As part of the University's General Education Program, the Department strives to imbue
students with skills involved in critical thinking and problem solving and an appreciation
of their human and cultural heritage.
At the Baccalaureate level, the Department provides courses which introduce students
to subdivisions within the discipline. At the Masters level, the Department emphasizes
specific and applied aspects of the subdivisions which prepare graduates to continue
the study of philosophy and enhance their intellectual lives. The focus of the Doctoral
program is training professional philosophers who can teach courses and contribute
to high-quality scholarly work in at least one of the subdivisions of philosophy.
For several decades there has been a deep schism in the American philosophical community
between "continental philosophy" and "analytic philosophy." That this schism has been
detrimental to the discipline is now widely recognized, and the University of Memphis
Department of Philosophy, along with a few other philosophy departments around the
country, seeks to engender an appreciation of both traditions in our students. The
history of philosophy is an important component of our program because it serves as
the common language of the two traditions.
In addition to overcoming the divisions of these traditions, the University of Memphis
Department of Philosophy seeks to promote inclusiveness (in terms of race and gender)
in all facets of the Department. Because feminism and race theory are areas of philosophy
where the boundaries separating analytic and continental philosophy are regularly
crossed, we have found that our commitments to philosophical pluralism and to diversity
complement one another.
Adopting this kind of inclusive stance in which a plurality of philosophical methodologies
and styles are respected and encouraged is the centerpiece of the University of Memphis
program. It is evident in the curriculum, and in the research and scholarly activities
of the faculty. The high level of research productivity and the conscientious training
of students advance both the reputation of the Department and the vitality of the
The goals of the Department include the following: continued development of the existing
degree programs, maintenance and enhancement of general education courses, maintenance
and enhancement of the national and international recognition of the faculty, service
to the profession and the community through sponsorship and contribution to public
programs and publications, and, above all, continued development and enhancement of
an inclusive environment in which all program participants can thrive.
The Department's achievements in cultivating an inclusive and pluralistic environment
constitute its uniqueness. Our success in this regard is recognized throughout the
global philosophical community, and other programs have attempted to emulate our practices
as a result. It is our hope that the students who complete our programs will spread
this mission to all other environments they inhabit.
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis is committed to providing
students, the profession of philosophy, and the community with innovative and high-quality
educational programs, scholarship, and service, which enhance the development of philosophy
as a discipline and the quality of the local, as well as global, intellectual environment.