UWM Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

College of Letters and Science


A problem may be called "philosophical" when it has depth and universality, far-reaching theoretical ramifications, human importance, and no easy solution. Philosophical problems constitute the subject matter of philosophy.

Academic courses in philosophy have the value of introducing the crucial problems in a systematic way, exposing students to fruitful methods for attacking them, to models of solid, hard-hitting argumentation, and to a literature ranging from Plato's Dialogues to current professional journals. The relevance of philosophy is nowhere better exhibited than in the distinctions ignored, the arguments overlooked, and the errors repeated by persons unfamiliar with that literature.

At UWM, incoming freshmen interested in studying philosophy are advised to begin with the general introductory course, Philos 101, though there are several courses, especially at the 200 level, that are open to students without a background in philosophy. The 300 level includes courses designed to provide more in-depth treatments of traditional philosophical areas. Courses at the 400 level are devoted to the history of philosophy. Courses at the 500 level deal with specific issues and problems.

Course of Study: Major

The philosophy major is intended to meet the needs of four groups of students: (1) those who wish to use philosophy as the organizing core of a liberal education; (2) those who wish to study philosophy in preparation for graduate work in some other field, such as law, government, or theology; (3) those who wish to major jointly in philosophy and one of the social sciences, natural sciences, or humanities; and (4) those who have or may acquire a professional interest in philosophy and who plan to go on to graduate work in the subject.

Students planning to major in philosophy should consult with the department undergraduate program coordinator at the beginning of their junior year or, if transferring from another major, upon deciding to transfer. At that time they will fill out a declaration of major form.

The College requires that students complete at least 15 upper-division (numbered 300 and above) credits in the major in residence at UWM. Students also must attain at least a 2.500 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, they must attain a 2.500 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.

The following are required:

1. A minimum of 30 credits in philosophy.

2. The following three courses:

Philos 211

Elementary Logic


Philos 430

History of Ancient Philosophy


Philos 432

History of Modern Philosophy


(Philos 212, Modern Deductive Logic, or a more advanced course in logic may be substituted for Philos 211 with the permission of the department chair.)

3. At least one course from each of the following groups:

Group A

Philos 341

Modern Ethical Theory


Philos 349

Great Moral Philosophers


Philos 355

Political Philosophy


Group B

Philos 303

Theory of Knowledge


Philos 317



Philos 324

Philosophy of Science


Philos 351

Philosophy of Mind


Group C

Any philosophy course numbered 500 or above and carrying 3 credits (excluding the course you choose to satisfy the capstone requirement; see below).

4. Philosophy electives of the student's choice to reach a total of 30 credits. At least 15 of these 30 credits must be taken at the 300 level or above in residence at UWM.

5. Capstone/research requirement. Choose one of the following two courses:

Philos 681

Seminar in Advanced Topics: (subtitle)

Philos 685

Senior Capstone Research Seminar: (subtitle)

It is expected that the required courses in the history of philosophy (Philos 430 and 432) will be taken as soon as the student decides to major in philosophy (normally during the junior year). Students must fulfill the capstone/research requirement in the senior year. It is recommended strongly that students become proficient in at least one related academic discipline. Each major will be asked to submit a paper for inclusion in a portfolio that is kept in the department. Typically, this will be a paper written for the "Senior Capstone Research Seminar" (Philos 685). It should be stressed that this is not an additional requirement for graduation as a major. Rather, it is part of the department's ongoing effort to evaluate and improve our major program.


Prior to the beginning of their senior year, philosophy majors who maintain a 3.000 GPA in all UWM courses attempted, a 3.500 GPA in courses in the major, and a 3.5 GPA in advanced courses in the major may apply to the undergraduate program coordinator for special honors work in philosophy. Upon successful completion of that work, the students are recommended by the department for graduation with honors in philosophy. The special work normally involves participation in Philos 681 or 685, earning a grade of A- or above.

Course of Study: Minor

Students who plan to major in another discipline but who wish to enhance their studies with a substantial amount of coursework in philosophy may elect a minor in philosophy. The minor requires 21 credits in philosophy, including Philos 211 or 430 or 432. Twelve credits are required at the 300 level or above, 9 of which must be taken in residence at UWM. The College requires that students attain at least a 2.500 GPA on all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.500 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work. Students wishing to minor in philosophy should consult with the undergraduate program coordinator in order to complete a declaration of minor form and be assigned a departmental advisor.



Philosophy (PHILOS)


Margaret Atherton, Distinguished Prof., PhD
Brandeis University

Miren Boehm, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of California, Irvine

William Bristow, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Chair
Harvard University

Luca Ferrero, Assoc. Prof., PhD
Harvard University

Bernard L. Gendron, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Carl G. Hedman, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Edward Hinchman, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Stan Husi, Asst. Prof., PhD
Rice University

Haig Khatchadourian, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

John L. Koethe, Distinguished Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Stephen Leeds, Distinguished Prof., PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael N. Liston, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of California, San Diego

Fabrizio G. Mondadori, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Walter G. Neevel, Jr., Assoc. Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Blain Neufeld, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Robert A. Schwartz, Distinguished Prof., PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Julius O. Sensat, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Joshua Spencer, Asst. Prof., PhD
University of Rochester

Richard Tierney, Assoc. Prof., PhD
Columbia University

William J. Wainwright, Distinguished Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Raymond L. Weiss, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Andrea Westlund, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

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