Inspired by the Jesuit Catholic ideal of finding God in all things, the Saint Louis University Department of Philosophy engages in teaching, research, and service that, in various ways, work to promote justice, care for others, and openness to God. As a pluralistic department, we prize not only approaches that accord with or affirm this traditional Jesuit Catholic ideal, but also those that strengthen it by challenging it.
Undergraduate Teaching: The Department strives to provide an excellent introduction to the discipline and practice of philosophy. We seek to build up in our students the ability to understand, explain, and evaluate lines of reasoning, to foster a reflective moral life, and to educate them in the history of philosophy, contemporary philosophical debate, and the Catholic heritage. Our goal is to nurture in each student a philosophical habit of mind, an appreciation for the Western philosophical tradition, a spirit of intellectual inquiry, and a lifelong desire for wisdom.
Graduate Teaching: The Department aims to help graduate students understand current debates in light of the rich history of philosophy and to prepare them to contribute creatively to contemporary discussions. The Department also mentors students in the practice of teaching philosophy so that they might become excellent teachers, able to pass on that understanding and heritage. Finally, in fidelity to its Jesuit Catholic mission, the Department provides various informal settings for interested students and faculty to explore together the integration of reason with faith and moral commitment.
Research: The Department seeks to continue the Catholic tradition of engaging philosophically with contemporary culture, both to learn from it and to share with it the intellectual heritage Catholicism treasures. The Department serves this tradition through philosophical research from a range of perspectives, Catholic and non-Catholic. In their research, faculty members aim to enrich the life of the mind and further the welfare of the human community.
Service: The Department is guided by the Jesuit ideal of being men and women for others. Consistent with this goal, the members of the Department endeavor to place their philosophical expertise and their other talents and gifts at the service of Saint Louis University as well as various academic, religious, business, political, or cultural communities.