Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies

Main Departmental Office

Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, 225

P.O. Box 310920

Denton, TX 76203-0920

(940) 565-2266


Web site:

George A. James, Undergraduate Adviser


Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, 225E

(940) 565-4791

Eugene C. Hargrove, Chair



Professors Barnhart, Callicott, Gunter, Hargrove, Yaffe. Associate Professor James. Visiting Professor Birch. Lecturer Sahlin.


The great virtue of philosophy is that it teaches not what to think, but how to think. It is the study of meaning, of the principle underlying conduct, thought and knowledge. The skills it hones are the ability to analyse, to question orthodoxies and to express things clearly. However arcane some philosophical texts may be the ability to formulate questions and follow arguments is the essence of education. Philosophy is, in commercial jargon, the ultimate "transferable work skill." The Times, London, August 15, 1998

The study of philosophy has always been an important component of higher learning. Indeed, in the early Greek proto-universities, the Academy of Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle, philosophy was the very foundation of all study. In the history of the European universities, from the 13th century to the present, philosophy has retained a significant place in the curriculum, even when challenged by advocates of religion, belles lettres, science or business. It has been studied as an end in itself, in its relation to other areas and as a preparation for studies in law, theology and medicine.

Philosophy develops finely honed analytic skills and problem solving abilities that are extremely useful in almost any academic or scientific filed and in a variety of professional careers, such as journalism, public health, criminal justice and the legal professions. It provides insight into our cultural heritage, through courses in the history of philosophy and comparative philosophy, and critical insight into many other fields in the humanities and the sciences, through such courses as philosophy of natural science, philosophy of social and behavioral science, theory of knowledge, and logic.

At the undergraduate level, the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies provides a traditional program emphasizing the history of philosophy. It seeks to teach the student methods of thinking about the comprehensive themes of truth, beauty, goodness and wisdom, conclusions concerning which can be used in the classroom as well as in life situations. In addition, it provides an interdisciplinary minor in religion studies for students interested in seminary study or graduate studies in religion. The major emphases of the department at the graduate level are research and instruction in environmental ethics and environmental philosophy. It is the leading program in this area nationally and internationally. The department collaborates with the Department of Biological Sciences in the graduate environmental science program.

Programs of Study

The department offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the following areas:

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in philosophy requires a minimum of 128 semester hours, of which 42 must be advanced, and fulfillment of degree requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree as specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog.

Major in Philosophy

Following is one suggested four-year degree plan. Students are encouraged to see their adviser each semester for help with program decisions and enrollment. Some requirements may have changed because the University Core Curriculum was being revised at the time this catalog went to press. Contact a degree program adviser.

BA with a Major in Philosophy pdf



ENGL 1310, College Writing I 3

MATH 1100, College Algebra4 3

PHIL 1050, Introduction to Philosophy, or
PHIL 2070, Introduction to Great Reli-
gions, or PHIL 1400, Introduction to
Contemporary Moral Issues (Philosophy Elective) 3

PSCI 1040, American Government 3


Total 15



ENGL 2210, World Literature I 3

HIST 2610, United States History to 186512 3

PHIL 3110, Epistemology, or PHIL 4400, Metaphysics 3

Natural Science9 4

Oral Communication2 3

Total 16



LANG 2040, Foreign Language
(intermediate)3 3

PHIL 3250, Philosophy of Natural Science,
or PHIL 3260, Philosophy of Social and Behavioral Science 3

PHIL 3330, Modern Philosophy 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Laboratory Science (choice)9 4

Total 16



PHIL 4970, Capstone Seminar (advanced) 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Elective (advanced)16 4

Philosophy Elective (advanced) 3

Understanding of Ideas and Values19 3

Total 19



ENGL 1320, College Writing II 3

MATH 1600, College Math with Calculus5 5

PHIL 2050, Introduction to Logic14 3

PSCI 1050, American Government 3

Elective16 3

Total 17



ENGL 2220, World Literature II 3

HIST 2620, United States History Since 186512 3

PHIL 3310, Ancient Philosophy 3

Physical Science9 4

Wellness11 3

Total 16



LANG 2050, Foreign Language
(intermediate)3 3

PHIL 3120, Introduction to Social and
Political Philosophy, or PHIL 3400, Ethical Theory, or PHIL 4600, Phenomenology 3

