History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary department, we offer three majors, tailored major options, and several exciting minors, including a minor in Latin American Studies and a minor in Museum Studies. Internships at historical societies, museums, and Yellowstone are also an important part of the educational experience. Undergraduate students also have opportunities to conduct research and work directly with faculty members on topics ranging from urban coyotes to the Butte mine. The Department hosts both history and philosophy honor societies, as well as a philosophy ethics debate team. Graduate students can pursue innovative MA and PhD degrees in the history of science and technology, environmental history, and the American west.

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Recent Submissions

  • Absent autonomy: Relational competence and gendered paths to faculty self-determination in the promotion and tenure process 

    Skewes, Monica C.; Shanahan, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Jessi L.; Honea, Joy C.; Belou, Rebecca M.; Rushing, Sara; Intemann, Kristen; Handley, Ian M. (2018-09)
    This research examines ways in which men and women university faculty sought self-determination in the promotion and tenure (P&T) process. Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2012) research tends to view autonomy ...
  • Disentangling canid howls across multiple species and subspecies: Structure in a complex communication channel 

    Kershenbaum, Arik; Root-Gutteridge, Holly; Habib, Bilal; Koler-Matznick, Janice; Mitchell, Brian; Palacios, Vicente; Waller, Sara (2016-03)
    Wolves, coyotes, and other canids are members of a diverse genus of top predators of considerable conservation and management interest. Canid howls are long-range communication signals, used both for territorial defence ...
  • The Game People Played: Mahjong in Modern Chinese Society and Culture 

    Greene, Maggie (Research Institute of Korean Studies (RIKS) at Korea University and the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS) at the University of California, Berkeley, 2015-12)
    This article considers the discourse surrounding the popular Chinese table game of mahjong in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, using it as a barometer to trace social and cultural changes during the late Qing and ...
  • Against the Anthropocene. A Neo-Materialist Perspective 

    LeCain, Timothy (2015-04)
    The dawning realization that the planet may have entered a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene could prove transformative. However, over the course of its brief history, the Anthropocene concept has often been ...
  • Coyote recordings [dataset] 

    Waller, Sara (2014-06)
    Audio recordings of coyote vocalizations in various locations in the American West, recorded between 9 March 2011 and 26 December 2013.
  • The Slave Mentality: Morality of Spirit in Hegel's Lordship and Bondage 

    Estaver, James (2013-11)
    The master-slave dialectic which occurs in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit represents a crucial role in his ambitious project to cure European culture. At the turn of the 19th century, Hegel perceived Western culture as ...
  • Conference Schedule-International Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Montana State University 

    Mora, Christopher; Kloth, Christopher M. (2013-09)
    The Undergraduate Scholars Program, Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Society, and the Department of History and Philosophy are pleased to announce the first International Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Montana State ...
  • Robert Grosseteste, and the History of the Actual Infinite 

    Hylwa, Sam (2013-09)
    The problems with the notion of infinity that plagued pre-modern philosophers and mathematicians ever since the introduction of Zeno’s paradoxes are thought to see their first solution in the original and singular ...
  • Common Sense in Favor of Mereological Nihilism? 

    Hanson, Michael (2013-09)
    Mereological nihilism, a theory in compositional metaphysics, has long suffered the objection that in virtue of its sheer anti-intuitive nature, it ought not to be believed. This essay seeks to address this objection. To ...
  • A Defense of Epistemic Intuitions 

    Zhao, Helen (2013-09)
    Since the very beginning, intuitions have played a crucial role in philosophical inquiry. When Socrates asks, “What is justice?” he appeals to an innate source of knowledge that inexplicably recognizes examples of justice, ...
  • Analogy and the Ordering of the Polis in the Republic 

    Rusk, Gabriel (2013-09)
    In Plato’s the Republic the polis and intelligible world exist to reciprocally compliment each other. More simply, politics and knowledge have a necessary and reciprocal relationship for Plato. I will argue that this ...
  • Are the Laws of Logic Contingent? 

    Cook, Ben (2013-09)
    One question often asked by philosophers is “Might the laws of logic have been different?” That is, are such laws contingent? An affirmative answer to this question in the language of possible world’s semantics would be ...
  • The Schadenfreude Objection to Geoffrey Sayre-McCord's Defense of Mill's Principle of Utility 

    Rogers, Andrew (2013-09)
    In Mill’s “Proof” of the Principle of Utility: A More than Half-Hearted Defense, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord provides a brilliant analysis of Mill’s “Proof”, which turns it from what many saw as a fallacy ridden embarrassment ...
  • Thesis, Antithesis, and Finally, Synthesis: A New Era of Collective Understanding 

    Sharma, Amy (2013-09)
    This paper will explain how the Hegelian Dialectic can be found throughout nature in infinitely various aspects, as well as provide in-depth examples of this phenomenon, including psychologically and historically. It will ...
  • Why Compatibilists cannot resist Prepunishment: A Defense of Smilansky 

    Shatsky, Adam (2013-09)
    Prepunishment is to hold a person morally responsible for a crime she has yet to commit. Punishing a person prior to committing a crime is considered wrong due to the fact that the crime has not yet in fact been committed. ...
  • A Scientific Approach to the Politics of Hobbes and Locke 

    Firang, Stephen (2013-09)
    Metaphysics the philosophical inquiry into the nature and operations of the universe, was believed by the ancients as a branch of philosophy that could investigate and explain the fundamental nature of the world. As ...
  • Human Nature and Moral Responsibility 

    Davis, Cameron (2013-09)
    Holding others responsible for and responding resentfully to their wrongdoings are nearly universal practices. A very few philosophers and social activists appear to be the only ones who have ever adopted the idea that one ...
  • Hedonistic Egoism as a Paradoxical and Insufficient Doctrine for Freedom 

    Alexander, Fred (2013-09)
    Resulting from the prevalence of hedonistic egoism within the youth culture and the media targeted to this demographic, this essay offers a brief discussion of hedonistic egoism absent in much of contemporary ethics. ...

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