The Department of Philosophy is a pluralistic department that offers theoretical, historical, and thematic approaches to the enduring questions and the evolution of ideas. Overall, we emphasize two mutually enriching areas of inquiry: the history of philosophy and ethics (theoretical and applied). This combination allows us to put pressing moral and political issues into a rich intellectual and cultural perspective.
The department encourages an intense but informal culture of dialogue and fellowship. We hold regular guest lectures, panels, and colloquia. The undergraduate Philosophy Society meets weekly to discuss texts and ideas. We invite you to take a course or visit with us at one of our events.
Our department offers:
Philosophical dialogue and discussion are not limited to the classroom at Suffolk. We are home to a vibrant community of thinkers, with plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and interact with their professors.
Undergraduate Philosophy Society
Discuss the nature of being and other philosophical questions over coffee with your fellow students and professors. The Philosophy Society gathers weekly to attend lectures, discuss readings, and host guest speakers, taking full advantage of both the Suffolk and Greater Boston philosophical communities. Members have the opportunity to make connections with their peers, professors, and other leading scholars in the field of philosophy.
Each year, seniors participate in the Philosophy Department's Annual Symposium, a lively dialogue and discussion of ideas. The format for the Symposium follows the same procedures as the Dialogues of Plato and involves a student delivering a speech on a philosophical idea, followed by responses from classmates. Themes for the Symposium are chosen in advance. Previous Symposium topics include “The Good Life" (2009), "Chaos, Order, Harmony" (2010), “Truth, Illusion, and Reality” (2011), “Aesthetics” (2012), and “Self-knowledge” (2013).
The Symposium is a culmination of the study of Philosophy at Suffolk and takes place near the end of each spring semester. Participation in the Symposium is a requirement for all seniors, but some advanced junior philosophy majors may also take part in it. In addition to an oral presentation, senior students are required to prepare a three page written synopsis of their positions with references and footnotes.
Philosophy undergraduate students also have opportunities to study abroad, both through semester-long programs and study tours, which are offered periodically in conjunction with courses. Past study tours have traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland, and other European destinations. These tours are designed to provoke thoughtful discussion and reflection among students.