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Bachelor of Arts

02 – Arts and humanities

0223 – Philosophy and ethics

6 – Humanities

red. prof. dr. DANILO ŠUSTER

Text about acceptance

On the basis of Article 51 of the Law on higher education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 119/06-UPB3) and the Measures for the accreditation of higher education institutions and study programmes (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 101/04) the Senate for accreditation with the Council of Higher Education of the Republic of Slovenia at its 4th meeting on 16th November 2007, adopted or gave consent to the university BA double major study programme Philosophy (decree No. 2/75-2007 dated 20th November 2007).

Advancement criteria of a study programme

To advance to the second year, the student must collect at least 24 ECTS and the number of ECTS set by the second selected programme. To advance to the third year, the student must complete all obligations of the first year, the obligations determined by the study programme for the courses of the 2nd year in the amount of at least 24 ECTS and the number of ECTS set out by the second selected programme. In accordance with the Statute of the University of Maribor, the Commission for Academic Affairs may also allow the advancement of a student who has not collected the prescribed number of ECTS set out for the transition. A student may repeat the year if they complete at least half of the study obligations set out by the study programme, meaning 15 ECTS in each part of the dual-specialization study programme or a total of at least 30 ECTS. The conditions for advancing for justified reasons and for repeating the year are determined by the Statute of the University of Maribor. A student may study at the same time in several study programmes (parallel study at the Faculty of Arts or other higher education institutions), if they achieve an average grade of at least 8 in the enrolled programme. If the obligations in the study programmes overlap, they can only complete them in one programme and have them recognized in the other. A student can also advance faster if they meet the conditions stated in the Statute of the University of Maribor.

Criteria for completing separate parts of a study programme

The study programme currently does not contain any parts that could be completed.

Study advancement options

The designed study with its problem approach to the history of philosophy, but particularly with its focus on thought, critical thinking and evaluation of new insights offers general strategies of acquiring knowledge which can be constantly updated and realized. It thus provides a sound basis for later specialization in a number of other areas, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences. The processes of production and applications of knowledge, in which specific philosophical knowledge, skills and abilities are not only desirable, but also indispensable, are becoming increasingly diverse. The traditional areas are joined by new ones: the philosophy of individual scientific disciplines, professional ethics and applied epistemology, models of artificial intelligence ... The newly designed study of philosophy is worthy of consideration by this facet, as it will provide students with a sound basis for interdisciplinary upgrade. The program Philosophy, however, was created with additional purpose, namely at the University of Maribor to encourage further development of philosophy as a discipline, whose critical reflection complements each individual scientific field which makes it the basis for the realization of their roles in an integrated system of human knowledge. The system of elective philosophical courses in the proposed program allows good students after they have obtained their diploma to continue studies at the MA level. At the same time prospective graduates will be able to engage in research work in other scientific fields, which are already or will be developed in the future by the University of Maribor.

Employment possibilities

The university BA double major study programme Philosophy offers graduates a broad range of job opportunities, particularly when complemented with another study programme. Graduates of the study of philosophy will find potential employment in: - companies whose core business is publishing, press, libraries, advertising, information technology; - cultural and educational institutions; - academic institutions; - scientific and research institutes.

