How should we live? What gives our lives meaning and purpose? What should we believe, and how can we be confident that our beliefs are true? These are the questions that have occupied philosophers for centuries, and that occupy us as we live our lives. Philosophy seeks to give rigorous, well thought out answers to these questions, or, at least, to help us frame the right approaches in the search for truth. At Marquette, we pursue these and other perennial issues primarily through the study of Western philosophical traditions from their Greek origins to contemporary thought.

The Philosophy Department has 27 regular full-time faculty, with a wide range of teaching and research interests. The department has a long tradition of research strengths in Medieval Philosophy and Continental Philosophy. During the past fifteen years, the department has greatly expanded teaching and research strength in ethics, social, and applied philosophy.

For undergraduates, the department offers a major with three specialization tracks: History of Philosophy; Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy; and Ethics and Values. For graduate students, we offer a Ph.D. that allows for specialization in all areas of the history of philosophy as well as many systematic areas. We also offer an M.A with specializations in the History of Philosophy and Social and Applied Philosophy.

Philosophy Department Mission Statement 

          The Philosophy Department at Marquette University aims to enable students in all disciplines with the development of interpretive, critical, analytical and communicative skills necessary to personal intellectual and moral development, cultural literacy, and achievement in the complexities of life in the Twenty-First Century. The Department aims to foster among faculty and students a climate of mutual respect and support for engaging in scholarship, learning, and service that embraces diversity, respect for historic traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge in historic and contemporary approaches to philosophy. The department aims to extend the role of philosophy beyond the university through its publications and leadership in the profession and through innovative programs that engage alumni and community members. As a philosophy department in a Jesuit Catholic University, the Department encourages students and faculty to engage in exploration of the Catholic tradition in the history of philosophy and an examination of the role of philosophy in a life of faith and service. The Department understands its mission in the context of the University’s Mission statement. (Adopted 08/2009)

Gving LinkDept. of Philosophy

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Click on giving and in the drop down menu of the "Designation Box," select "other," then copy and paste the following phrase "Friends of Philosophy" into the box labeled "other."


Philosophy Graduate Student Association Hosts Conference
The PGSA will be hosting a conference on interpretation on Saturday, March 28th. Faculty member Dr. Pol Vandevelde will deliver the keynote speech. Program can be found here.

Grad Student Publishes Book
Stephen Plecnik's A User-Friendly Introduction to Logic, Second Edition, has been accepted for publication by Stipes Publishing and will be ready to print this semester.

In Memoriam
The members of the Philosophy Department mourn the passing of Dr. Bill Starr. Bill passed away Sunday February 1, 2015.  He is survived by his wife Marna, daughter Maura (Timm) Heck and two grandchildren. A University Memorial was held on Monday, February 23, 2015. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Faculty Promoted Congratulations to Sebastian Luft and Kevin Gibson. Both have been promoted to full professor!

Catlyn Origitano wins Research Grant
Ph.D. Candidate Catlyn Origitano has won a MU Center for Transnational Justice Graduate Student Research Grant to support her project on "Art during Genocide." She will travel to Prague in the Spring to research a paper that will be submitted for publication.

Sebastian Luft Named DAAD Research Ambassador
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), is excited to announce that DR. SEBASTIAN LUFT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR at MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY’S DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, has been selected to serve as a DAAD Research Ambassador for the 2014/2015 academic year. This academic year, the Research Ambassador program is honoring 18 individuals who have conducted a long-term research project in Germany at the doctoral level or above. Dr. Luft will not only be promoting research in Germany, but will also be representing Marquette University on a professional level.

Grad Student wins prize in Latin American Thought
Phil Mack (2nd year PhD), won the American Philosophical Association 2014 Prize in Latin American Thought (http://www.apaonline.org/?latin_american). This is a blind-reviewed, national prize sponsored by the APA Committee on Hispanics in Philosophy. His prize winning essay, "Should a Concept of Truth be attributed to Nahuatl Thought? Preserving 'the Colonial Difference' between Concepts of the West and Nahua Philosophy, will be presented at the APA Eastern, published in the Newsletter and earns a cash prize.