About the Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis is committed to providing students, the profession of philosophy, and the community with innovative and high-quality educational programs, scholarship, and service, which enhance the development of philosophy as a discipline and the quality of the local, as well as global, intellectual environment.


As part of the University's General Education Program, the Department strives to imbue students with skills required for critical thinking and problem solving and an appreciation of their human and cultural heritage.

At the BA level, we introduce students to subdivisions within the discipline. At the MA level, the emphasis is on specific and applied aspects of the subdivisions which prepare graduates to continue the study of philosophy and enhance their intellectual lives. The PhD program trains professional philosophers who produce high-quality scholarly work and are able to teach courses not only in their specialty but also a wide variety of basic courses.


A schism between Continental philosophy and analytic philosophy has divided the American philosophical community for several decades. That this schism has been detrimental to the discipline is now widely recognized, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis is one of several philosophy departments around the country that seeks to engender an appreciation of both traditions in our students. The history of philosophy is an important component of our program because it serves as the common language of the two traditions. Our high level of research productivity and conscientious training of students also contribute to the vitality of the Department and the profession.


In addition to overcoming the divergence between the Continental and analytic traditions, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis seeks to cultivate inclusiveness (notably, in terms of race and gender) in all facets of the Department. Since feminist philosophy and race theory are areas of philosophy where the boundaries separating analytic and continental philosophy are regularly crossed, we have found that our commitments to philosophical pluralism and to diversity complement one another. Adopting this kind of inclusive stance in which a plurality of philosophical methodologies and styles are respected and encouraged is the centerpiece of the University of Memphis program. It is evident in the curriculum and in the research and scholarly activities of the faculty.

The Department's achievements in cultivating an inclusive and pluralistic environment constitute one of its unique features. These successes have been recognized across the global philosophical community, and we have been gratified to see other programs emulate our practices and aspirations. We encourage applications from students who share these interests in pluralism and diversity.