Philosophy is sometimes described as the study of the true, the good, and the beautiful, but a more useful characterization might describe some of the standard areas of philosophy. Metaphysics studies what there is and the role of humans in the structure of things. Does God exist? Are minds and thoughts real and basic, or are we merely bodies and brainstates? Does everything have a cause, and if so do we have free will? What is the nature of personal identity? These are examples of metaphysical questions. Epistemology is the study of knowledge: what we can know and how we know it. Can we really know anything? Is the world really the way it appears to us? Do other minds exist, and are their experiences like mine? How can we ever know the truth of a universal scientific law, based on our finite experience? Ethics considers what is right and wrong, ideals of the good life, and what we owe ourselves and others. Do I have any reason to obey a moral code if it conflicts with my self-interest? Why should I obey the law? Are moral values objective, or are they simply matters of convention or agreement? Logic studies arguments, inferences, and reasoning. What is a proof? What is a good argument? What is rationality? Other areas include philosophy of art, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Our department offers courses in all of these areas. We also teach courses in the History of Philosophy, which explore that the great thinkers of the past have said about these issues. In these courses, you will read the works of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Descartes, David Hume, Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and others.

Recent Submissions

  • Expressivist Moral Abolitionism 

    Campbell, Eric (Taylor & Francis Online, 2020-09-22)
    Moral abolitionists argue that ordinary moral discourse has downsides substantial enough to warrant abandoning the discourse in favour of some replacement(s). Their most common critique is that the ‘realist’ character of ...
  • The Creativity of Dissociation 

    Braude, Stephen E. (Taylor & Francis, 2008-10-17)
    This paper examines the complex and creative strategies employed in keeping beliefs, memories, and various other mental and bodily states effectively dissociated from normal waking consciousness. First, it examines cases ...
  • Counting Persons and Living With Alters: Comments on Matthews 

    Braude, Stephen E. (Project Muse, 2003-12-29)
    I am pleased to see an increasing amount of attention being paid to the topic of responsibility in cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). But I question whether Matthews and others are taking matters in a helpful ...
  • Book Review: Australian Poltergeist: The Stone-Throwing Spook of Humpty Doo and Many Other Cases 

    Healy, Tony; Cropper, Paul
    No doubt this breezily written and informative volume will fill a gaping lacuna in most JSE readers’ knowledge of evidence for psychokinesis generally and poltergeist phenomena in particular. It certainly did for me. Healy ...
  • Ian Stevenson: A Recollection and Tribute 

    Braude, Stephen E. (Society of Scientific Exploration, 2008)
    I had the pleasure of debating the issues concerning survival with Ian Stevenson over many years, both in person and in print. And there were quite a few issues on which we didn’t see eye to eye. But what made those ...
  • The Mediumship of Carlos Mirabelli (1889–1951) 

    BRAUDE, STEPHEN E. (Society of Scientific Exploration, 2017)
    The case of the Brazilian medium Carlos Mirabelli is one of the most tantalizing and frustrating in psychical research. If his phenomena— especially his psychokinetic manifestations—occurred as reported, he was probably ...
  • Follow-Up Investigation of the Felix Circle 

    BRAUDE, STEPHEN E. (Society of Scientific Exploration, 2016-03-15)
    In October 2015, I supervised a series of séances in Hanau, Germany, with the Felix Experimental Group (FEG) physical medium Kai Mügge. The purpose was to try to obtain better documentation of Kai’s table levitations than ...
  • Investigations of the Felix Experimental Group: 2010–2013 

    BRAUDE, STEPHEN E. (Society for Scientific Exploration, 2014-05-28)
    This paper chronicles my introduction to and subsequent investigation of the Felix Experimental Group (FEG) and its exhibitions of classical physical mediumship. It’s been nearly a century since investigators have had the ...
  • Perspectival Awareness and Postmortem Survival 

    BRAUDE, STEPHEN E. (Society for Scientific Exploration, 2009)
    Critics of survival research often claim that the survival hypothesis is conceptually problematic at best, and literally incoherent at worst. The guiding intuition behind their skepticism is that there’s an essential link ...
  • The Metaphysics of Recollection in Plato’s Meno 

    Schwab, Whitney (Walter de Gruyter Inc., Boston/Berlin, 2019-03-06)
    Recollection is central to the epistemology of Plato’s Meno. After all, the character Socrates claims that recollection is the process whereby embodied human souls bind down true opinions (doxai) and acquire knowledge ...
  • Higher Dispositional Optimism Predicts Lower Pain Reduction During Conditioned Pain Modulation 

    Hinkle, Caroline E.; Quiton, Raimi L. (Elsevier B.V., 2018-09-13)
    Optimism is associated with lower pain sensitivity, positive adjustment to chronic pain, and greater reduction of pain thresholds in a conditioned pain modulation (CPM) paradigm. We hypothesized that participants with ...
  • RECENT SPECIATION IN THE ORCHARD ORIOLE GROUP: DIVERGENCE OF ICTERUS SPURIUS SPURIUS AND ICTERUS SPURIUS FUERTESI 

    BAKER, JASON M.; LÓPEZ-MEDRANO, ESTEBAN; NAVARRO-SIGÜENZA, ADOLFO G.; ROJAS-SOTO, OCTAVIO R.; OMLAND, KEVIN E. (The American Ornithologists' Union, 2003-04-22)
    New World orioles (Icterus) include several closely related species and subspecies pairs that provide excellent opportunities for studying recent speciation. We examined a subspecies pair in the Orchard Oriole group: Orchard ...