Edward Minar
Department Chair
313 Old Main
479-575-8712

Erik Funhouser
Chair of Graduate Committee
308 Old Main
479-575-7441

Email: phildept@uark.edu

Department of Philosophy website

Degrees Conferred:
M.A., Ph.D. (PHIL)

Areas of Study: History of philosophy (including ancient, medieval, modern, early analytic, and continental), metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science.

Prerequisites to Degree Program: Admission to the program is subject to the approval of the graduate committee of the Department of Philosophy. For the M.A., the normal expectation is 18 hours in philosophy, including logic. Students with fewer hours in philosophy may be admitted with deficiencies. In addition to the materials required by the Graduate School, at least two letters of recommendation, a sample of written work, and GRE aptitude scores (if available) should be submitted to the department chair. For the Ph.D., completion of an M.A. degree in philosophy is required.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree: (Min. 33 hours.)

  1. 27 total hours of course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. These hours must include:
    1. Satisfaction of the course distribution requirement, which is as follows: one course each in ancient Greek philosophy, modern philosophy, value theory, and metaphysics/epistemology. Only courses in which the student earns a grade of “B” or better will count towards fulfilling the course distribution requirement. A student may petition the graduate committee to take an exam in one or more of the above areas, which, if passed, would satisfy the distribution requirement for the area(s) in question.
    2. Symbolic Logic I or II with a grade of “C” or better, or equivalent, or exam in symbolic logic.
    3. Nine hours of course work in graduate seminars.
  2. An acceptable thesis and a successful oral examination before the thesis committee. With the approval of the graduate committee, the oral exam may be taken a second time.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree:

  1. 24 hours of course work beyond completion of the M.A. in philosophy (with the approval of the graduate committee, up to six hours may be taken in another discipline). Course work beyond the M.A. must satisfy the following conditions:
    1. Only courses in which a “B” or better is earned count toward the 24 hours of course work required for the Ph.D.
    2. Symbolic Logic I or II, or equivalent, or exam in symbolic logic. (This requirement is waived for candidates who have completed the above M.A. program.)
    3. At least nine hours of graduate seminar work in philosophy.
    4. By the time final course work is taken, students must have satisfied course distribution requirements comparable to those for the M.A. degree (1a., above).
  2. Qualifying Examinations:
    1. Comprehensive Exam: The student must pass a comprehensive examination of his or her main area of specialization.
    2. Prospectus Exam: The student must write a dissertation proposal and pass an oral preliminary dissertation examination covering the proposal and the topic of the dissertation.
  3. An acceptable dissertation, successfully defended before the dissertation committee.

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to doctoral degrees.

Through an agreement with the Academic Common Market, residents of certain Southern states may qualify for graduate enrollment in the doctoral program in philosophy as in-state students for fee purposes.

Courses

PHIL 5003. Ancient Greek Philosophy (Fa). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4003.) Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4003 and PHIL 5003. Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy coursework.

PHIL 5013. Platonism and Origin of Christian Theology (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4013.) The study of Plato, Middle Platonism, and Neoplatonism, including Philo, Plotinus, and Proclus, and the influence of Platonism on the Greek church fathers of the 2nd-5th centuries, principally Origen and Gregory of Nyssa and also Pseudo-Dionysius. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4013 and PHIL 5013. Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy coursework.

PHIL 5023. Medieval Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4023.) Includes Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4023 and PHIL 5023.

PHIL 5033. Modern Philosophy-17th and 18th Centuries (Sp). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4033.) British and Continental philosophy, including Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4033 and PHIL 5033.

PHIL 5043. Nineteenth Century Continental Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4043.) Study of major Continental European philosophers of the 19th century including Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche. Emphasis on the nature of persons, the question of freedom, and the importance of self-expression, as well as views on knowledge, reality, and the nature of philosophy. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4043 and PHIL 5043. Prerequisite: 3 hours of Philosophy.

PHIL 5063. Twentieth Century Continental Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4063.) Study of major figures (e.g. Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida) and trends (phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, critical theory, deconstruction) in 20th century French and German thought. Topics include human beings and their place in the world, the role of history and culture, and the possibility of critical reflection. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4063 and PHIL 5063.

PHIL 5073. History of Analytic Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4073.) From Frege to recent figures, including Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, Schlick, Carnap, Ayer, Ryle, Strawson, Quine, including a representative sample of works on the logical analysis of language, logical positivism, and ordinary language analysis. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4073 and PHIL 5073. Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy.

PHIL 5093. Special Topics in Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4093.) This course will cover subject matter not covered in regularly offered courses. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4093 and PHIL 5093. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

PHIL 5103. Modern Jewish Thought (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4103.) A survey of the main trends in Jewish thought from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4103 and PHIL 5103.

PHIL 5113. Social and Political Philosophy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4113.) Selected philosophical theories of society, the state, social justice, and their connections with individuals. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4113 and PHIL 5113.

