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Courses of study Giorgio de Chirico, The Conquest of the Philosopher, 1914

  • The Philosophy Major 
  • Humanities Major with a concentration in Philosophy 
  • The Philosophy Minor 
  • Humanities Minor with a concentration in Religous Studies 
  • Elemenatary Education with a support area in Philospohy 
  • Elementary Education with a support area in Religous Studies
  • The Philosophy component of the Honors program
  • The Philosophy and Religous studies components of the LACC
  • The philosophy major

    The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at WOU offers a Major in Philosophy, which was first available in 1999-2000. The mission of the Philosophy Major is to provide students a foundational acquaintance with, and experience of being mentored in, the tradition of Western philosophy, classical to contemporary.

    The Major covers introductions to various areas of philosophy, a required logic course, a sequence in the history of Western philosophy, and upper-division electives to give the student some specialized study in several areas within philosophy, such as ethics, social/political philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, philosophy of law, and philosophy of art.  We also offer very specialized courses as Special Topics (PHL 398 and 399). The Major concludes with a Senior Tutorial course (PHL 405) which pulls together all of the training into a unified picture of the field.

    Requirements:

    63 hours, 36 hours upper-division, made up of:

    • Phl 101 and 102 (introduction to philosophy)

    6 hrs

    • Phl 103 (introduction to logic) 

    3 hrs 

    • Phl 251, or 252, or 255 (ethics)

    3 hrs 

    • Phl 262 (epistemology)

    3 hrs

    • Phl 261 or 263

    3 hrs

    • Phl 282 or 283

    3 hrs

    • Either R201, or R204, or R460 

    3 hrs 

    • Phl 311, 313, 314, and 316 (history of philosophy) 

    12 hrs 

    • Phl 321, or 322, or 323

    3 hrs

    • Phl 350 or 380

    3 hrs

    • Phl 405 (senior tutorial in philosophy) 

    3 hrs 

    • Electives in Philosophy or Religous Studies

    18 hrs 

    Note: The course that is selected to meet the LACC requirement in Philosophy or Religious Studies may now also be counted in the 27 hours of the Minor.  Electives should be selected to insure that the expected learning outcomes below are met.

    Phl 405, the Senior tutorial in philosophy, is intended to be the culmination of philosophy students' training, in which they will write a unique, substantial, philosophical work, pulling together all of the skills they have been building over their previous study of philosophy.  It is usually taught Spring Term, and is required for all philosophy majors and minors.

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have substantial knowledge of the major figures, philosophies, and relationships between them that constitute the history of Western philosophy, involving in-depth exposure to primary sources (in translation).

    2. The student shall have an introductory knowledge of the major subdisciplines of Western philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, and social philosophy), the principal questions that constitute them and the principal philosophical options that have been developed in answer to those questions.

    3. The student shall have developed the ability to interpret, reconstruct, and explain accurately a philosophical position other than her/his own, even when disagreeing with it.

    4. The student shall have developed skill in conceptual analysis--e.g., the ability to identify and explain the underlying assumptions of an intellectual position and to reflect critically on them--both of positions other than her/his own and of her/his own position.

    5. The student shall have developed skill in the analysis and critical evaluation of arguments, in argument construction, and in reasoning with persons of differing assumption and perspective.

    6. The student shall have explored some philosophical issue in depth, working out a position and set of arguments of her/his own vis-a-vis other major positions and arguments on the issue.

    7. The student shall have developed the ability to bring to bear a philosophical perspective in critically sorting out a matter of practical controversy--e.g., in applied ethics.

    8. The student shall have acquired a knowledge of some expressions of non-Western philosophy.

    9. The student shall be well-prepared for graduate study in philosophy, should that be her or his desire.

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    The philosophy minor

    The mission of the Minor in Philosophy is to provide students an introductory acquaintance with, and experience of being mentored in, the tradition of Western philosophy, classical to contemporary.

    Requirements:

    27 hours, 15 hours upper-division, made up of:

  • Phl 101 (introduction to philosophy) 
  • 3 hrs 

  • Phl 102 or 251 (ethics)
  • 3 hrs 

  • Phl 103 (introduction to logic) 
  • 3 hrs 

  • Phl 311, or 313, or 314, or 316 (history of philosophy) 
  • 9 hrs 

  • Phl 405 (senior tutorial in philosophy) 
  • 3 hrs 

  • Electives in Philosophy, or Religous Studies
  • 6 hrs 

    The course that is selected to meet the LACC requirement in Philosophy or Religious Studies may now be counted in the 27 hours of the Minor.

