Department of Philosophy


Philosophers ask big questions, critically explore a vast range of topics, and call into question many of our established assumptions. Our mission is to advance our discipline by producing innovative research, teaching, and service. Our department offers both undergraduate (major, double-major, minor) and graduate (master’s) degrees.  The Philosophical Gourmet ranks our M.A. program among the best nationwide. The high rating of the M.A. program ensures that the undergraduate program is also very strong.  Some of our undergraduate majors are currently pursuing philosophy Ph.D.s in programs every bit as excellent as those in which we have placed our M.A. students.


Investigate the Career of the UMSL Philosophy Major


Philosophy Three-Year Course Plan.

The Department of Philosophy is home to the following interdisciplinary programs: Bachelor of Liberal StudiesNeuroscience CertificatePhilosophy of Science and Technology Minor, and the Certificate of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.



Latest Departmental research and news:

  • Our M.A. students this winter have been admitted to many Ph.D. programs for the fall, including Rutgers, Virginia, Washington U, Colorado, Wisconsin, UC-Irvine, Ohio State, Syracuse and others.
  • Gualitero Piccinini has won an NSF Scholars Award for "Explaining Cognition Mechanistically".
  • Billy Dunaway's "Luck: Evolutionary and Epistemic" is forthcoming in Episteme and is available online.
  • Jill Delston collaborated with Huei-Wern Shen, & Yi Wang on “Does Sense Of Benevolence Influence Volunteering and Caregiving Among Older People?” in Social Work Research (in Press).
  • Eric Wiland's "Peer Disagreement and the Dunning-Kruger Effect" is forthcoming in Episteme and can be found online, while his"Moral Testimony: Going on the Offensive" will appear in Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume 12 (2017).
  • Lauren Olin's "Questions for a Theory of Humor" is forthcoming in Philosophy Compass, and her "Is Every Epistemology a Virtue Epistemology?" is forthcoming in Epistemic Situationism, Oxford University Press.
  • Lauren Olin, Thomas Ames, and Şerife Tekin are serving as critics of Philip Gerrans' The Measure of Madness at the upcoming APA Central.
  • Stephanie Ross's "Criticism" has appeared in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Literature.
  • Jonathan Roberts presented "John Davenant's Thomism" at the Davenant/Refo500 Conference on Hooker and Zanchi.
  • Thomas Ames presented "Intentionality and Aesthetics as Art in Nature" at the Gonzaga Graduate Philosophy Conference and "Trusting the Group in Pursuit of an Incognizant Common Good" at the Arizona State University Graduate Philosophy Conference and the Midsouth Philosophy Conference.
  • Laura Miller will present “Adaptive Value: Finding Rationality in the Risks of the Global Poor" at the VIII Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy in 
Braga, Portugal on June 8-9, 2017.

More Philosophy Department news can be found on the News page.

Philosophy Tutors @ SSB 222: