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)
Help support the Department of Philosophy at Marquette.
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."
Mr. Jered Janes is the 2013-2014 Recipient of the Thomas C. Anderson Graduate Student Teaching Award. This award, named for former Philosophy Chair Thomas Anderson, is granted to the student receiving the highest teaching evaluation scores, as well as from input from the department Assistant Chair and Director of Graduate Studies. Congratulations Jered!
The Philosophy Department is pleased to welcome three new faculty members for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dr. Yoon Choi (Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track) received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge where she wrote her dissertation Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness. She is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Tufts University.
Dr. Ericka Tucker (Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track) received her Ph.D. from Emory University with a dissertation entitled Individuals, Power and Participation: Metaphysics and Politics in Spinoza. She has taught at California State Polytechnic Univesity and been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Helsinki.
Dr. Eunah Lee (Visiting Assistant Professor) received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University; her dissertation is entitled Ethics of World Citizens: Kantian Cosmopolitanism.
Dr. Nancy E. Snow, professor of philosophy in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of a $2.6 million grant that will fund interdisciplinary research on virtue, character and the development of the moral self. The three-year grant was awarded by the Templeton Religion Trust, which funds discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. Snow is leading the large-scale research initiative, "The Self, Motivation, and Virtue," with Dr. Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame.
The initiative will include the seeding of 10 new research projects, an interdisciplinary forum, interdisciplinary conferences with international scholars, a project website and several book projects. According to Snow, the project will study how individuals develop virtue in their lives and how it is translated into practical efforts such as education. The researchers hope their work will ultimately impact important societal issues, such as bullying, and focus on how to counter them – a goal that Snow said aligns perfectly with Marquette's Catholic, Jesuit mission.
"We will also look at the development of virtue in the emerging person – what happens as we grow up and develop into people," Snow added. "We want to take a deeper dive into whether the development of virtue involves memories, genetics, etc. In this way, we can develop a more comprehensive picture of how key periods in our lives – adolescence, retirement, physical decline, traumatic incidents – play a role. Ultimately, we want to generate an appreciation of what virtue is, the importance of motivation to virtue and how virtue can be cultivated."
The project will officially begin on Sept. 1, 2014. The project's first big event, the Interdisciplinary Moral Forum, will be held at Marquette in spring 2015 and will feature research presentations by international scholars.