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)
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Professor Owen Flanagan, Duke University, is scheduled to deliver the 78th Aquinas Lecture at Marquette University at 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 23, 2014 in the Beaumier Suites of the Raynor Memorial Library. This year's lecture, is entitled "Moral Sprouts and Natural Teleologies: 21st Century Moral Psychology Meets Classical Chinese Philosophy." The lecture is free and open to the public, and a reception to honor Professor Flanagan will follow the lecture. Owen Flanagan is the James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy.
The Philosophy Department welcomes Rev. Harry Gensler, S.J. as the Spring 2014 Rev. Francis Wade, S.J. Chair. In addition to teaching a Philosophy Department Theory of Ethics course, Fr. Gensler will deliver the Wade Public Lecture, entitled "The Golden Rule" on April 8, 2014 at 4:00 P.M. in the Raynor Library Beaumier Suites.
Professor Pol Vandevede has been awarded the prestigious "Prix Mercier" by the Institut Superieur de Philosophie of the Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium, for his last book on Heidegger and the Romantics: The Literary Invention of Meaning (Routledge).
This is what the description of the prize says: "The Prix Mercier, a prize of € 2,500 to be awarded biennially by the Foundation Cardinal Mercier of the Université catholique de Louvain, honors a publication of exceptional merit on metaphysics, first philosophy or ontology and their relevance to the contemporary world.
Former recipients from the US include Nicholas Rescher (University of Pittsburgh), William Desmond (University of Leuven and Villanova University), John Whippel (Catholic University of America).