2017-18 Academic Catalog

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy Major (PR)

Major Advisor: Danielle Wylie
Office: 225 Etheredge Hall
http://www.philosophyandreligion.msstate.edu

Philosophy is the study of the basic concepts—such as reality, truth, and goodness—which underlie the more specialized pursuits of science, art, education, religion, etc. Although students often study philosophy for its own sake, the general perspective it provides, and the critical thinking skills it develops, are of immense practical value in any profession.

The baccalaureate degree in philosophy is the accepted major for those planning to enter graduate school in philosophy. It is, however, an excellent pre-law and pre-seminary degree and, because of its general nature, philosophy is highly appropriate as a double major with any other concentrated field of study.

The standard program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy has a major requirement of 30 hours, including Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic, Introduction to Ethics, History of Philosophy, Parts I and II, and Seminar in Philosophy. The final 12 hours, including six that must be PHI courses, are to be selected in consultation with, and with approval by, the major advisor.

The department also offers a minor in philosophy, with the requirements being 15 hours of PHI courses.

Students considering either a major or minor in philosophy should meet with one of the department’s advisors as early in their careers as possible.

General Education and College Requirements

English Composition
EN 1103English Composition I3
or EN 1163 Accelerated Composition I
EN 1113English Composition II3
or EN 1173 Accelerated Composition II
Foreign Language
3 semesters - one Foreign Language - see advisor9
Humanities
Literature - see University/A&S Core3
History - see University/A&S Core3
Philosophy Elective - see major3
Humanities Elective - see major. Must be from 2 different areas- see A&S Core9
Math
MA 1313College Algebra3
MA 1323Trigonometry3
or ST 2113 Introduction to Statistics
Fine Arts
See University/A&S Requirements3
Natural Sciences
Physical Sciences w/lab (CH, GG, PH) 13-4
Biological Sciences w/lab (BIO, EPP, PO) 13-4
Natural Science Elective 23-4
Social Sciences 3
See A&S requirements6
Social Sciences Electives12
Major Core
PHI 1103Introduction to Philosophy3
PHI 1113Introduction to Logic3
PHI 1123Introduction to Ethics3
PHI 3023History of Western Philosophy I3
PHI 3033History of Western Philosophy II3
PHI Electives12
Oral Communication Requirement
CO 1003Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
or CO 1013 Introduction to Communication
Writing Requirement
PHI 3133Seminar in Philosophy3
Computer Literacy
Choose one of the following:3
Computer Applications
Introduction to Business Information Systems
Computer Programming with C
Computer Programming with Java
General Electives
Consult advisor19
Total Hours124

(31 hours must be 3000/4000 from A&S)

1

See University/A&S Core.

2

Consult advisor.

3

Must be from 2 different areas and must cross 4 disciplines over the 18 hours. Only one Economics allowed. See advisor.

Religion Concentration (REL)

Program Coordinator and Advisor: Albert Bisson
Office: 227 Etheredge Hall

Religion refers to the basic human impulse to seek coherence in life, and to experience a sacred reality that guides and orders human existence. As an academic discipline the study of religion involves consideration of those writings, customs, and rituals that have historically served to form and distinguish religious groups. It includes examination of primitive religions and sectarian developments as well as study of the major world religions of both the east and west.

The Department of Philosophy and Religion offers a concentration in religion leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. This degree is an accepted major for graduate school, or for a career in a professional ministry or teaching. The religion concentration has a special pastoral track for students who wish to prepare for graduate seminary studies. The broad historical and cultural orientation of the philosophy degree with a religion concentration makes it an excellent preparation for any career. It is highly appropriate as a double major, or as a minor in association with another field of study.

The major with the concentration in religion has a requirement of 30 hours. Of these, nine hours are required in philosophy. The philosophy component may be satisfied by taking either a) Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic, and the Seminar in Philosophy, or b) History of Western Philosophy I and II, and the Seminar in Philosophy. The remaining 21 hours must include Introduction to Religion, World Religions I and II, six hours of REL courses, and six hours of REL or PHI courses which are to be selected in consultation with, approved by, the Religion advisor.

The Department also offers a minor in Religion, with the requirement being 15 hours of any REL courses.

