Department of Philosophy

Statue of The Thinker

Philosophy investigates the most basic questions facing human beings: questions of existence, meaning and value. What can we know? What is real? What is the good life? These questions have found expression in an ever-expanding set of philosophical texts. The philosophical investigation of such issues is always undertaken in dialogue with other philosophers, past and present. Philosophers critically evaluate the answers proposed by ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, and compare them to those of modern philosophers such as Descartes and Kant, as well as to proposals from more recent philosophers such as Wittgenstein and de Beauvoir. Philosophical investigations of this sort naturally lead to self-examination and to the clarification of one's own basic commitments and values. So why study philosophy? Philosophers generally believe the unexamined life is not worth living. Our department deepens and enriches the lives of our students through mentored research by way of one-on-one conversations.

The Philosophy department is committed to racial justice. Read our statement about recent events and anti-racism.

Find out why Philosophy is a great major.

Are you a scholar or Ph.D. who works on areas of philosophical interest and happens to be in Volusia county? Meet Stetson's philosophy faculty and attend our colloquia and other events. If you are residing in the area, we can also help you access online library resources. Reach out to the chair, Dr. Melinda Hall, to become a visiting philosophy scholar at Stetson University.

The Philosophy Department's Senior Research Fund helps support undergraduate philosophical inquiry by providing scholarships for (1) academic conference presentations and (2) summer research. The fund is entirely supported by student and professor contributions. You might consider donating to the fund (after graduation and upon employment, if you are student). 100% of your donations will be used to support the research and presentation activities of our senior philosophy majors.

“I simply wouldn’t be who I am today without Stetson’s Philosophy department. I promised myself on the day of my graduation that one day, when I had a ‘real job,’ I would give back to the department that so fostered my intellectual and personal development. In my time as an undergraduate, the Philosophy faculty put truth to the vision of a values-centered education in tangible, experiential ways that administrative rhetoric and marketing slogans simply cannot.” - Mary Bernard, graduate from Stetson’s philosophy department and counselor, MS, RMHCI 

See the Scholarships and Awards tab for details.