Resources and Activities

The Department of Philosophy works to ensure that each philosophy student can acquire and hone the skills and resources he or she needs to become a better philosopher, as a reader, as a discussant, and most of all as a writer. In all its activities, the Department encourages its members to be respectful, constructive, and inclusive in philosophical discussion.

Here are some useful resources:

Savan Library

Graduate students have at their disposal the resources of the David Savan Library, located on the department’s premises at the Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, 5th floor.  It contains a collection of books and periodicals in philosophy, together with tools for searching philosophy collections.

Carrels and Computers

Graduate students are assigned study carrels in the department which have hook-ups for notebook computers; they also have exclusive use of a room containing printers and computers. Please read the policy on printer use carefully (PDF). Wireless connectivity is available throughout the department and campus.

Department Colloquia

Philosophy Colloquia are held 3-4 times each year. They features invited speakers from other universities on a wide range of philosophical topics. All members of the faculty and graduate students are expected to attend. A reception in honour of the speaker is held following the lecture.

View all colloquia in our Events listings.

Special Lecture Series

The department hosts several endowed lecture series. The Jerome S. Simon Lectures are a biennial series of colloquia given by a philosopher of international distinction. Recent Simon lecturers have included:

  • David Velleman of the University of Michigan (“The Self as Narrator”, 2002-3)
  • David Wiggins  (“Objectivity in Ethics”, 2004-5)
  • Anil Gupta of the University of Pittsburgh (“Two Types of Inquiry”, 2006-7)
  • Barbara Herman of UCLA (“Sources of Moral Content” and “Acting Against Principle”, 2008-9)
  • John Campbell of UC-Berkeley (“The Epistemic Role of Consciousness” and “The Causal Role of Consciousness”, 2010-11).

Other endowed lecture series include the Edith Bruce Memorial Lectures, the Roseman Lectures in Practical Ethics, and the University College Priestly Lectures.

Group Talks

Each of the department’s five faculty research interest groups hosts a series of speakers throughout the year:

  • Continental Philosophy
  • Ethics and Political Philosophy
  • History of Philosophy
  • Logic and Philosophy of Science
  • Language, Epistemology, Mind, and Metaphysics

The Group Talks are open to all interested faculty and students. View all Group Talks in our Event listings.

Graduate Conference

The 2-day University of Toronto Graduate Philosophy Conference is organized and run each spring by the Graduate Philosophy Students’ Union. Roughly half a dozen papers are selected from submissions by graduate students from around the world, and each is assigned a UT graduate student as commentator. Recent keynote speakers have included Raymond Geuss, Philip Pettit, Timothy Williamson, and Julia Annas.

Major Research Collaborations

Our department collaborates on large and diverse research projects with a variety of elite institutions and scholars around the world. Our current collaborative projects include the Consortium for the History and Philosophy of Biology, which comprises five global member institutions, and the Network for Sensory Research, which links five interdisciplinary research centres around the world.

Visit our Major Research Collaborations page for details.

The Centre for Ethics

The Centre for Ethics is an interdisciplinary centre aimed at advancing research and teaching in the field of ethics. The Centre’s program activities and events include public lectures, conferences and workshops, seminars, public issues forums, and community research partnerships.

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP)

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) is an organization within our department (and many other philosophy departments throughout North America) the aims of which are: to encourage minority representation in our field, provide greater opportunities for presenting and discussing philosophy from minority perspectives, and foster discussion of these and other related theoretical and practical issues.

MAP offers a free Resource Guide (PDF) intended for those who stand as minorities within the university community as a whole or the discipline of philosophy, and those who wish to assist those who stand as minorities.

Past MAP events include:

  • Spring 2014: Chike Jeffers (Dalhousie): “The Ethics and Politics of Cultural Preservation”
  • Fall 2013: Jenny Saul (Sheffield), Gurpreet Rattan (Toronto), and Celia Byrne (Toronto): Panel Discussion on Implicit Bias

Other Special Events

The Graduate Forum meets occasionally during the year. It provides an opportunity for graduate students to present papers in an informal setting. Each Spring, the Chair of the department hosts the annual Book Launch, an event that celebrates the publication of new works by members of the faculty. More than a hundred books have been published by members of the philosophy faculty during the past 10 years.