College of Letters and Sciences

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY & RELIGIOUS STUDIES

The aim of the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at UW-Whitewater is to foster critical thinking and appreciation in the areas of reasoning, knowledge, reality, meaning, gender and race issues, ethics, history of religions, hermeneutics, religious rituals, and sacred stories. 

We currently have six faculty members, each of whom brings unique teaching, experience, and research in the attainment of our aim and goal. Our particular research emphases are in German philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, social philosophy, aesthetics, biblical interpretation, classical Hinduism, Buddhism, and religion in the human sciences.

Contact us

David Simmons
Department Chair & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1232
Location: Laurentide Hall 4207

Jeanne Quevedo
Department Assistant
Phone: 262-472-1042
Location: Laurentide Hall 4205

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The Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater delves deep into pressing questions about existence, knowledge, and ethics. Balancing Eastern and Western traditions, our curriculum encourages students to critically engage with diverse ideas and religious practices. Our dedicated faculty, passionate about both teaching and research, equip students with the intellectual tools needed for our globalized, pluralistic world, fostering reflection, understanding, and broadened perspectives.

Upon completion of the program, one should be able to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Understand and apply essential concepts of logic (e.g., argument, conclusion, fallacy, inference, premise, proposition, soundness, validity).
  2. Understand and apply distinct ethical concepts.
  3. Understand the historical context/significance of philosophical questions and concepts.
  4. Identify, articulate, and evaluate philosophical concepts and arguments according to their rational merit and contextual facets.
  5. Understand interdisciplinary relationships between philosophy and other disciplines.
  6. Develop personal views on philosophical issues to apply to life and community engagement.
  7. Articulate essential concepts of logic (e.g., argument, conclusion, fallacy, inference, premise, proposition, soundness, validity);
  8. Differentiate between the major fields and subfields of philosophy;
  9. Explain the historical development of central concepts in philosophy;
  10. Understand and apply distinct ethical concepts;
  11. Analyze and evaluate philosophical arguments and theories;
  12. Develop philosophical arguments;
  13. Write philosophical arguments clearly;
  14. Synthesize one's personal, informed view on philosophical issues;
  15. Become a more interested, intellectually active individual and member of one's community.

By the time they graduate, students in the World Religions minor will have a basic understanding of the world's major religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the historical origins, key dates, philosophies, practices, ethics, symbols and major thinkers in these traditions.
  2. Summarize the fundamental teachings of these traditions
  3. Critically appraise the relationship between religious traditions and their social and cultural contexts
  4. Recognize the diversity of philosophies and practices within the major religious traditions
  5. Analyze religious writings, symbols, and practices using recognized scholarly and hermeneutical principles
  6. Recognize presuppositions underlying different ethical systems and worldviews, including students' own

By the end of their Liberal Studies program, students will be able to:

  1. Think critically, integrate and synthesize knowledge from diverse perspectives and evaluate complex information
  2. Make informed ethical and value judgments
  3. Understand and explain the value of a liberal education
  4. Apply the concepts and methodologies of the liberal arts to understand issues in society and in one's own life
  5. Communicate effectively in written form
  6. Effectively utilize intellectual and practical skills-- including analytical skills, research methods, and/or computer skills
  7. Effectively utilize expression skills-- including communicating creatively, orally, or in a language other than English
  8. Demonstrate a base of knowledge from various disciplines-- including arts & humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences
  9. Demonstrate a base of knowledge about cultures within North America & Europe
  10. Demonstrate a base of knowledge about cultures outside North America & Europe
Max  Gatyas

Max Gatyas

Assistant Professor

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

gatyasm@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4211 |

(262) 472-4936

Crista  Lebens

Crista Lebens

Professor

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

lebensc@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4221 |

(262) 472-5269

Nathan M Mcgovern

Nathan M Mcgovern

Associate Professor

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

mcgovern@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4225 |

(262) 472-5112

Christopher L Minor

Christopher L Minor

Professor

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

minorc@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4224 |

(262) 472-1261

Jeanne  Quevedo

Jeanne Quevedo

Department Assistant

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies, Womens Studies

quevedoj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4205 |

(262) 472-1042

David L Reinhart

David L Reinhart

Senior Lecturer

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

reinhard@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4206 |

(262) 472-5256

David L Simmons

David L Simmons

Associate Professor

Department(s): Philosophy & Religious Studies

simmonsd@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 4207 |

(262) 472-1232