    Phl 405, the Senior tutorial in philosophy, is intended to be the culmination of philosophy students' training, in which they will write a unique, substantial, philosophical work, pulling together all of the skills they have been building over their previous study of philosophy.  It is usually taught Spring Term, and is required for all philosophy majors and minors.

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have an introductory knowledge of most of the major figures, philosophies, and relationships between them that constitute the history of Western philosophy, involving in-depth exposure to primary sources (in translation).

    2. The student shall have an introductory knowledge of at least two of the major subdisciplines of Western philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, and social philosophy), the principal questions that constitute them and the principal philosophical options that have been developed in answer to those questions.

    3. The student shall have developed the ability to interpret, reconstruct, and explain accurately a philosophical position other than her/his own, even when disagreeing with it.

    4. The student shall have developed skill in conceptual analysis--e.g., the ability to identify and explain the underlying assumptions of an intellectual position and to reflect critically on them--both of positions other than her/his own and of her/his own position.

    5. The student shall have developed skill in the analysis and critical evaluation of arguments, in argument construction, and in reasoning with persons of differing assumption and perspective.

    6. The student shall have explored some philosophical issue in depth, working out a position and set of arguments of her/his own vis-a-vis other major positions and arguments on the issue.

    7. The student will have seriously begun to acquire competence in critically exploring the philosophical issues raised by and in her/his major.

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    The humanities major
    with a concentration in philosophy

    The mission of the Humanities Major with a concentration in Philosophy (Western's closest equivalent to a Philosophy Major) is to provide students a foundational acquaintance with, and experience of being mentored in, the tradition of Western philosophy, classical to contemporary.

    Recommended coursework:

    63 hours, 36 hours upper-division, made up of:

  • Phl 101 and 102 (introduction to philosophy) 
  •   6 hrs 
  • Phl 103 (Introduction to Logic) 
  •   6 hrs 
  • Phl 251, 261, and 282
  •   9 hrs 
  • Either R201 or R460 
  •   3 hrs 
  • Phl 311, 313, 314, and 316 (history of philosophy) 
  • 12 hrs 
  • Phl 405 (senior tutorial in philosophy) 
  •   3 hrs 
  • Electives in Philosophy, Religous Studies, Humanites 
  • 24hrs 

    Insuring that at least 36 hours in the major are upper division.

    The course that is selected to meet the LACC requirement in Philosophy or Religious Studies may now be counted in the 27 hours of the Minor. Electives should be selected to insure that the expected learning outcomes below are met.

    Phl 405, the Senior tutorial in philosophy, is intended to be the culmination of philosophy students' training, in which they will write a unique, substantial, philosophical work, pulling together all of the skills they have been building over their previous study of philosophy.  It is usually taught Spring Term, and is required for all philosophy majors and minors.

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have an basic knowledge of the major figures, philosophies, and relationships between them that constitute the history of Western philosophy, involving in-depth exposure to primary sources (in translation).

    2. The student shall have an introductory knowledge of the major subdisciplines of Western philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, and social philosophy), the principal questions that constitute them and the principal philosophical options that have been developed in answer to those questions.

    3. The student shall have developed the ability to interpret, reconstruct, and explain accurately a philosophical position other than her/his own, even when disagreeing with it.

    4. The student shall have developed skill in conceptual analysis--e.g., the ability to identify and explain the underlying assumptions of an intellectual position and to reflect critically on them--both of positions other than her/his own and of her/his own position.

    5. The student shall have developed skill in the analysis and critical evaluation of arguments, in argument construction, and in reasoning with persons of differing assumption and perspective.

    6. The student shall have explored some philosophical issue in depth, working out a position and set of arguments of her/his own vis-a-vis other major positions and arguments on the issue.

    7. The student shall have developed the ability to bring to bear a philosophical perspective in critically sorting out a matter of practical controversy--e.g., in applied ethics.

    8. The student shall have acquired a knowledge of some expressions of non-Western philosophy.

    9. The student shall be well-prepared for graduate study in philosophy, should that be her or his desire.

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    The humanities minor
    with a concentration in religious studies

    The mission of the Humanities Minor with a concentration in Religious Studies is to provide students a basic acquaintance with, a method of understanding both empathetically and objectively, and a soundly informed basis for critically reflecting uon the full variety of human religious experience.

