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About Philosophy and Religious Studies program
Philosophy and Religious Studies Faculty
Location: Building 10, Room 2325Phone: (904) 620-1330; Fax: (904) 620-1840
Web Address: http://www.unf.edu/coas/philosophy/
Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler, Chair
The Philosophy Program promotes academic excellence by providing the highest quality undergraduate and graduate learning opportunities and by fostering the highest quality research and scholarship in philosophy. It is focused on equipping students with core knowledge and skills, while acquainting them with the range and diversity of traditions and orientations in philosophy. The program is committed to the relevance of its efforts, promoting meaningful institutional, professional, and community service, while emphasizing teaching and research attentive to the application of philosophical knowledge and skills. The philosophy program is dedicated to regular and ongoing scrutiny of all its efforts in teaching, research, and service. Informed by these commitments, the Department of Philosophy seeks to assist its multiple constituencies in appreciating the great intellectual conversations, in clarifying unexamined assumptions, in evaluating the ideas and norms that motivate intellectual inquiry, and in participating intelligently and responsibly in public debates.
Religious Studies is a multi-disciplinary effort to examine the phenomenon known as religion in an impartial, academic manner. Religious Studies scholars compare aspects of the variety of the world’s religions, they ask philosophical questions about the nature of religion, and they explore the relationship between religions and the larger cultural context in which religions are found. Religious Studies teaches students to engage and understand world views different from their own. This not only broadens the students’ perspectives, but it also provides skills useful in the global context in which we live. As an undergraduate minor, Religious Studies contributes to a student’s grounding in the classical liberal arts. It focuses on clear thinking and writing, and it teaches students to ask insightful questions and see the world through the eyes of others.
The Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy as well as four Minors. It also offers two graduate degrees: an MA in Practical Philosophy & Applied Ethics and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics. In Religious Studies, it offers a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies and a Minor in Religious Studies. The Department is affiliated with the Florida Blue Center for Ethics at UNF.
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The M.A. in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics seeks to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to apply ethical and philosophical reasoning to issues of pressing concern in social, political, and cultural life. This primary objective is pursued through the advanced academic study of applied ethics and moral, social, political, and cultural philosophy so as to develop essential capabilities in ethical decision-making, cultural understanding, and analytic reasoning. The program's aim is excellence in general comprehension of the relation between normative issues and institutional, social, cultural, and political contexts, while equally leading students toward independent and original scholarship. Its philosophical focus consists in (i) applying ethical reflection to specific dilemmas encountered in public and professional life; (ii) understanding the normative and philosophical assumptions that inform our experience of cultural, political, and social phenomena; and (iii) appreciating the complex interconnections between applied and theoretical considerations with regard to social, cultural, and political contexts. The particular relevance of the MA is claimed by addressing issues of immediate social importance, such as health care reform, cloning, stem cell research, the environment, effects of economic globalization, the reach of universal human rights, global terrorism, multiculturalism, race and gender, and the conditions of intercultural and cross-religious dialogue, among others. The department is committed to regular and ongoing self-scrutiny of all its efforts, including its pedagogy, curriculum, recruitment and retention practices, as well as its ability to place its graduates in relevant professions and/or to prepare them for further graduate study.
Required courses include PHI 6937 Proseminar I: Practical Philosophy; PHI 5605 Ethics, and PHI 6938 Proseminar II: Applied Ethics. The MA requires 33 hours.
The Graduate Certificate is designed for professionals and policy makers who wish to develop an expertise in ethics that is directly relevant to their working environment. It provides a valuable credential to those who, for example, serve on institutional ethics committees and compliance boards or seek advanced ethics training to meet licensure requirements. It requires 12 hours.
Further information concerning the graduate programs, including current course offerings, can be obtained by consulting the Department’s website.
Students study the main developments and traditions in the history of philosophy; develop critical reasoning skills and facility with logical analysis; study modes of normative analysis in ethical inquiry and gain an ability to apply them to current social issues; learn to read complex prose systematically and critically, and learn to write and to speak in a reasoned, persuasive, and argumentatively effective manner.
Areas of faculty expertise include Ancient Greek philosophy, modern philosophy, classical German philosophy, comparative philosophy, ethics, applied ethics, biomedical ethics, business ethics, environmental philosophy, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, contemporary European philosophy, feminist philosophy, pragmatism, and social, political and legal philosophy.
