2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Interim Chairperson: Dr. Gordon Pettit
Office: Morgan Hall 456
Telephone: (309) 298-1057; Fax: (309) 298-1857
E-mail: G-Pettit@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/philosophy AND wiu.edu/religious-studies

Faculty: Carr, Haugen, Haynes, Martinelli, Perabo, Pettit, Powell, Pynes, Simmons.

Philosophy is the critical study of the intellectual foundations of virtually every area of human thought and action. Philosophers examine the nature of moral values, scientific explanations, religious beliefs, and much more. Such study will develop students’ abilities to read critically, write logically, analyze divergent viewpoints, and give good reasons for their own opinions.

Religious Studies investigates the ideas, practices, and styles of life basic to religion, as well as the role religion plays in human culture, society, history, and psychology. Religious Studies does not advocate any particular religious ideas or beliefs but instead encourages an appreciation of the rich diversity of religious perspectives.

Many students in Philosophy and Religious Studies go on to do graduate work, and a high percentage move in other directions, e.g., law, business, public administration, ministry. Extensive study in either Philosophy or Religious Studies can provide an excellent background for a number of different careers.

GradTrac is available to Philosophy, Pre-Law, and Religious Studies majors. See more information about GradTrac.

Honors Curriculum—Academically qualified students in this department are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Lower Division Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). Lower Division Honors includes General Honors coursework. Upper Division Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Upper and Lower Division Honors. For more information about honors curricula see the Centennial Honors College page of the catalog or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/Honors.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts—Philosophy

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy must complete I, II, and III.A or III.B below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements: 60 s.h.
  2. Core Courses: 10 s.h.
    PHIL 140, 300, 310, 312†
  3. Options of Study (select A or B)
    1. Philosophy
      1. Directed Electives: 24 s.h. in Philosophy, with at least 15 s.h. at the 300 or 400 level: 24 s.h.
      2. Open Electives: 6–10 s.h.
      3. Any Minor: 16–20 s.h.
    2. Pre-Law
      1. Directed Electives
        1. Select three courses from: PHIL 205, 330, 400, 420, 440: 9 s.h.
        2. Select two courses from: ECON 310; HIST 303; POLS 319, 410, 411, 448; SOC 355: 6 s.h.
        3. 9 s.h. in Philosophy, with at least 6 s.h.at the 300 or 400 level: 9 s.h.
      2. Open Electives: 6–10 s.h.
      3. Any Minor: 16–20 s.h.

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

†PHIL 312 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

Bachelor of Arts—Religious Studies

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements: 60 s.h.
  2. Core Courses: 7 s.h.
    REL 110, 111, 312†
    Note: REL 312 must be taken in conjunction with any 300- or 400-level course taught by Religious Studies faculty.
  3. Electives: 27 s.h.
    1. Departmental (At least 21 of the 25 s.h. must be at the 300 or 400 level.) Students must select at least two courses from each of the areas 1–3. At least one course from among all courses chosen must be a course compatible with REL 312.
      1. World Religions: REL 203, 350, 355, 365, 370: 6 s.h.
      2. Religion and Culture: REL 301, 303, 454, 456, 457, 492 or 494: 6 s.h.
      3. Religious Thought: REL 300, 380, 405, 451, 452, 455, 458: 6 s.h.
      4. Three additional electives must be taken from any of the department’s course offerings—provided at least one of the courses is an upper level course. Additional courses not listed above include: REL 101, 207, 490, 499: 9 s.h.
    2. Open: 6–10 s.h.
  4. Any Minor: 16–20 s.h.

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

†REL 312 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

Minors

Minor in Philosophy (Bachelor of Arts): 18 s.h.

Complete a minimum of six courses (18 s.h.) in Philosophy, three of which (9 s.h.) must be 300 or 400 level courses.

Minor in Religious Studies (Bachelor of Arts): 18 s.h.
  1. REL 110, 111: 6 s.h.
  2. Complete any four Religious Studies courses (3 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level): 12 s.h.
Minor in Ethics: 18 s.h.
  1. PHIL 120, 330: 6 s.h.
  2. Two of the following: PHIL 205, 220, 333, 400, 420; POLS 389; MGT 48: 16 s.h.
  3. Two courses in Philosophy: 6 s.h.

Note: At least three (9 s.h.) of the six courses (18 s.h.) must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Note: This minor is not open to students majoring in Philosophy.

Course Descriptions

PHILOSOPHY (PHIL)
(Introductory Courses—Any introductory course may be taken as a first course in Philosophy.)

105 Philosophical Explorations. (3) (General Education/Humanities) An introduction to some of the fundamental problems and major theories in philosophy. Topics may include the existence of God, knowledge and skepticism, the nature of mind, free will and determinism, and the nature of ethical reasoning. IAI: H4 900.

120 Contemporary Moral Problems. (3) (General Education/Humanities) An introduction to ethics, with an emphasis on applied ethics and moral reasoning. Different moral theories will be used to explore topics such as sexuality, reproductive issues, animal rights, environmental ethics, racial and gender discrimination, euthanasia, and capital punishment. IAI: H4 904.