    Recommended coursework:

    27 hours, 15 hours upper-division, made up of:

  • R 201 and 204 Introduction to the World's Religions 
  • 6 hrs 
  • R 315 Interpreting Religious Phenomena 
  • 3 hrs 
  • R 460 Comparative Religion 
  • 3 hrs 
  • Phl 283 Philosophy of Religion 
  • 3 hrs 
  • 12 hours of electives in Humanities courses (9 upper-division)
  • 12 hrs 
    Especially recommended are:
    Phl 311 Ancient Philosophy,
    Phl 313 Medieval Philosophy,
    Eng 387 Studies in Mythology, and
    Eng 318 The Bible as Literature

    The course that is selected to meet the LACC requirement in Philosophy or Religious Studies may now be counted in the 27 hours of the Minor. It is recommended that students take elective courses in Anthropology (e.g., Anth 476), Sociology, Geography (e.g., Geog 318), and History that specifically bear on understanding religion from different disciplinary perspectives.

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have a basic knowledge and understanding of the major religious traditions of the world and of the full variety of human religious phenomena, and be able to counteract and correct distorted preconceptions about them.

    2. The student shall have the ability to carry out empathetically objective research and interpretation of religious phenomena, through both library research and elementary field research.

    3. The student shall have the ability to discriminate among competing interpretations of religious phenomena as to their empathetic objectivity and factual soundness.

    4. The student shall have the ability to carry out empathetically sensitive yet objective studies involving a comparison in depth of religious phenomena from very different traditions.

    5. The student shall have undertaken serious study of religion from a variety of different disciplines, such as literary studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, history, and philosophy, as well as phenomenology of religion.

    6. The student shall have participated in critically examining the presuppositions of the different disciplinary approaches to the study of religion.

    7. The student shall have learned through practice what is involved in critically reflecting on the nature and variety of human religious experience on the basis of an informed, empathetically objective understanding.

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    Elementary education
    academic support area in philosophy

    The mission of the Elementary Education Academic Support Area in Philosophy is to provide elementary education majors with an introductory acquaintance with philosophical inquiry and its relevance to the development of rationality in children, and practical training in how to develop reasoning skills in children through philosophical inquiry.

    Requirements:

    12 hours in Philosophy, 6 hours upper division:

  • Phl 101 or 102 Introduction to Philosophy 
  • 3 hrs. 
  • Phl 103 Introduction to Logic
  • 3 hrs. 
  • Phl 433 Philosophy for Children 
  • 3 hrs. 
  • Approved upper division elective in Philosophy 
  • 3 hrs. 

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have a basic knowledge of the nature of philosophical inquiry and to philosophy generally.

    2. The student shall have developed skill in the analysis and critical evaluation of arguments, in argument construction, and in reasoning with persons of differing assumption and perspective.

    3. The student shall have acquired competence in conducting philosophical discussions among children as an effective context for the development of reasoning skills.

    4. The student shall have a comprehension of the philosophic unsoundness of naive relativism and a knowledge of logical strategies for demonstrating its unsoundness.

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    Elementary education
    academic support area in religious studies

    The mission of the Elementary Education Academic Support Area in Religious Studies is to provide elementary education majors with an introductory acquaintance with the different religions of the world and the variety of religious experience, and a method for handling religion in the classroom in an empathetic and objective manner that avoids offense and conforms to constitutional separation of church and state.

    Requirements:

    12 hours, 6 hours upper division:

  • R 201 Introduction to the World's Religions: Eastern 
  • 3 hrs. 
  • R 204 Introduction to the World's Religions: Western 
  • 3 hrs. 
  • R 315 Interpreting Religious Phenomena 
  • 3 hrs. 
  • One among the following : 
    Eng 387 Studies in Mythology
    Eng 318 The Bible as Literature
    R 460 Comparative Religion
    or some other approved upper division course.
  • 3 hrs. 

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have a basic knowledge and understanding of the major religious traditions of the world and of the full variety of human religious phenomena, and be able to counteract and correct distorted preconceptions about them.

    2. The student shall have the ability to carry out empathetically objective research and interpretation of religious phenomena, through both library research and elementary field research.