General Education and College Requirements

See Philosophy Requirements above
Concentration Core
REL 1103Introduction to Religion3
REL 3213World Religions I3
REL 3223World Religions II3
Choose one of the following combinations:6
Introduction to Philosophy
and Introduction to Logic
History of Western Philosophy I
and History of Western Philosophy II
Electives
REL/PHI Electives12
Oral Communication Requirement
CO 1003Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Writing Requirement
PHI 3133Seminar in Philosophy3
Computer Literacy
Choose one of the following:3
Computer Applications
Introduction to Business Information Systems
Computer Programming with C
Computer Programming with Java
General Electives
Consult advisor19
Total Hours124

(31 hours must be 3000/4000 level from A&S)

Philosophy Courses

PHI 1001 First Year Seminar: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. First-year seminars explore a diverse array of topics that provide students with an opportunity to learn about a specific discipline from skilled faculty members

PHI 1103 Introduction to Philosophy: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An introduction to the major ideals and methods of philosophy. At least one philosophic classic is read, usually one suitable for orientation purposes. Honors section available

PHI 1113 Introduction to Logic: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A development of practical ability in the major forms of valid argumentation concluding with a consideration of the universal and existential operators

PHI 1123 Introduction to Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A study of the specific considerations, such as facts, feelings, principles, values and conflicts, which influence the making of concrete moral decisions

PHI 2990 Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

PHI 3013 Business Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A philosophical exploration of how to recognize, analyze, and implement ethical decisions within the multivalued contexts of the various fields of business

PHI 3023 History of Western Philosophy I: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of major figures and movements from early Greek philosophy to the late Middle Ages

PHI 3033 History of Western Philosophy II: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of major figures from the Renaissance through contemporary philosophy

PHI 3043 Philosophy of History: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of the central figures and problems in the philosophy of history, with attention to both the ontology and epistemology of the past

PHI 3113 Philosophy of Law: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A philosophical analysis of the concepts of law, liberty, justice, responsibility, and punishment from the rival ethical perspectives of deterrence and retribution

PHI 3123 Philosophy of Religion: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy). Three hours lecture. A critical inquiry into the rational justification of central theistic beliefs, with emphasis on the traditional philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God. (Same as REL 3123)

PHI 3133 Seminar in Philosophy: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. (Prerequisites: Completion of fifteen hours of PHI courses, including PHI 1113). The study of selected philosophy essays and practice in philosophical composition

PHI 3143 Nineteenth Century Philosophy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Three hours of philosophy or Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the major philosophical movements and figures of the nineteenth century

PHI 3153 Aesthetics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Theories of art and the nature of beauty, designed to enhance the student's sensitivity and cultural awareness

PHI 3163 Moral Philosophy: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An examination of the central issues in morality, including problems with justification, normative prescriptions, and objectivity

PHI 3173 Social and Political Philosophy: 3 hours.

Three hour lecture. An examination of the central issues in social and political philosophy, including justification of the state, and obligations to obey the law

PHI 3313 Environmental Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A philosophical examination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world

PHI 3323 Medical Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A philosophical study of situations requiring ethical decision making in the area of medicine. (Sophomore standing or above, or consent of instructor)

PHI 3413 Epistemology: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A historical and topical examination of rival traditions and theories of inquiry. Special attention will be paid to the concepts of knowledge, warrant, and truth

PHI 4000 Directed Individual Study in Philosophy and Religion: 1-6 hours.

(Prerequisite: PHI 1103, PHI 1113, or PHI 1123). Hours and credits to be arranged

PHI 4013 Contemporary Philosophy and Architecture: 3 hours.

Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instrutor. Three hours lecture. An examination of modernism and postmodernism in philosophy and architecture (Same as ARC 4333/6333)

PHI 4123 Contemporary Continental Philosophy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: 3 hours PHI or junior standing). Three hours lecture. A survey of the most important trends in 20th and 21st century continental philosophy and their influence on culture, politics, art, architecture, and literature

PHI 4143 Philosophy of Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An analytical examination of the essential ingredients of science concluding with the effect of scientific values on contemporary culture

PHI 4163 Research Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. This course examines ethical issues that are generated by the tensional balancing of personal consideration against public good in the practice of scientific research

PHI 4173 Philosophy of Biology: 3 hours.

An examination of the central philosophical issues in the life sciences, particularly biological laws, classifications, selection, and reductionism

PHI 4223 Philosophy of Cognitive Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Exploration of the philosophical issues arising in cognitive science

PHI 4990 Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

PHI 6013 Contemporary Philosophy and Architecture: 3 hours.

Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instrutor. Three hours lecture. An examination of modernism and postmodernism in philosophy and architecture (Same as ARC 4333/6333)

PHI 6123 Contemporary Continental Philosophy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: 3 hours PHI or junior standing). Three hours lecture. A survey of the most important trends in 20th and 21st century continental philosophy and their influence on culture, politics, art, architecture, and literature

PHI 6143 Philosophy of Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An analytical examination of the essential ingredients of science concluding with the effect of scientific values on contemporary culture

PHI 6163 Research Ethics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. This course examines ethical issues that are generated by the tensional balancing of personal consideration against public good in the practice of scientific research

PHI 6173 Philosophy of Biology: 3 hours.

