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The techniques that philosophers use can be applied to almost any subject, so the possibilities for philosophical research are nearly endless. No matter your interests, studying philosophy will help you to develop the critical thinking skills that will get you started on uncovering what you want to know. Our accomplished professors conduct research and teach on a diverse range of subjects, including: military ethics, conscientious objection in health care, the problem of consciousness, distributive justice, free will, moral and legal responsibility, logic and paradoxes, and the rationality of belief in God, along with many other topics.

Here are descriptions of some of the fields in which faculty members conduct research:


Epistemology (from epistēmē, a Greek word for “knowledge”) studies the nature and scope of human knowledge. Topics include arguments for (and against) skepticism, theories of how to evaluate testimony, and theories of truth and justification.

Faculty Researchers


The study of ethics is concerned with developing general accounts of “right” and “wrong” and with answering specific questions about whether certain behaviors are permissible.

Faculty Researchers


Existentialism is an area of philosophy centered on the idea of the human being as an existing individual, whose task or burden is to become who she is.  Existentialism is generally skeptical of appeals to any kind of fixed human nature or essence, focusing instead on radical freedom and responsibility.

Faculty Researchers

History of Philosophy

Scholars who study the history of western philosophy often focus on specific periods, figures, or schools of thought. Popular areas of research include ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, medieval philosophy, renaissance and enlightenment philosophy, and the 20th century analytic and continental philosophical traditions. 

Faculty Researchers


Metaphysics is difficult to define, but it often focuses on questions about existence and about the natures of things. Examples of these questions include: In what sense do numbers and properties exist? What is the nature of time? Is there a God? Do we have free will?

Faculty Researchers

Moral Psychology

Moral psychology studies moral character, moral reasoning, and moral motivation as well as the way that internal and external factors can affect these things. Increasingly, work in this branch of philosophy is informed by empirical results from psychology.

Faculty Researchers


Phenomenology is the study or science of intentional phenomena, states of consciousness or experience that have or exhibit intentionality.  Phenomenology is thus concerned with how various categories of things (objects, events, and so on) are manifest in or to consciousness or experience.

Faculty Researchers

Philosophical Logic

Logic is the systemic study of reasoning and argumentation. Contemporary philosophical logic overlaps in significant ways with mathematics and plays an important role in advances in mathematics, computer science, and linguistics.

Faculty Researchers

Philosophy of Language

Philosophy of language is the study of the nature of linguistic meaning, and focuses on topics like truth, reference, modality, and the foundations of contemporary linguistics.

Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy of mind is the study of the relationship between mind and brain, the nature of consciousness and other mental phenomena, and how we perceive the world. It overlaps in important ways with cognitive science.

Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science is the study of what science is, how it works (both in general and in particular sciences), and what makes it different from other ways of investigating the world. A subfield—the philosophy of nature—examines the world itself through a scientific lens.

Social and Political Philosophy

Social and political philosophy examines issues that arise in the context of our efforts to live together in social groups and political bodies. Topics include justifications of the coercive power of the state and debates about rights, liberty, equality, the law, and just distributions of resources.

Faculty Researchers