KNOWLEDGE. JUSTICE. REASONING.
Welcome to the Department of Philosophy
Philosophers study the deep intellectual problems that underlie or unify other disciplines in the sciences and humanities.
Philosophy investigates fundamental questions about the nature of things—about the universe as a whole, about human beings, society, science, ethics and art. As a philosophy student, you will learn about the basic intellectual foundation for our political, social and legal systems, as well as our understanding of the principles of modern science and technology. You will explore deep theoretical, practical and moral issues that do not easily fit into more specialized disciplines. Philosophy will challenge you with its reflective and critical approach to important, often puzzling, questions about the nature of right and wrong, time and space perception, and the human mind.
The Department of Philosophy is internationally recognized for the quality of research conducted by its faculty members.
Visit our blog to read about news and goings-on in the department and keep up-to-date with our events!
Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series
Guest Speaker: Eric Mathison
Alberta Health Service's Clinical Ethicist
Friday, November 22, 2019
Time: 3:00 p.m.
A clinical ethicist is part philosopher, part investigative journalist, part negotiator, and part therapist. The clinical ethicist's task is to identify ethical issues in health care and find ways to improve them. Some of this occurs at the case-based level: e.g., a physician wants to know if it's ethically permissible to withdraw life-sustaining treatment, or a spouse is trying to make a treatment decision for her incapacitated partner but isn't sure of the best choice. There is also the system level, which involves setting policies that will promote ethical outcomes. In this talk, Mr. Mathison will describe what it's like being a clinical ethicist and go through some of the difficult cases he has encountered.
Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series
On the Puzzling Death of the Sanctity-of-Life Argument
Guest Speaker: Dr. Katharina Stevens
Department of Philosophy, U of L
Friday, November 29, 2019
TIme: 3:00 p.m.
The passage of time influences the content of the law and therefore also the validity of legal arguments. This is true even for charter-arguments, despite the widely held view that constitutional law is made to last. In this paper, Dr. Stevens investigates the reason why the sanctity-of-life argument against physician assisted suicide lost its validity between the Supreme Court decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993 and Carter v. Canada in 2015. She suggests that a rhetorical approach to argument evaluation is the best basis for a satisfying explanation.
Call for Papers - Undergraduate Student Conference - Department of Philosophy
The Department of Philosophy hosts an undergraduate student conference that highlights high-quality student papers. Papers on any philosophical subject may be submitted and submissions can be work originally written for other purposes (such as coursework). Individuals from groups typically underrepresented in philosophy are particularly encouraged to apply. Papers will be blind-refereed with notices of acceptance sent out by early-February. Submissions should be suitable for a twenty-minute presentation, with a word count of approximately 2500 - 3000 words.
Our next conference will take place on Friday, February 28, 2020 and the submission deadline is Friday, January 17, 2020.
Submissions and questions can be forwarded to: Karl Laderoute (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note: submissions should be readied for blind review, with all identifying information (such as name and student number) removed.
Philosophy Reading Weekend
The Philosophy Reading Weekend is a new tradition in the Department of Philosophy. Every year, in the spring/early summer, we rent a house in the area. Faculty members and about ten students spend the weekend reading and discussing a philosophical work, cooking together, eating (a lot, if experience is any indication) and having fun. The philosophy reading weekend has been a big success in the first two years of its existence. Look out for the advertisements in your classes and in the Department News!
Philosophy Help Centre
If you need help with philosophy, visit the philosophy help centre! The Centre will open for business on Thursday, September 19th and will run each Thursday from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (ending on December 5th). It is possible that we will extend operation to December 12th dependent on the tutors' schedules.
Location: B-883 (University Hall)
Career Bridge | Co-operative Education & Applied Studies
Put Your Knowledge to Work
Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The programs available in the Career Bridge office will provide you with a solid foundation for further studies and an excellent framework for a challenging and rewarding career — whatever direction you decide to go. Explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement your degree.