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Philosophy Department

Department Chair

Robert B. Talisse

Director of Graduate Studies

Julian Wuerth

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Michael Hodges

Office Administrator

Rebecca Davenport


Philosophy Department
111 Furman Hall
Vanderbilt University
Nashville TN 37240


(615) 322-2637


(615) 343-7259

4+1 MA: Qualified Vanderbilt undergraduates may earn an MA in Philosophy with just 1 year of study beyond the 4 years of undergraduate work.

John Lachs delivered the 2017 Berry Lecture in Public Philosophy on "Death and Self-Importance."

Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse have launched a YouTube video series, Philosophy15, devoted to short discussions of philosophical topics

Routledge recently published Lenn Goodman's Judaism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation.

In April 2016, the Department hosted the inaugural Compton Lecture, in honor of founding department member John Compton.

Kelly Oliver published two new books with Columbia: Earth and World and Hunting Girls.

In 2015, the Berlin Practical Philosophy International Forum hosted a conference devoted to the work of John Lachs.

The Chronicle of Higher Education Published an Article on Lisa Guenther's Work.

Dobbs-Weinstein's Book Published at Cambridge, Spinoza's Critique of Religion and Its Heirs.

Julian Wuerth's book, Kant on Mind, Action, and Ethics, has won the North American Kant Society's Book Prize.

The Vanderbilt Philosophy Department has a long and distinguished history of excellence and innovation in Philosophy. Faculty research spans the major areas of philosophical inquiry and reflects an uncommonly broad spectrum of methodological commitments, encompassing analytic, continental, pragmatist, and historical approaches. Departmental research strengths include Epistemology, Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, History of Philosophy (Ancient, Medieval, Modern, 19th and 20th Century), Metaphysics, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Race, and Social and Political Philosophy.

The Department’s disciplinary breadth is well represented in its course offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level, and is reflected in its ongoing series of academic events, including the Philosophy Colloquium, the Social and Political Thought Workshop, and the annual Berry Lectures, all of which bring distinguished philosophers from around the world to Vanderbilt. In addition, the Department regularly hosts regional, national and international conferences; recent topics have ranged from the epistemic regress problem to pacifism and Latina feminism. Informal study groups and research workshops are organized by graduate students and often involve participation from students and faculty alike.

Every student admitted to our PhD Program receives five years of full funding, which includes a tuition waiver, insurance, and a stipend. Our PhD Program is designed to be completed in five years.

Our placement record is especially strong. Current placement data can be found here. The Department has an ongoing commitment to gender, racial, and ethnic diversity. This commitment is evident in our graduate student population; in recent years, the gender proportion of students entering our PhD program has been over 60% women.

Apply to our PhD Program here. If you have further questions, please contact our Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies.

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