An examination of the central philosophical issues in the life sciences, particularly biological laws, classifications, selection, and reductionism

PHI 6223 Philosophy of Cognitive Science: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Exploration of the philosophical issues arising in cognitive science

PHI 6990 Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

PHI 7000 Directed Individual Study in Philosophy and Religion: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

PHI 8101 Case Studies in Scientific Research Ethics: 1 hour.

One hour seminar. Practical application of research ethics using case scenarios to direct discussions on data ownership, plagiarism, authorship, conflict of interest, and other regulatory compliance related issues. (Same as CVM 8101)

PHI 8990 Special Topics in Philosophy and Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

Religion Courses

REL 1103 Introduction to Religion: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Religion seen as a human research for meaning in life or response to the holy. Studied through basic structures and modes of expression

REL 1213 Introduction to the Old Testament: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of Old Testament literature with attention to theology and the cultural setting

REL 1223 Introduction to the New Testament: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of New Testament literature with attention to theology and the cultural setting

REL 2233 Introduction to Old Testament Archaeology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A survey of the Old Testament in the light of archaeological research. The approach is chronological-historical-archaeological. (Same as MEC 2233)

REL 2990 Special Topics in Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

REL 3033 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. An introduction to the central theories and methods in the study of religion, with an emphasis on critical analysis

REL 3103 Religion & U.S. Culture: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. An exploration of multiple religious traditions and their effect on American culture

REL 3113 Religions and Environment: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A creative exploration of the intersection of religious and environmental values across cultures and places

REL 3123 Philosophy of Religion: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy). Three hours lecture. A critical inquiry into the rational justification of central theistic beliefs, with emphasis on the traditional philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God. (Same as PHI 3123)

REL 3133 Seminar in Religion: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours seminar. The study of selected religious texts and essays, and practice in religious composition

REL 3203 The Prophets of Ancient Israel: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture, seminar. A study of the message and function of prophetic traditions within ancient Israel and in contemporary ancient Near Eastern societies

REL 3213 World Religions I: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A history and comparative study of beliefs and the cultural impact of the great religions of the East

REL 3223 World Religions II: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A history and comparative study of beliefs and the cultural impact of the great religions of the West

REL 3323 Hindu Mythology: 3 hours.

A survey of Hindu literature portraying the activities of gods, goddesses and sages, and their relevance to Hindu theology and religious practice

REL 3453 Hinduism & Buddhism: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to and critical-historical survey of significant texts, doctrines, themes, and thinkers in the main indigenous Indian religion traditions

REL 3463 Systematic Theology: 3 hours.

Three hour lecture. A systematic study of the theology of the Biblical Old and New Testament

REL 3473 Islam: 3 hours.

A survey of Islamic history, beliefs and practices, law, theology, philosophy and mysticism. (Same as MEC 3473)

REL 3483 Judeo-Christian Ethics: 3 hours.

A study of the foundation and contemporary application of Judeo-Christian ethics

REL 3493 Pauline Theology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A study of the Apostle Paul’s New Testament writings with the view to elucidating his theological perspective on a range of doctrinal and practical subjects

REL 3540 Archaeological Travel and Participation Program: 1-6 hours.

Participation in excavations in the Near East and related lecture program. (Same as AN 3540)

REL 3553 Near Eastern Archaeology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to the contributions made by archaeological research to ancient Near Eastern history and prehistory, with special emphasis on the Syro-Palestinian area. (Same as AN 3553 and MEC 3553)

REL 3703 The Western Church: Beginning to Reformation: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Completion of any 1000-level course in history or philosophy and religion). Three hours lecture. An examination of the institutions, doctrines, and spirituality of the Western Church and their impact on Western European politics, society, and culture. (Same as HI 3703)

REL 4000 Directed Individual Study in Religion: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

REL 4143 Classical Mythology: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Myths and legends of Greece and Rome and their use in literature and the arts through the ages. (Same as FL 4143/6143)

REL 4403 The Ancient Near East: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Completion of any 1000-level history course). Three hours lecture. A study of the origins and development of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Syria-Palestine from prehistoric times to the end of the Persian period. (Same as HI 4403/6403 and MEC 4403/6403. )

REL 4990 Special Topics in Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

REL 6403 The Ancient Near East: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Completion of any 1000-level history course). Three hours lecture. A study of the origins and development of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Syria-Palestine from prehistoric times to the end of the Persian period. (Same as HI 4403/6403 and MEC 4403/6403. )

REL 6990 Special Topics in Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

REL 7000 Directed Individual Study in Religion: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

REL 8990 Special Topics in Religion: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)