The department offers a wide range of opportunities for philosophical exchange and dialogue--both within the intellectual community of the department itself and with the wider philosophical community. These opportunities include colloqiua, conferences, reading groups, visiting scholars programs, as well as numerous other departmental events.
Each year, the department welcomes a number of visiting scholars. These philosophers come to Saint Louis University under a variety of auspices including the Philosophy Colloquium Series, the Collins Visiting Professorship, the Frankfurt Exchange program, NEH research grants funded by CMRS, or by the Philosophy department jointly with other departments and schools.
Throughout the academic year, the Philosophy Department invites philosophers from neighboring as well as more distant universities to present and discuss their work with our faculty and graduate students. Lectures typically run for one hour with a 45 minute discussion period following. Unless otherwise noted, colloquia take place on Friday afternoons in Adorjan Hall room 142.
In conjunction with our Colloquium series, the department brings a selected scholar to campus for the annual Wade Memorial Lecture. On alternate years, the Wade Memorial Lecture is held in conjunction with the Henle Conference (see below). For an archive of Wade lectures see here.
The Philosophy Department hosts three regular conference series: a yearly Graduate Student Conference (organized by the PGSA and chaired by its president), the biennial Henle Conference (each chaired by a different faculty member in collaboration with the Robert J. Henle Chair in Philosophy), and the quadrennial Globalization Conference (coordinated by the Danforth I Chair in the Humanities). In addition to these reoccurring conferences, individual members of the department regularly organize and conferences devoted to philosophical topics of special interest. Recent and upcoming conferences include: the (2009) Midwestern Epistemology Workshop, and the upcoming (Spring 2011) Putting Powers To Work: a conference on causal powers in contemporary metaphysics.
There are a number of reading groups which run continuously every academic year; these groups are organized around topical interests of current faculty and graduate students. At present, there are reading groups devoted to metaphysics, epistemology, history and philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, and medieval Latin philosophical texts. (On occasion, such groups have been known to sponsor "Author-Meets-Critics" sessions with philosophers whose work they have been reading.) In addition to the on-going reading groups, there are also often other groups which develop more spontaneously around a particular text or or topic of special interest.
A more complete description and listing of reading groups can be found here. Check the departmental calendar for specific times of meetings.
Throughout the academic year graduate students present papers to fellow grads as and to faculty. These occasions provide an opportunity for graduate students to present work in progress, conference papers, or upcoming job talks.