Department of Philosophy

Our department offers opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate study in Philosophy. The undergraduate major, minor, and graduate programs provide an intellectually rigorous program of study in a supportive environment. The two principal educational goals of the philosophy programs are (1) to sharpen skills in critical thinking, analytical reading and writing, problem-solving, and clear and logical thinking, and (2) to teach students to probe questions that are foundational to the physical, life, and social sciences, the humanities, and the arts (i.e., the liberal arts) including questions about the basic concepts of mind, matter, and humanity. These programs provide a foundation for a wide variety of future careers and intellectual pursuits.

Undergraduate students can also take advantage of our Departmental Honors Program and our Pre-Law Emphasis. The Master’s program in particular is named as being among the best in the U.S. by The Philosophical Gourmet Report. Current areas of faculty specialization include:

  • Philosophy of Literature and Fiction
  • Philosophy of Language
  • History of Early Analytic Philosophy
  • History of Early Modern Philosophy
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Metaphysics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Moral Psychology
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Philosophy of Neuroscience
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Mind

The department is home to the Applied Ethics Forum, and affiliated with the Center For Medieval and Renaissance Studies. It has previously hosted the Pacific Division Meeting of the Society for Women in Philosophy and the California Conference in Early Modern Philosophy.