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Department of Liberal Studies University of Illinois Springfield

Liberty Studies Minor

The Liberty Studies minor is a course of study focusing on the foundations, meanings, and implications of what it is to be free.  It poses the fundamental question of “What can I do with my life?”  It questions the power of institutions and the legitimacy of the constraints they impose.  It explores freedom and liberty from multiple perspectives, including minorities and women in our own culture, and indigenous people of other times and places.  Liberty Studies examines the costs and benefits of free human interaction, the need of naturally social animals to be left alone, and ultimately wrestles with the questions of what freedom and liberty are and should be.

The Liberty Studies minor approaches the study of liberty in relation to the three subject areas commonly addressed in the literature:  cultural influences, economic activity, and formal authority.  The study of these three areas is integrated both in how individual courses relate to each other individually and are tied together by the required courses.  This minor can be taken on campus or online.


Requirements of the minor (15-16 hours)

Required courses (5 hours)
LIS 211 Liberty Studies – 3 hours
PHI 440 Ethics OR PHI 441 Moral Theory – 2 hours

Select one course from each of the three categories listed below:

Liberty and Commerce
LIS 319 Philosophy of Business – 3 hours
LIS 417 Free Market Philosophies – 3 hours
PHI 447 Rationality and Moral Choice – 3 hours

Liberty and Authority
HIS 445 Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution – 4 hours
LIS 411 Liberty Struggles – 4 hours
PHI 485 Social Philosophy – 4 hours

Liberty and Culture
ENG 335 Early American Literature – 4 hours
LIS 315 Individualism and Self-reliance in America – 3 hours
SOA 222 American Society – 3 hours