UA 6.12




0.21 linear feet (1 small document case)


Philosophy deals with the fundamental questions of life, including the nature of knowledge, the basis of morality and politics, and the rational analysis of religious beliefs. The study of Religion introduces students to the various historical and contemporary expressions of diverse religious traditions as a dimension of the human experience. The collection is composed of pamphlets, booklets, and a course announcement.

Historical Note

Prior to the establishment of the Department of Philosophy and Religion in 1968, instruction in those areas was somewhat sporadic. Area clergy occasionally taught religion courses through the college. The 1947-48 catalog first mentions this arrangement. College faculty taught philosophy courses, however.

Philosophy courses have been taught since the founding of the college. Instruction in "moral philosophy" was required by the Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges, including South Dakota State University. A chair of Psychology and Philosophy was established in 1885. A Department of Philosophy was established in 1906, and for a short while philosophy, psychology, and education courses were taught through it. Courses were moved to the Education Department in 1913 and remained there until a Department of Psychology and Philosophy was established in 1967. In 1968, these disciplined split, with psychology becoming an independent department and philosophy joining with religion.

In 1975, the department was allowed to offer the minor in philosophy and in 1978 the minor in religion. Efforts were made to develop a major in philosophy but the Board of Regents denied the request.

Students from any major may undertake the academic study of philosophy at South Dakota State University. The academic study of religion is designed to enrich the student's perspectives and introduce some of the important feature of philosophy and religion.

Philosophy and Religion is now merged into the Department of History, Political, Sciences, Philosophy, and Religion.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of material gathered by the Philosophy and Religion Department. Folders contain pamphlets, booklets and a course announcement. Also included is a lecture by Dr. Stanley L. Olsen and material from a Symposium on Education for New World Realities held in 1973.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.