Spring 2015 Proseminars

Dr. Friend: "Logical Pluralism" on Wednesdays from 11:10am to 1:00pm. Click here for more info. Dr. Reeves: "John Stuart Mill: Freedom and Feminism" on Mondays from 5:10 to 7:00pm. Click here for more info.

In Memoriam: Dr. William B. Griffith

It is with great sadness that the Department of Philosophy mourns the loss of Professor William B. Griffith. Click here to see Bill's Memorial Page.  

Make a Donation to the Griffith Memorial Fund

The department has established the William B. Griffith Memorial Fund in Bill’s memory, which will be used to support graduate students in philosophy.

Department of Philosophy

SocratesWelcome from the Chair

Greetings from the Department of Philosophy at The George Washington University!  We are a pluralist department comprised of almost 30 full and part-time faculty offering courses in the history of philosophy, ethics, social, political, and legal philosophy, logic, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of science, analytic, continental, and American philosophy, environmental philosophy, and philosophy of race, gender, and disability.  We offer two different majors in our department: 1) a traditional track that provides a strong background in the history of philosophy (especially recommended for students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in Philosophy); 2) a philosophy and public affairs option that emphasizes theoretical and applied ethics, as well as social and political philosophy.  Our philosophy majors in both tracks have enjoyed a wide range of post-graduate careers both in and outside the academy and find that the analytical skills they develop as philosophy majors help them to be successful in many different professions including law, medicine, teaching, business, and public policy. 

Our department is distinctive in offering an M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy, an interdisciplinary graduate program that takes full advantage of our downtown Washington, D.C. location.  In addition to their philosophy and policy graduate courses, our Philosophy and Social Policy M.A. students choose among a wide variety of offerings in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and interact closely with graduate students from all over the University.    Many obtain policy internships in Washington while they are enrolled in the program, creating an exciting synergy between their coursework and their employment experience.  These internships have frequently led to full-time positions in prominent policy organizations upon graduation.

In the fall of 2015, we are launching a new M.A. track, and we are currently accepting applications for both M.A. programs.  Our new, disciplinary M.A. in Philosophy will run alongside the M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy, which will allow students in the new M.A. to take policy-related courses in philosophy while they also take regular philosophy courses.  The M.A. in Philosophy, like the M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy, offers students the opportunity to design their own curriculum based on their specific philosophical interests.  The new M.A. is designed to prepare students for Ph.D. programs in Philosophy or related fields but will also be invaluable to candidates seeking advancement in a professional field where critical thinking and writing is essential.  This disciplinary graduate degree will also provide an excellent formal credential for individuals who wish to further their undergraduate philosophy education as well as those who seek to teach philosophy and/or or related subjects at the secondary school level.      

The GW Department of Philosophy prides itself on offering our philosophy majors and minors the personal attention usually associated with smaller, liberal arts colleges.  We are a research-active, congenial group of full and part-time faculty and enjoy sharing our work and exchanging ideas in department brown bag presentations.  We also have an annual endowed lecture series that regularly attracts some of the top philosophers in our profession to GW to speak to our students and faculty. 

We hope you enjoy browsing our website and invite you to attend one of our departmental events if you are in the area!

Gail Weiss

Chair, Department of Philosophy 

Meet the Department Chair

Chair of the Department of Philosophy Gail Weiss is currently working on two book projects and co-editing a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia. She specializes in phenomenology, existentialism, feminist theory, critical race theory, and philosophy of literature.

M.A. Program in Philosophy & Social Policy