Department of Philosophy

About the Department

The Department of Philosophy at Florida State University was organized in September 1965, following the dissolution of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies into two distinct academic programs, the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Religion. Effective that same year, the Department of Philosophy implemented its bachelor's and master's degree programs, and instituted for the first time in the state of Florida a doctoral degree program in Philosophy. In 2018, the Department of Philosophy started the FSU Experimental Philosophy Research Group, consisting of philosophers and scientists from around the world. 

The department hosts the annual Werkmeister Conference (recent topics include Debunking Arguments, Cosmopolitanism, Form & Function in Biology, and Folk Concepts), the annual Minorities in Philosophy Conference, the Minds Online Conference, the annual Florida State University Free Will, Responsibility, and Agency Conference, the bi-annual UF-FSU Philosophy conference, a Colloquium Series, a Friday Lunchtime Talk series, various reading groups, a graduate student writing group and FSU’s public philosophy series, Brain Freeze. In addition, the department features the Bayles Ethics Lectures and various Departmental Workshops. Further, the department publishes Social Theory and Practice, a leading journal in social and political philosophy founded by the department in 1970, and Berkeley Studies, a web-based journal dedicated to promoting the scholarly understanding of the life and philosophy of George Berkeley. 

The department has also been privileged to be the home of the generously funded Big Questions in Free Will Project and Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project. These projects have funded dozens of research grants, multiple series of conferences, and many publications. 

The department is committed to maintaining an exceptionally strong faculty, and new appointments are made regularly. The faculty has a diverse set of interests, with special strengths in ancient and modern philosophy, ethics, logic, action theory, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of biology.

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Recent News

Congratulations to Andrew Moffat, who successfully defended his dissertation, “Why Not Luck?”

Andrew Moffat successfully defended his dissertation, “Why Not Luck?” on Nov. 10. Andrew’s committee was co-chaired by Simon May and Piers Rawling.

Alumni News

Congratulations to Gordon Cooper, who successfully defended his dissertation, “Tracing Principles and Self-Inflicted Constitutive Luck.”

Gordon Cooper successfully defended his dissertation, “Tracing Principles and Self-Inflicted Constitutive Luck,” on Nov. 8. Gordon’s committee was chaired by Alfred Mele.

Alumni News

Associate Professor Courtney Fugate awarded an NEH grant from the Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations program

The Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations program supports collaborative teams who are editing, annotating, and translating foundational humanities texts that are vital to scholarship but are currently inaccessible or only available in inadequate editions or translations.

Faculty News

Congratulations to PhD student Renee Rushing, joint winner of the Royal Institute of Philosophy’s annual Philosophy Essay Prize.

A Florida State University doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy has won a prestigious international essay competition for her paper exploring backward-looking emotions, particularly anger, and under what circumstances it is permissible to let go of such feelings.

Alumni News

Graduate Student Joseph Masotti Awarded 3rd Place in FSU’s “Master’s in Four” Competition.

Joseph Masotti was awarded 3rd place in FSU’s Master’s in Four competition for his presentation, “Navigating the Moral Maze: Acting Ethically When We Don’t Know.”

Alumni News

Professor Michael Bishop awarded 2022-23 University Teaching Award for Innovation in Teaching

Congratulations to Professor Michael Bishop, who has received a 2022-23 University Teaching Award for Innovation in Teaching.

Faculty News