Other obligations

Elements of the syllabus form a well thought out and meaningful whole. In the first year students are gently introduced to philosophical themes and methods through the course Introduction to Philosophy, which is kind of a constant in philosophical studies in the Anglo Saxon world. The first contact with eternal philosophical problems and some of their classic solutions indicate the need for skillful argumentation. Recognition of, reconstruction and evaluation of arguments are skills students acquire in the course Critical Thinking with Basics of Argumentation. This skill is practiced simultaneously in Ethics and Aesthetics, two courses, which are, due to the fact that each of us firmly clings to their un-reflected representations of right and wrong, of the beautiful and ugly, more than anything else able to motivate students to in-depth reflection and doubt in default of truth. Entry elective seminars are at the same time an introduction into the world of reading and understanding, thinking and discussing philosophical issues. The second year introduces two new fundamental philosophical disciplines, ontology and epistemology, and alongside them formal logic, science of correct thinking, reasoning or deducing, which is the philosopher's most indispensable tool. Students thus get an insight into the complex nature of reality, they rid of na?ve realism and are already in the very next moment forced to look for a way out of the traps of skepticism which undermines the very foundations of their confidence in their own knowledge. They familiarize with fundamental ontological and epistemological concepts (the event, the state of things, attitude, quality, property, truth, knowledge, title, justification ...), and through experiments of conceptual analysis also learn about their elusiveness. In the third year the students listen to lectures in the history of modern philosophy, where they familiarize with the origin of the majority of philosophical discussions which have survived till today. They become acquainted with solutions to problem of the relationship between language and reality, or between sign and meaning (Philosophy of Language) and they ask themselves questions about the advantages of a particular scientific method, as well as about the normative and descriptive sides of the scientific practice (Philosophy of Science). At the same time they seek answers to the riddle of success harvested by science in promotion and transformation of the world, in its epistemological and methodological superiority, which brings the students back to the issue of the proper method of acquiring knowledge. Classes in social and political philosophy develop in them a fair amount of healthy philosophical doubt towards the only true, good and beautiful world of traditional social institutions and practices; they encourage them to systematically reflect upon the normative aspects of common life and allow them to evaluate the social institutions and practices from the perspective of the various social and political ideals, and even more so to justify the latter, fruitful upgrading of already acquired knowledge in ethics and social epistemology. Their philosophical mind and pen are sharpened through three elective seminars they prepare for a more in-depth consideration of the broader thematic groups. Their ability of creative use of resources and of original and independent thinking about philosophical problems are eventually expressed in the final graduation seminar assignment. Elements of the syllabus are logically related also along the vertical axis. The basic techniques of argumentation in the first year (Critical Thinking with the Basics of Argumentation) and in the second year (Formal Logic) can be upgraded by the student with in-depth reflection in the framework of philosophical logic, where s/he is confronted with a series of complex philosophical puzzles the solution of which requires creative application of already acquired knowledge from logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language. Ethical topics follow suit. In the first year students familiarize with basic moral concepts, principles and theories. These are not there for their own sake, but serve as a support for students in their reflection on moral dilemmas in connection with the creation and destruction of human lives (Ethics of Life and Death). Later on in the study, students have the opportunity to use their acquired knowledge in ontology, epistemology, and philosophy of language on the complex issues of the nature of moral reality, methods of its true revelations, the analysis of moral discourse, etc. (Selected Themes from the Meta-ethics). At the same time feminist criticism of morality as a random, even tyrannical social formation (Feminism) wakes them up from their occasional dogmatic sleep. A similar image is within the three years of the study drawn also by other philosophical disciplines: aesthetics, ontology, epistemology etc. The fundamental principle in all of them is the same - mandatory courses give the student fundamental philosophical knowledge, and choices of electives allow him/her to further deepen and expand this knowledge. Students verify their mastership of the fundamental aesthetic and moral categories, principles and theories, for example, on the aesthetics of the environment, on the relationship between aesthetic and moral qualities of works of art, while the question of fictional heroes and our emotions toward them brings them to wobbly grounds of modal logic, philosophy of spirit and philosophy of language. This opens the students' eyes to the fact that more complex the philosophical themes and problems, the more inextricably intertwined are the ontological, epistemological, methodological, semantic and other philosophical aspects. Thus the structure of the study programme itself sharpens the senses of the students and teaches him/her to appreciate the complex nature of philosophical problems. The student completes the double major study programme with the completion of all the study obligations required by the study programme in both parts of the study programme and by gaining at least 180 ECTS points, (namely 90 ECTS in one part and 90 ECTS in the other part of the double major study programme).