The BA in philosophy requires 33 hours. Required courses include PHH 3100 Ancient Philosophy, PHH 3400 Modern Philosophy, PHI 3601 Ethics, PHI 3130 Symbolic Logic, one course in either PHI 3500 Introduction to Metaphysics or PHI 3300 Introduction to Epistemology, and the capstone PHI 4935 Philosophy Seminar; all course options are offered at least once a year.
Introductory courses include PHI 2010 Introduction to Philosophy, PHI 2630 Contemporary Ethical Issues, and PHI 2100 Reasoning and Critical Thinking. Every FTIC student at UNF has to choose one of three 2000-level philosophy courses as part of the Freshmen Experience program. Every student at UNF has to take one such course in order to meet UNF’s General Education requirements and Gordon Rule writing requirements; the freshmen course are offered in the Fall term; all courses are offered every term, including summer. Besides grounding college students in critical thinking and writing, the course also serve as background for more advanced and specialized courses in the BA in philosophy.
Students in religious studies will be introduced to a multidisciplinary field providing a solid grounding in the liberal arts. The academic study of religion will help students to understand cultures, worldviews, and values other than your own; to understand their own worldview and values better; and to understand key aspects of national and world history, issues and conflicts. Besides being a preparation for graduate school, it is also an excellent preparation for a variety of careers including law, medicine, business, journalism, education, and the ministry.
The BA in Religious Studies requires 30 credit hours. It is spread among four categories (foundations, methods, traditions, and topics) and a Senior Capstone Seminar. Religious Studies students are encouraged to participate in a study abroad experience. The cross-cultural, interdisciplinary major will be represented by core faculty in Religious Studies located in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. In addition, it will draw on faculty and courses from across the university, with other core courses found with philosophy prefixes (PHI), anthropology prefixes (ANT), and sociology prefixes (SOC). Required courses include REL 2300 Comparative Religion, REL 3102 Religion as Culture, REL 3040 Intro to Religion, as well as the Capstone Seminar in Religious Studies.
The program in Religious Studies offers significant Cultural Diversity courses in UNF’s General Education program, including REL 2300 Comparative Religion, as well as REL 3102 Religion as Culture.
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The four Minors include a general Philosophy Minor, Culture and Philosophy Minor, Law and Philosophy Minor, and Applied Ethics Minor. All require 15 hours. One 2000-level General Education philosophy course can be counted towards the Minor. Further information on the program, including current course offerings, can be obtained by consulting the Department’s website.
Minor in Religious Studies
The Minor in Religious Studies requires 15 hours, including two required courses, REL 2300 Comparative Religion and REL 3102 Religion as Culture, and any three upper level Religious Studies (REL) courses or approved electives with prefixes other than REL. Further information on the Religious Studies program, including current course offerings, can be obtained by consulting the Department’s website.
The program is available to students in philosophy who are intellectually mature and who seek the challenge of doing a major research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This program is especially recommended to students who are considering graduate work in philosophy or another discipline, such as law, which requires substantial research and writing. To earn honors in philosophy, students must fulfill the requirements for the major with a 3.5 GPA in their major courses, must satisfactorily complete an honors thesis under the direction of a faculty member, and defend the thesis before a three-member committee. Students who complete these requirements will have honors in philosophy noted on the transcript and diploma. For further information and applications, contact the department chairperson at (904) 620-1330.
The department is offering a diverse set of courses in UNF’s Study Abroad program. The Department is the recipient of an Engaged Department Initiative for Community-Based Transformational Learning. The study abroad courses as well as the outreach to the community are organic aspects of its course offerings. Further information concerning specific course offerings during the current academic year can be obtained by consulting the department’s website. For future plans and projects, please contact the department chair.
Hans-Herbert P. Koegler, Professor & Chair
J. Buchwalter, Professor
M. Carelli, Assistant Professor
Creller, Visiting Assistant Professor
N. Denison, Assistant Professor
E. W. Fenner, Professor & Associate Dean
C. Gilson, Assistant Professor
R. Haney, Associate Professor
J. Ingersoll, Associate Professor
D. Matheson, Assistant Professor
A. Mattice, Assistant Professor
Nale, Visiting Assistant Professor
M. Swota, Associate Professor
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