Philosophy & Religious Studies

Contact Information

David Simmmons
Department Chair & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1232
Location: Laurentide Hall 4207
Tracy Hawkins
LIBST Coordinator & Master Advisor & Assistant Professor 
Phone: 262-472-1975
Location: Laurentide Hall 4223
Mary Alkons
Academic Department Associate
Phone: 262-472-1042
Location: Laurentide Hall 4233

Philosophy Program


Philosophy is a basic field of inquiry that is neither part of nor reducible to any other discipline. Philosophers explore ideas, questions, issues, and problems that arise from the entire spectrum of human experiences. Philosophy courses deal with fundamental issues concerning the nature of morality and the good life, methods of correct reasoning, the nature of knowledge and reality, aesthetics, and the foundations needed for a good society. In addition to courses dealing explicitly with those issues, courses are also offered that survey the history of western philosophy in light of these issues.

As a discipline central to a liberal arts education, philosophy seeks to develop students' skills and knowledge, preparing them for life as a whole. Hence it fosters critical, analytical, and creative thinking skills that are relevant to any subject matter. The philosophy minor complements any major field of study that demands higher order thinking skills and the ability to understand and assess complex and competing points of view.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, students with a Philosophy minor will be able to assert:

Subject Matter Objectives

  • SM1. The program enabled me to differentiate between the major fields of the discipline of philosophy (ethics, logic, epistemology, metaphysics) and some of the subfields (social philosophy, aesthetics, applied ethics, Existentialism, feminist philosophy).
  • SM2. The program enabled me explain the central features of the philosophies of some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Descartes, Kant, Wittgenstein).
  • SM3. The program enabled me to articulate basic concepts of logic (e.g., argument, conclusion, fallacy, inference, premise, proposition, soundness. validity,).

Cognitive Development Objectives

  • CD1. The program enabled me to critically appraise philosophical arguments and theories.
  • CD2. The program enabled me to describe and apply different ethical theories (Utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, virtue theories).
  • CD3. The program enabled me to arrive at my own informed view on philosophical issues.

Skills Objectives

  • SK1. The program enabled me to apply basic methods and techniques of reasoning and argumentation.
  • SK2. The program enabled me to develop philosophical arguments.
  • SK3. The program enabled me to analyze philosophical texts.
  • SK4. The program enabled me to write philosophical arguments clearly.

-adopted by Program in Fall 2011

Student Organization

The Philosophy Club, coordinated by students under faculty guidance, sponsors a variety of academic and social activities throughout the academic year. Some of these include Philoso-free Pizza (pizza and lively discussion of current events and timeless philosophical questions), dinner gatherings, movie nights, debates, and special guest lectures on selected topics in philosophy, religion, and culture.

For More Information

For more information about the philosophy program, please contact Dr. Chris Calvert-Minor


Find the UWW-Philosophy Club on Facebook!


College of Letters & Sciences
Laurentide Hall 4100
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790

Resources For

Faculty/Staff Contact

Office of the Dean
Rebecca Reichert
Phone: (262) 472-1621

Student Contact

Advising Office
Phone: (262) 472-1550

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