Philosophy Department

Philosophy teaches students to think clearly and critically about the most important questions of life. We explore not only how things are, but also how they could have been and how they ought to be. Philosophy majors and minors routinely score high on all standardized tests and go on to successful careers in business, education, government, law, medicine and public policy.

Our department explores contemporary philosophical questions through the lens of the history of philosophy. We have broad research and teaching interests in the Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, and a variety of topics in American Pragmatism, Analytic Philosophy, and Continental Philosophy.

We are home to the Symposium of Living Philosophers - a unique undergraduate educational experience, where students have the opportunity to take a yearlong seminar on the work of one of the central figures in contemporary philosophy. Students have the opportunity to work directly with the featured philosopher, as well as with a variety of guest lecturers from universities around the country. Featured philosophers have included: Richard Rorty, Michael Walzer, John Caputo, Anthony Appiah, and Judith Butler.

Our students achieve an understanding of the central figures and texts in the history of philosophy, the four traditional theories of ethics together with an understanding of the nature of justice, and the formal techniques used to evaluate arguments. They are taught to carefully read, comprehend and compress written material, to compare and contrast a range of positions on a given topic, to defend a specific position on a topic, and to write clearly and in an organized fashion. And they develop the ability to apply philosophical positions and arguments to other academic disciplines and to matters of public interest.

Department Chair

Josh Alexander

Joshua J. Alexander

Associate Professor of Philosophy

412 Siena Hall

(518) 782‑6715