Elective (advanced)16 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Visual and Performing Arts7 3

Total 15



ECON 1110, Principles of Macroeconomics 3

Elective (advanced)16 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Elective (advanced)15, 16 3

Philosophy Elective 3

Total 15

Actual degree plans may vary depending on availability of courses in a given semester.
Some courses may require prerequisites not listed.
See Arts and Sciences notes in supplement booklet for footnotes.

Summary of Degree Requirements:

Philosophy (24 advanced): 30

Minor (6 advanced): 18


Computer Science 3

Oral Communication 3

English 12

History 6

Political Science 6

Economics 3

Laboratory Science 12

Mathematics 5

Wellness 3

Visual and Performing Arts 3

Understanding of Ideas and Values 6

Philosophy (included above) 3

Foreign Language: 6

Free electives: 10

* The University Core Curriculum was being revised at the time this catalog went to press. Consult a degree program adviser or the university's Web site (


42 hours must be advanced.

24 of the last 30 hours must be taken at UNT.

Supplemental Information for BA with a Major in Philosophy

The major requires completion of 30 hours in philosophy composed of an 18-hour core (PHIL 2050 or 3300, PHIL 3310, 3330, PHIL 3110 or 4400, PHIL 3250 or 3260, and 3 hours chosen from PHIL 3120, 3400, or 4600), plus an additional 9 hours of philosphy electives to be selected with and approved by the undergraduate adviser, and a capstone seminar (PHIL 4970) to be taken in the senior year.

Minor in Philosophy

A minor in philosophy consists of 18 semester hours, including 6 advanced hours to be approved by the undergraduate adviser.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Religion Studies

A minor in religion studies consists of 18 semester hours from the departments of philosophy and religion studies, anthropology, history or English. Twelve hours must be selected from an approved list of courses, including at least one course in western religion and one course in eastern or comparative religion. The additional 6 hours are to be selected with and approved by the religion studies adviser.

Graduate Degrees

The department offers a Master of Arts with a major in philosophy and a concentration in environmental ethics. A non-thesis option is available for students pursuing non-academic environmental career opportunities. Philosophy department faculty members participate in the Faculty of Environmental Ethics, a
universitywide group within the Center for Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies. A description of graduate courses may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The Center for Environmental Philosophy

Eugene C. Hargrove, Director

The Center for Environmental Philosophy encourages and supports workshops, conferences and other special projects, including postdoctoral research in the field of environmental ethics. Activities currently include the publication of Environmental Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Journal Dedicated to the Philosophical Aspects of Environmental Problems, which is now in its 21st year of publication; Environmental Ethics Books, a reprint series of important books dealing with environmental ethics and philosophy; and annual workshops on college and university curriculum development, environmental journalism, ecotheology, and nature interpretation. National research conferences focusing on selected topics in environmental ethics are held on an irregular basis.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The John C. Creuzot Scholarship provides $500 per semester ($1,000 annually) to one undergraduate philosophy major. The award continues from semester to semester as long as the recipient makes satisfactory progress toward the degree. Upon the scholarship holder's graduation, a new recipient is selected. To be eligible the student must be a philosophy major at the University of North Texas, maintain full-time enrollment at the university unless he or she has fewer than twice the number of semester hours required to be full time remaining in the program, have a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of coursework at the University of North Texas, and a minimum of 9 semester credit hours in philosophy in the department, 6 of which should be upper level.

Courses of Instruction

All Courses of Instruction are located in one section at the back of this catalog.

Course and Subject Guide

The "Course and Subject Guide," found in the Courses of Instruction section of this book, serves as a table of contents and provides quick access to subject areas and prefixes.

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