Assesment criteria

The examining and grading system is regulated with the Statute of the University of Maribor: and the Rules on Examination and Grading at the University of Maribor, no. A4/2009-41 AG: Accordingly, the methods and forms of examining and grading knowledge in the curricula are defined for each individual study unit of an individual study programme. Methods of continuous examining and grading of knowledge are encouraged, enabling students to continuously monitor their own progress and assess their acquired knowledge and skills. Depending on the individual study units and the order of their implementation, the individual obligations of students are mutually coordinated in such a way that some study units require more continuous work, others a greater deal of independent research work (preparation of a quality seminar paper); some units are completed with written or oral exams. All curricula are publicly published in the catalogue of Bologna subjects: In addition, students have access to AIPS UM (Academic Information Subsystem of the University of Maribor), which provides insight into the activities of individual students (exam records, detailed insight into the number of exam attempts and all completed and uncompleted obligations).

Main study programme objectives

The basic objective of the programme is to educate independent and critical thinkers-philosophers who will master their narrow professional field, and at the same time with their general, transferable abilities and skills be able to meet the requirements of a modern, learning society. As the number and sources of information increase, the purpose of teaching shifts from the accumulation of information, which soon becomes obsolete, to transferring skills for its meaningful organization and critical evaluation. The study programme is designed with a problem-based approach to the history of philosophy, and especially with its focus on thinking, critical thinking, and evaluation of new knowledge; it offers general strategies for acquiring knowledge that can be constantly completed and made meaningful. In this way, it provides a good basis for a future specialization in a number of other fields, from humanities and social sciences to natural sciences. The processes of knowledge production and application, in which specific philosophical knowledge, skills, and abilities are not only desirable but indispensable, are becoming increasingly diverse. Traditional fields are joined by new ones: philosophies of individual scientific disciplines, professional ethics and applied epistemology, models of artificial intelligence ... The renewed study programme Philosophy is also relevant in this respect, as it will provide students with a good basis for interdisciplinary upgrading. The objectives of the programme are: - to provide knowledge in the field of philosophy, defined in compulsory and elective courses; - to provide theoretical and applied knowledge in the field of communication skills; - to provide theoretical and applied knowledge from newly emerging fields in science and the questions posed to humanity in this context; - the professional knowledge they acquire does not only include theoretical knowledge, but above all methodological concepts, as the fundamental objective is to train students for independent and critical thinking; - to train students to transfer and apply theoretical knowledge and the method itself into practice and problem solving in a modern, learning society; - to train students for the transfer and use of theoretical knowledge, and especially the methods and skills into practice and problem solving; - to train students to transfer theoretical knowledge and use the method in new areas that appear in modern society (artificial intelligence, ethics in nanotechnology, bioethics, etc.) and related solutions to emerging problems and attempts to answer emerging questions. Learning outcomes The student will: - describe, understand, and know the areas of philosophy defined in the compulsory and elective courses; - identify and analyze problems in philosophical discussions; - develop and use communication skills (written and oral); - identify and analyze problems in modern society and emerging scientific fields; - synthesize and anticipate solutions to problems and consequences; - apply the methods, procedures, and processes into practice and to other areas; - think critically and self-critically; - establish an ethical reflection and commitment to professional ethics; - use sources and cited sources accordingly (according to the chosen method). Assessing whether students achieve the mentioned objectives is done through the study programme-specific methods of assessing and grading knowledge: written and oral exams, mid-term tests, preparation of seminar papers, writing essays, giving presentations, and evaluating active participation in individual learning units and tutorials. The results are evaluated and published for each academic year in the Self-Evaluation Report (for 2012/2013):

General competences of graduates, gained at a study programme

General competencies of a graduate of the 1st level degree university study programme Philosophy: - ability to critically analyze, synthesize and predict solutions and consequences; - mastery of research methods, procedures, and processes; - ability for critical and self-critical thinking; - ability to apply knowledge in practice and solve problems; - autonomy in professional work; - development of communication skills, in particular continuous communication in an international environment; - ability of ethical reflection and commitment to professional ethics; - cooperation, group work (including in the international environment); - ability to use sources and appropriate citing of sources (Harvard method).