PHIL 5123. Classical Ethical Theory (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4123.) Study of classical texts in the history of philosophical ethics from Plato to Nietzsche. Philosophers covered may include Plato, Aristotle, Butler, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4123 and PHIL 5123. Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy.

PHIL 5133. Contemporary Ethical Theory (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4133.) A study of contemporary texts in philosophical ethics from G.E. Moore to the present. Philosophers covered may include Moore, Stevenson, Hare, Foot, and Rawls. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4133 and PHIL 5133. Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy.

PHIL 5143. Philosophy of Law (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4143.) A philosophical consideration of the nature of law, theory of adjudication, concepts of legal responsibility, liberty and the limits of law, and selected moral-legal issues (abortion, affirmative action, punishment, etc.). Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4143 and PHIL 5143.

PHIL 5183. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4183.) In his Critique of Pure Reason, one of the most important works in the history of philosophy, Kant describes how the mind works and claims to solve the major problems of metaphysics. The course is aimed at coming to a basic understanding of Kant's thought and at thinking critically about his claims. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4183 and PHIL 5183.

PHIL 5203. Theory of Knowledge (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4203.) An examination of skepticism, the nature and structures of knowledge and epistemic justification, human rationality, and the justification of religious belief. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4203 and PHIL 5203. Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy.

PHIL 5213. Philosophy of Science (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4213.) Examination of issues related to scientific explanation, empirical foundations of science, observation and objectivity, nature of laws and theories, realism and instrumentalism, induction and confirmation, models, causation, and simplicity, beginning with historical survey set in the context of the history of science but emphasizing works from the 1930s to the current period, often including issues in recent physics. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4213 and PHIL 5213.

PHIL 5233. Philosophy of Language (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4233.) A survey of mainstream philosophical theories of meaning, reference, truth, and logical form. Attention given to the views of such figures as Frege, Russell, Tarski, Searie, Dumett, and the advocates of possible world's semantics. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4233 and PHIL 5233.

PHIL 5253. Symbolic Logic I (Fa). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4253.) Rigorous analyses of the concepts of proof, consistency, equivalence, validity, implication, and truth. Full coverage of truth-functional logic and quantification theory (predicate calculus). Discussion of the nature and limits of mechanical procedures (algorithms) for proving theorems in logic and mathematics. Informal accounts of the basic facts about infinite sets. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4253 and PHIL 5253. Prerequisite: PHIL 2203 or MATH 2603.

PHIL 5303. Philosophy of Religion (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4303.) Types of religious belief and critical examination of their possible validity, including traditional arguments and contemporary questions of meaning. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4303 and PHIL 5303.

PHIL 5313. Contemporary Jewish Thought (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4313.) A survey of trends in Jewish thought in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the ways in which Jewish thinkers have responded to the events affecting Jews and the conditions of Jewish life from approximately 1900 to the present. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4313 and PHIL 5313.

PHIL 5403. Philosophy of Art (Sp). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4403.) Varieties of truth and value in the arts and aesthetic experience, focusing on the creative process in the art and in other human activities. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4403 and PHIL 5403.

PHIL 5423. Philosophy of Mind (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4423.) An examination of such topics such as the relationship between mind and body, the mentality of machines, knowledge of other minds, the nature of psychological explanation, the relationships between psychology and the other sciences, mental representation, the nature of the self, and free will and determinism. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4423 and PHIL 5423.

PHIL 5603. Metaphysics (Irregular). 3 Hours.

(Formerly PHIL 4603.) Theory and critical analysis of such basic metaphysical problems as mind and body, universals and particulars, space and time, determinism and free will, self-identity and individualism, with emphasis on contemporary perspectives. Graduate degree credit will not be given for both PHIL 4603 and PHIL 5603. Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy.

PHIL 5823. Seminar: Spinoza (Irregular). 3 Hours.

PHIL 5883. Seminar: Wittgenstein (Irregular). 3 Hours.

PHIL 5933. Seminar: Philosophical Theology (Irregular). 3 Hours.

PHIL 5983. Philosophical Seminar (Sp, Fa). 3 Hours.

Various topics and issues in historical and contemporary philosophy. May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.

PHIL 600V. Master's Thesis (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. May be repeated for degree credit.

PHIL 690V. Graduate Readings (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-6 Hour.

Supervised individual readings in historical and contemporary philosophy.

PHIL 700V. Doctoral Dissertation (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-18 Hour.

Doctoral Dissertation. Prerequisite: Candidacy. May be repeated for degree credit.

Jacob Adler, Associate Professor
David A. Barrett, Lecturer
Eric M. Funkhouser, Professor
Warren Herold, Assistant Professor
Jeremy S. Hyman, Instructor
Richard N. Lee, Associate Professor
Jack C. Lyons, Professor
Oksana Maksymchuk, Assistant Professor
Edward H. Minar, Professor
Thomas D. Senor, Professor
Christopher W. Stevens, Instructor
Barry M. Ward, Associate Professor