Mission Statement

The UVU Department of Philosophy & Humanities is committed to the idea that logic and critical thinking are the core of all academic disciplines. The department engages in the critical study of the intellectual and creative underpinnings of the liberal arts curriculum. The humanities reflect on and interact with those creative enterprises that make us most human: art, architecture, music, and poetry. Philosophy engages theoretical and practical questions about reality and human experience in the life-long pursuit of truth and understanding.

In keeping with the democratic ideal of an educated citizenship, the Department aims to provide the highest quality educational experience to prepare students for an increasingly complex and intellectually demanding society. The free exploration of ideas will expose students to a variety of perspectives on important issues; the critical examination of those ideas will impart the skills of reflection and decision-making.

The Department seeks to develop in its students a set of skills and knowledge that is useful for all forms of reflection and investigation, relevant and transferable to myriad professions, and promoting of lifelong learning and inter-cultural awareness. The Department focuses on the following: developing the practical skills of critical analysis and problem solving, and the reflection on one’s own ethics, values and beliefs; developing the skills of communication, through effective speech and clear, rigorous writing; imparting a wide variety of content, including knowledge of the history of philosophy and the humanities, an appreciation and understanding of human diversity, and a connection of these topics to practical life; imparting the basic values of the liberal arts, including self-reflectiveness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity.

Statement on AI

The Department of Philosophy and Humanities recognizes that Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing Tools are largely accessible to students and will be used by many in higher education for the foreseeable future. However, the skills taught in the humanities are unique. We aim to educate students in the careful reading of texts, the development of rigorous writing skills, the analysis and use of arguments, and to foster the thoughtful application of each of these skills in students’ personal and social development. Research has not yet determined what bearing the use of AI tools in the classroom will have upon the successful acquisition of these skills.

Therefore, at this time, online learning support platforms (like ChatGPT or Google Bard) may not be used for course assignments in our department except as explicitly authorized by the instructor. Any assignment or content composed by any resource other than the student (whether human or digital) must be attributed to the source through proper citation. Unacknowledged use of online learning support platforms is a form of scholastic dishonesty and will be treated as such.

Some of our language has been adapted from the University of Minnesota

Program Learning Outcomes

Philosophy (Major, Minor)

  1. Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze, evaluate, and construct reasons and arguments.
  2. Communication: The ability to formulate and clearly explain ideas and arguments in writing and speech.
  3. Content: The ability to identify, understand and evaluate the basic content of some philosophical theories.
  4. Values: The expression of values of self-reflection, intellectual curiosity, and intellectual creativity.

Ethics (Minor, Certificate)

  1. Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze, evaluate, and construct reasons and arguments.
  2. Communication: The ability to formulate and clearly explain ideas and arguments in writing and speech.
  3. Content: An understanding of, and ability to evaluate foundational themes of ethics and basic ethical theories.
  4. Values: Begin a process of self-reflection on one's own values and beliefs and apply these values and beliefs to practical contexts.

Humanities (Major, Minor)

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will analyze the enduring questions of real life that are represented through the arts, and that foster intellectual creativity, intellectual curiosity, and self-reflection.
  2. Communication: Students will formulate complex ideas and persuasive, original arguments in writing and speech, with particular attention to the practice of critical writing.
  3. Content: Students will assess interdisciplinary and multi-modal examples of intellectual and artistic creativity, from prehistory to the present.