140 Logic and Reasoning. (3) (General Education/ Humanities) An introduction to logic and reasoning with emphasis on practical applications including scientific reasoning. The course examines methods for evaluating the structures of inductive and deductive arguments and how language is used in argumentation. IAI: H4 906.

205 Philosophy, Law and Society. (3) (General Education/Humanities) An introductory course considering some fundamental philosophical problems concerned with law and society including power and authority, anarchy and freedom, law and justice, crime and punishment.

220 (Cross-listed with WS 220) Feminism and Ethics. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) A multicultural and comparative investigation of feminist issues in ethics and women’s contributions to moral theory. Not open to students with credit in WS 220.

(History of Philosophy)

300 History of Ancient Philosophy. (3) A study of the growth and development of philosophical ideas in Ancient Greece. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor. 305 History of Medieval Philosophy. (3) A study of philosophical thought during the middle ages from St. Augustine in the fourth century to William of Ockham in the fourteenth century. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

310 History of Modern Philosophy. (3) An examination of the central metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of such seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers as Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Topics may include knowledge, skepticism, innate ideas, substance, God, causality, mind, and perception. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

320 Analytic Philosophy. (3) An examination of twentieth century philosophy through the writings of Russell, Wittgenstein, the logical positivists, and other important figures of the analytic tradition. Topics may include knowledge of the external world, language and reality, and the possibility of metaphysical knowledge. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

325 Existentialism. (3) An examination of the ideas of freedom, self/other, the value of authenticity, death, and the meaning of existence in the works of major existentialist philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

(Systematic Philosophy)

330 Moral Philosophy. (3) A study of classical and contemporary ethical ideas and theories such as moral relativism, egoism, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics. BGS online writing course. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

333 Environmental Ethics. (3) A study of ethical issues regarding the relationship between human beings and non-human nature. Topics include the moral status of animals and other living things, intergenerational justice regarding pollution and conservation of natural resources, and the value of wilderness protection. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course.

335 Epistemology. (3) A critical study of selected topics in epistemology, such as the analysis of knowledge, skepticism, a priori knowledge, and the nature and structure of justification. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

340 Symbolic Logic. (3) A study of deductive logic covering the logic of sentences and the logic of predicates. Prerequisite: PHIL 140 or consent of instructor.

345 Metaphysics. (3) A critical study of selected topics in metaphysics, such as personal identity, free will, the mental, time, anti-realism, and the possibility of metaphysical knowledge. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

400 Social and Political Philosophy. (3) An investigation of some of the philosophical problems arising from political society, such as authority and obligation, freedom and rights, justice and equality, coercion and punishment. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

405 Philosophy of Religion. (3) A critical examination of the philosophical issues arising from religious beliefs, utilizing historical and contemporary writings. Topics may include the existence of God, evil, faith, religious pluralism, and the relation between religious beliefs and ethics. Not open to students with credit in REL 405. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

415 Philosophy of Science. (3) An examination of philosophical problems arising from the natural sciences such as the nature of scientific explanation and the justification of scientific theories. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

420 Philosophy of Law. (3) An examination of philosophical problems raised by law including the nature and aims of law, the relation of law and morality, the rationale of legal responsibility and punishment, and legal obligation and the rule of law. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

425 Philosophy of Mind. (3) A critical study of selected topics in the philosophy of mind, such as consciousness, intentionality, dualism, the varieties of materialism, functionalism, and artificial intelligence. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

440 Legal Reasoning. (3) An investigation into judicial decision making and legal reasoning focusing on case precedent, logical coherence, and the role of interpretation in the reasoning process. Prerequisite: PHIL 140.

(Specialized Research)

312 Philosophical Writing. (1) Instruction and experience in writing a paper which explains and critically evaluates a philosophical text or argument. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 280 and consent of department chairperson. Corequisite: any 300- or 400-level Philosophy course.

490 Bachelor’s Thesis in Philosophy. (3) Selection of topic, preparation of outline and bibliography, writing of thesis, oral defense of thesis. Graded S/U only. By arrangement.

499 Directed Readings. (1–3, repeatable with no maximum) Individual study of particular philosophical texts or problems. Prerequisites: two courses in Philosophy and consent of the instructor. By arrangement.

RELIGIOUS STUDIES (REL)
(Introductory Courses—Any introductory course may be taken as a first course in Religious Studies.)

101 Exploring Religion. (3) (General Education/ Humanities) An introduction to the diversity of religious and cultural expressions through the study of religious experience, symbol, ritual, myth, belief, ethics, and community. IAI: H5 900.

110 Introduction to Eastern Religions. (3) (General Education/Humanities or Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) A comparative introduction to the religions of Asia—Hinduism and Buddhism—with attention to historical development, scriptures, beliefs, practices, and diverse cultural expressions.

111 Introduction to Western Religions. (3) (General Education/Humanities or Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) A comparative introduction to the “religions of Abraham”—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—with attention to historical development, scriptures, beliefs, practices, and diverse cultural expressions.

