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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.
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.
Students who major or minor in philosophy will:
- acquire a broad understanding of the history of Western philosophy
- become more ethically sensitive through the careful study of various ethical theories
- enhance their ability to analyze and clarify ideas
- refine their ability to think logically
- demonstrate their ability to present their ideas and arguments effectively, both orally and in writing
Bachelor of Arts Degree
- Total for graduation...............................120 credits
- General education...............................44-58 credits
- Major studies ........................................36 credits
Philosophy majors, in addition to the requirements for the major, are also required to take one of the following foreign language courses: French 2140, German 2340 or Spanish 2940. Majors in philosophy are also required to take two English literature courses at the 2000 level or above.
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