    3. The student shall have the ability to discriminate among competing interpretations of religious phenomena as to their empathetic objectivity and factual soundness

    4. The student shall be able to introduce others to an empathetically objective understanding of an expression of a religious tradition very different (even alien to) their own and, as well, to an empathetically objective understanding of one that is wholly familiar to them.

    5. The student shall possess a sound knowledge and understanding of the legal parameters governing public education religion studies in the United States and be able to counteract and correct distorted preconceptions about them.

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    The philosophy component of the honors program

    The mission of the Philosophy component of the Honors Program is to cultivate within students a thoughtful, informed, and critically reflective intellectual conscience by way of exposure to the questioning and dialectical development of ideas that make up the history of Western philosophy.

    Requirements:

    the 6 hour sequence in honors philosophy, Phl 207H and 208H, with recommended participation in the Spring term sequel, Phl 209H.

    Expected learning outcomes:

    1. The student shall have an introductory knowledge of most of the major figures, philosophies, and relationships between them that constitute the history of Western philosophy, and of its interaction with religion in the West.

    2. The student shall have experienced sustained participation in an ongoing community of philosophical inquiry, in which s/he learns by interpersonal practice and peer reinforcement the skills and dispositions of critical philosophical reasoning.

    3. The student shall know what philosophical questions are, and what philosophical inquiry is and how to pursue it (e.g., in clarifying ideas) with some effectiveness when it is called for.

    4. The student shall have developed the ability to interpret, reconstruct, and explain accurately and fairly a philosophical position other than her/his own, even when disagreeing with it.

    5. The student shall have developed skill in the analysis and critical evaluation of arguments, in argument construction, and in exhibiting these skills in relation to positions of differing assumption and perspective.

    6. The student shall have an introductory acquaintance with two or more subdisciplines of philosophy (epistemology {theory of knowledge}, metaphysics {theory of what is}, ethics, logic, or social philosophy), their basic questions, and some of the major alternative positions on those questions.

    7. The student shall have a comprehension of the philosophic unsoundness of naive relativism and a knowledge of logical strategies for demonstrating its unsoundness.

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    The LACC requirements
    in philosophy or religious studies

    The mission of the LACC requirement in Philosophy or Religious Studies is to cultivate within students a thoughtful, informed, and critically reflective intellectual conscience either by way of exposure to the questioning and dialectical development of ideas that exemplify one subfield of the Western tradition of philosophy (the pursuit of wisdom and truth) at its best or by way of immersion in an empathetically objective approach to learning about the great religious traditions of the world alongside one another.

    Requirements:

    any 3 hour Philosophy course or Religious Studies course (100-300 level only)

    Expected learning outcomes:  For the LACC course in philosophy

    1. The student shall exhibit critical thinking skills and a thoughtful sensibility when reasoning with other persons.

    2. The student shall be able to discriminate between good reasoning and poor reasoning, and know what adequate rational backing for a claim involves.

    3. The student shall be able to recognize and counteract prejudicial reaction and presumption in herself/himself and others.

    4. The student shall be able to recognize, empathetically comprehend, and represent accurately the basic assumptions and world view exhibited in given intellectual position in contrast/comparison with her/his own.

    5. The student shall know what philosophical questions are, and what philosophical inquiry is and how to pursue it (e.g., in clarifying ideas) with some effectiveness when it is called for.

    6. The student shall have an introductory acquaintance with at least one subfield of philosophy, its basic questions, and some of the major alternative positions on those questions.

    7. The student shall have a comprehension of the philosophic unsoundness of naive relativism and a knowledge of logical strategies for demonstrating its unsoundness.

    For the LACC course in religious studies

    1. The student shall have a basic knowledge and understanding of several of the major religious traditions of the world and of the full variety of human religious phenomena, and be able to counteract and correct distorted preconceptions about them.

    2. The student shall have the ability to carry out empathetically objective research and interpretation of religious phenomena.

    3. The student shall have the ability to discriminate among competing interpretations of religious phenomena as to their empathetic objectivity and factual soundness

    4. The student shall be able to recognize and counteract prejudicial reaction and presumption in herself/himself and others.

    5. The student shall be able to recognize, empathetically comprehend, and represent accurately the basic assumptions and world view exhibited in given religious tradition in contrast/comparison with her/his own.

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    Contact

    Philosophy Department (503) 838-8378 | or e-mail: daniels@wou.edu

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