207 The Bible. (3) (General Education/Humanities) An examination of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament scriptures which shaped the intellectual and cultural history of Western civilization with emphasis on cultural, social, and historical factors leading to the birth of Judaism and Christianity. IAI: H5 901.

(World Religions)

203 The Christians. (3) (General Education/ Humanities) An examination of scriptures, worship, symbols, and histories of the Christians with attention to major Christian traditions as well as the traditions of African Americans, women, and non-Western peoples.

350 Hinduism. (3) (Global Issues) A study of the Hindu religious tradition covering its historical development, basic beliefs, practices, social structure, and philosophical world view, emphasizing the relation between this religion and society in both India and America. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

355 Buddhism. (3) (Global Issues) A study of the Buddhist religious tradition covering its historical development, basic beliefs, and practices, emphasizing the relation between this religion and society in the East and in America. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

365 Islam. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) A study of the Islamic religious tradition covering its historical development, basic beliefs, and practices, emphasizing the relation between this religion and society in the Near East and in America. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

370 Judaism. (3) An examination of the religion and history of the Jewish people including the relations of Judaism to Christianity and Islam and the causes of anti-Semitism. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

(Religion and Culture)

301 Religion in America. (3) An examination of the diversity of religion and religions in the United States with attention to the variety of religious traditions and expressions and to the histories and themes that have shaped the distinctive tapestry of American religious life. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

303 (Cross-listed with WS 303) Women in Religion. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) A cross-cultural, comparative, interdisciplinary investigation of the presence of women in shaping the religious cultures of the world. Not open to students with credit in WS 303. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

454 Contemporary Spiritual Movements. (3) An exploration of contemporary spiritual movements with special emphasis on the relationship between cultural change and the emergence of new religious movements. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

456 Religion and War. (3) (Global Issues) An examination of religious perspectives on the legitimacy of war, the conduct of war, and participation in or support for the military. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

457 Ritual and Performance in Religion. (3) An examination of ritual and performance in world religions including theoretical approaches to the study of ritual and performance and an investigation into the function of religious rituals and performances in the lives of practitioners. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

464 (Cross-listed with SOC 464) Sociology of Religion. (3) (Global Issues) An analysis of religious groups and institutions, a comparison of religion in sacred and secular societies, and the effect of religion on behavior and social institutions. Not open to students with credit in SOC 464. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and one additional Sociology course, or consent of instructor.

492 (Cross-listed with ENG 492) Religion, Literature, and Film. (3) (Global Issues) Study of multicultural literary and cinematic texts engaging a wide range of religious traditions. Not open to students with credit for ENG 492. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies or Philosophy course, or consent of instructor.

494 (Cross-listed with AAS 494) Religion in African American Culture. (3) This course acquaints students with religiosity and spirituality among African Americans and provides understanding of a world view, via concepts of nature, God, and human interaction, that reflects African cultural retentions in the U.S. Not open to students with credit for AAS 494. Prerequisites: AAS 100 and junior standing, or one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course, or permission of instructor.

(Religious Thought)

300 Religious Ethics. (3) This course will discuss the ways in which religions develop and sustain ethical traditions, addressing both theoretical and practical issues—for example, marriage, sexuality, war, political life, and economics—in one or more religions. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

380 Jesus. (3) A study of Jesus as pictured in the Gospels, history, and culture. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

405 Philosophy of Religion. (3) A critical examination of the philosophical issues arising from religious beliefs, utilizing historical and contemporary writings. Topics may include the existence of God, evil, faith, religious pluralism, and the relation between religious beliefs and ethics. Not open to students with credit in PHIL 405. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or consent of instructor.

451 Contemporary Theology. (3) An examination of selected contemporary Christian theological themes and thinkers, as well as some recent Jewish and/or Muslim perspectives. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

452 Great Jewish and Christian Thinkers. (3) An introduction to several Jewish or Christian thinkers, including theologians or mystics who have shaped western religious imagination and culture. Such figures might include Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Maimonides, Luther, Theresa of Avila, Martin Buber, or Simone Weil (among others). Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

455 Personal Transformation. (3) A comparative study of secular and religious systems which aim at overcoming the obstacles to human fulfillment. Attention will be given to methods of therapy, the role of the spiritual master, and the vision of the ideal personality. Prerequisite: one 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or consent of instructor.

458 Comparative Asian Religious Thought. (3) An examination of key issues related to the philosophy of Asian religions and their conceptual thinkers. Prerequisite: REL 110 or consent of instructor.

(Specialized Research)

312 Writing in Religious Studies. (1) Instruction and practice in writing a 20 page research paper within the field of Religious Studies. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisite: ENG 280. Corequisite: REL 301, 380, 451, 452, 454, or 456.

490 Capstone Project. (3) Selection of research project, preparation of bibliography, description of methodology, writing of senior thesis, oral defense, and participation in career-related seminars. Prerequisites: senior standing and REL 312.

499 Directed Readings. (1–3, repeatable for different topics, with no maximum) Individual study of particular religious traditions, ideas, or problems. Prerequisites: two courses in Religious Studies and consent of the instructor. By arrangement.