Subject specific competences of graduates, gained on a study programme

Subject-specific competencies of a graduate of the 1st level degree university study programme Philosophy: - knowledge of theories and arguments of important thinkers from the history of philosophy; - awareness of the origins of persistent interpretive controversies; - ability to use historical doctrines to participate in contemporary debates; - a clear insight into the central theories and argumentation in the fundamental theoretical philosophical disciplines such as logic, epistemology, and ontology; - knowledge of philosophical questions, dilemmas, and problems and the offered solutions for them in practical philosophical disciplines such as ethics, political and social philosophy, aesthetics, etc.; - ability to identify problems that are at the heart of various philosophical discussions; - ability to analyse the structure of simpler controversial problems and understanding strategies for resolving them; - ability to carefully read and interpret texts from different traditions with sensitivity to context; - ability to acknowledge successful argumentation; - ability to properly understand and use philosophical terminology; - ability to recognize, reconstruct, complete, and evaluate philosophical arguments; - ability to identify convincing strategies that would not otherwise withstand philosophical rigor; - openness to dealing with foreign views and the ability to change one's own; - readiness and ability to cope with the problems of everyday life: reflection, problematization, search for assumptions and implications, etc.; - ability to articulate everyday life problems as philosophical problems and solve them appropriately.

Access requirements

The university double-major study programme Philosophy can on the basis of Article 38 of the Law on Higher Education be entered by: 1.) anyone who has passed the Matura examination (Secondary School Leaving examination); 2.) anyone who has completed the professional Matura exam in any secondary school programme and passed the exam in one of the Matura subjects (the chosen subject should not be one the student has completed in his/her professional matura exam); 3.) anyone who has prior to 1 June 1995 completed a four-year secondary school program.

Selection criteria in the event of limited enrolment

If enrolment is limited, the selection criteria applying to the candidates referred to in points a) and c) are: result achieved in the matura exam or the final examination - 60% of points, overall success in the third and fourth year - 40% of points; and the selection criteria applying to the candidates referred to in points b) are: result achieved in the vocational matura exam - 40% of points, overall success in the third and fourth year - 40% of points, result achieved in the matura subject - 20% of points.

Transfer criteria between study programmes

Candidates may transfer to the study programme in accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of the Criteria for Transferring Between Study Programmes (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no.: 95/10, 17/11, and 14/19). If candidates fulfil the admission requirements of the study programme and criteria for the transfer, the year of study they are to be enrolled in and study obligations required for completion of the new study programme are laid down. Candidates may transfer to the study programme provided they fulfil the following criteria: - they are transferring from a study programme leading to the acquisition of comparable competences or learning outcomes; - at least half of the study obligations evaluated according to ECTS credit system of the previous study programme relating to compulsory courses of the new study programme are recognised.

Criteria for recognition of knowledge and skills, gained before the enrolment in the study programme

Pursuant to the Rules on the recognition of knowledge and skills gained prior to the enrolment in the study programme (UM News, No. XXVI-3-2008) -, during the process of education at the university programme, students may have their knowledge and skills acquired before enrolment in various forms of formal education recognized, which the student proves with certificates and other documents that show the content and scope of the student's work. These are evaluated according to the ECTS system, which allows the student to replace comparable obligations according to the established 1st level degree study programme of sociology. In the process of education in the university programme, students have also recognized their obligations as completed on the basis of submitted documents from the field of non-formal education or completed professional work (project, study, publications and other author's works), as well as knowledge acquired in the framework of lifelong learning according to the appropriate verified program. The candidate submits an application to the Commission for Academic Affairs of the Faculty for recognition of knowledge and skills. The commission seeks the opinion of the Department of Philosophy and then issues a decision in line with the proposal of the Department of Philosophy.

Criteria for completing the study

The student completes the study when they complete all the obligations set out by the study programme, and thus collects at least 180 ECTS (90 ECTS in each part of the dual-specialization study programme).