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Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University is distinguished by a long-standing tradition of pluralism both of methodology and interest.

In recent years, we have gained national and international recognition in epistemology, medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, action theory and social-political philosophy. The department is also home to the journal Res Philosophica, one of the oldest philosophy journals in the United States.

Our faculty members explore the history of philosophy from antiquity to the present, as well as most areas of contemporary analytic and continental European philosophy.

Philosophy Degrees at SLU

Mission

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, and to foster a reflective moral life. We seek 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.

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

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.

Giving

The department benefits enormously from the generosity of University graduates, their parents, and other friends of Saint Louis University Philosophy. Gifts and donations to the department help make it possible for us us to sustain and develop faculty research programs, as well as graduate and undergraduate curricular and extracurricular offerings.

Saint Louis University has been designated as the recipient of a bequest worth an estimated $2 million from Theodore R. Vitali, C.P., Ph.D., a longtime faculty member in the Department of Philosophy. 

To donate to the department, you can use the online giving form. You can then specify the philosophy department as the recipient of your gift. We are listed under the College of Arts and Sciences. We use the money to enrich the educational experience of our students in a variety of ways. For instance, we send students to conferences to present their research and to gain valuable professional experience; we bring in speakers and organize conferences, as well as hosting events that give students and faculty and opportunity to interact informally.