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2022-2023 University Catalog
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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

About Philosophy and Religious Studies program

Philosophy and Religious Studies Faculty

Location: Building 10, Room 2325

Phone: (904) 620-1330; Fax: (904) 620-1840

Web Address:

Sarah A. Mattice, Chair:


The Philosophy Program promotes academic excellence by providing the highest quality 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 three Minors. 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.

B.A. in Philosophy

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 PHI 3930 Philosophical Methods and PHI 2101 Introduction to Logic. The remaining courses are organized under four topical domains including HISTORY (6 credits) Knowledge and Reality (3 credits), Value Theory (6 credits), Diverse Methods and Perspectives (3 credits). In addition, students can choose Free Major Electives (9 credits). Students can pick among a wide variety of courses under each heading, and the free electives can be chosen from any domain. The detailed lists are available and listed on the department webpage.

Introductory/General Education courses include: PHI 2010 Introduction to Philosophy, PHI 2630 Critical Thinking: Ethical Issues, PHI 2100 Critical Thinking: The Art of Reasoning, and PHI 2101 Introduction to Logic. PHI 2010 Introduction to Philosophy fulfills the Humanities requirement in Florida's General Education program. PHI 2630 Critical Thinking: Ethical Issues, and PHI 2100 Critical Thinking: The Art of Reasoning, fulfill the UNF General Education outcome in Critical Thinking. PHI 2101 Introduction to Logic fulfills a UNF General Education outcome in Reasoning and Analyzing Quantitatively. Students are encouraged to take these philosophy courses to advance their critical thinking skills. All courses are offered every term, including summer. Besides fostering students' critical thinking and writing skills, the courses also serve as background for more advanced and specialized courses in the BA in philosophy.

B.A. in Religious Studies

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.

Minors in Philosophy

The four Minors include a General 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.

Honors in Philosophy Major

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.

Study Abroad/Community-Based Transformational Learning

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.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Faculty

Sarah A. Mattice, Associate Professor and Chair

Sarah LaChance Adams, Associate Professor

Andrew J. Buchwalter, Professor

Paul M. Carelli, Associate Professor

Aaron Creller, Assistant Professor

Brandi N. Denison, Associate Professor

David E. W. Fenner, Professor

Mitchell R. Haney, Associate Professor

Hans-Herbert Koegler, Professor

Julie J. Ingersoll, Professor

Jonathan D. Matheson, Professor