions 3 Credits

An introductory study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto and Zen, with outlines of their histories, developments of their doctrines and consideration of their contribution to the religious thought of the world.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities, International Education
Typically Offered: Fall

PHLSPHY 2940 Special Topics in Philosophy 3 Credits

A critical examination of a major theme, movement, period, philosopher, or philosophical issue. This course is designed for students from any field or major, and does not presuppose an advanced stage of the study of philosophy.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Occasional

PHLSPHY 3140 Philosophy of Sport 3 Credits

An examination of philosophical questions raised by sports and games, with particular emphasis on the ethical issues that arise in professional and amateur sports.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: Three credits in philosophy or junior standing
Typically Offered: EVERY/2/YR

PHLSPHY 3230 Philosophy of Religion 3 Credits

An examination of major interpretations of what religion is and the significance for it in concepts regarding faith and reason, God, the invisible world, evil, and the nature and destiny of persons.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: three credits in philosophy or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Spring

PHLSPHY 3530 Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality 3 Credits

A philosophical examination of questions about gender and sexuality, such as: How do philosophers explain gender and sexuality? How do gender and sexuality influence ones reality, knowledge, experience autonomy, choices, and prospects for achieving a good, just, and meaningful life? How do new fields in philosophy (e.g. feminist epistemology, feminist ethics, etc.) open up new possibilities for gender and sexuality?
Components: Class
Cross Offering: WOMGENDR 3530
GE: Gender Studies, Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: three credits in philosophy or WOMGENDR 1130 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Spring-EVEN

PHLSPHY 3630 Philosophy of Law 3 Credits

A critical study of major concepts of law with particular emphasis on how the various notions of law are governed by fundamental views concerning the nature of reality and the individual person.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: three credits in philosophy, CRIMLJUS 1130 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Spring-ODD

PHLSPHY 363W Philosophy of Law 3 Credits

A WRITING EMPHASIS COURSE IS DESIGNED TO EFFECTIVELY USE WRITING TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING OF COURSE SPECIFIC CONTENT THROUGH VARIOUS MEANS SUCH AS SELF-REFLECTION, ANALYSIS, PROBLEM SOLVING AND RESEARCH. A critical study of major concepts of law with particular emphasis on how the various notions of law are governed by fundamental views concerning the nature of reality and the individual person.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities, Writing Emphasis
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: three credits in philosophy, CRIMLJUS 1130 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Occasional

PHLSPHY 3840 Existentialism 3 Credits

Examination of the various types of Existentialism and the major philosophical Existentialists, such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, and Marcel.
Components: Class
GE: Humanities
Prereqs/Coreqs: C: PHLSPHY 2430 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Occasional

PHLSPHY 4430 Seminar in Philosophy 3 Credits

A critical examination of a major theme, movement, period or philosopher in the history of philosophy. This is a seminar designed for students who are majors or minors and who are at an advanced stage of the undergraduate study of philosophy.
Components: Seminar
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: six credits in philosophy or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: EVERY/2/YR

PHLSPHY 4720 Individual Research in Philosophy 1-3 Credits

Advanced work by the individual students.
Components: Independent Study
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: must be a philosophy major or minor
Typically Offered: Fall

Faculty and lecturers

Additional information about the Faculty and Lecturers below may be found in the Faculty and Academic Staff section of this catalog.

Drefcinski, Shane D.

Lenzi, Mary E.

Sandberg, T.A.

Sharkey, Michael