Main Departmental Office
Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, Room 225
1155 Union Circle #310920
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Web site: www.phil.unt.edu
David M. Kaplan, Undergraduate Advisor
Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, Room 225D
Patricia Glazebrook, Chair
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 principles underlying conduct, thought and knowledge. The skills it hones are the ability to analyze, 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 part of higher education. 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 graduate and professional schools.
Philosophy develops analytic skills and problem-solving abilities that are extremely useful in almost any academic or scientific field and in a variety of professional careers, such as journalism, business, law, medicine and government. 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 science, social-political philosophy, epistemology 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 timeless themes of truth, beauty, goodness and wisdom. In addition, it provides an interdisciplinary minor in religion studies for students interested learning about world religions and the role religions play in society. 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.
Programs of Study
The department offers an undergraduate program in the following area:
The department offers minors in philosophy and in religion studies .
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 31st year of publication; Environmental Ethics Books, a reprint series of important books dealing with environmental ethics and philosophy. Workshops on college and university curriculum development, environmental journalism, ecotheology, nature interpretation, and 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 course work at the University of North Texas, and a minimum of 9 semester credit hours in philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, 6 of which should be upper level.
A $500 award is given to the John Kimmey Memorial Scholar in the spring semester. The scholar is selected by the department and is the honoree at the Honors Day convocation.
A $500 fellowship is provided to one graduate student each semester by the Richardson Environmental Action League, a nonprofit recycling organization in Richardson, Texas. To be eligible, a student must have completed 15 graduate semester credit hours.
The department offers graduate programs in the following areas:
- Master of Arts with a major in philosophy
- Doctor of Philosophy with a major in philosophy
A non-thesis option is available under the Master of Arts 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.