Columbia University Department of Philosophy

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Columbia University Department of Philosophy
Established 1890
Chairman Carol Rovane
Location New York City, New York
40°48′26.8″N 73°57′39.6″W / 40.807444°N 73.961000°W / 40.807444; -73.961000Coordinates: 40°48′26.8″N 73°57′39.6″W / 40.807444°N 73.961000°W / 40.807444; -73.961000

The Columbia University Department of Philosophy is ranked 11th in the US and 12th in the English-speaking world, in the 2011 ranking of philosophy departments by The Philosophical Gourmet Report[1] (it was ranked 13th and 14th in the previous 2009 ranking). It has particular strengths in logic, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of law, philosophy of biology, general philosophy of science, philosophy of social sciences, philosophy of physics, 17th-century early modern philosophy, and 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy.

The department is distinguished by its being prone to promote philosophical domains not considered as "mainstream" in other philosophy departments. Not only does it offer advanced research in the wide range of subjects in analytical philosophy but it also has particular strengths in the history of Western philosophy. It also benefits from the presence or activity nearby of other departments' faculty such as Souleymane Bachir Diagne from French and Romance Philology, Joseph Raz and R. Kent Greenawalt from Law School, or Jon Elster from Political Science. Many cross-registered courses allow students to enlarge their scopes in other departments.

The philosophy departments of City University of New York, which is a few blocks away, and New York University have close relations with the faculty. Enrolled graduate students are able to take courses offered at these universities.[2] The Graduate School is also a member of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) which provides for cross-registration among member institutions. Participating schools are CUNY Graduate Center, Fordham University, New School for Social Research, New York University (including the Institute of Fine Arts), Princeton University, Rutgers University, and Stony Brook University.

Every year Columbia University and NYU philosophy graduate students organize the Annual NYU/Columbia Graduate Student Philosophy Conference.[3]

Columbia University is also the home of the Journal of Philosophy.


  • David Albert, specializing in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science.
  • Macalester Bell, specializing in ethics, moral psychology, aesthetics, and feminist philosophy.
  • Akeel Bilgrami, specializing in philosophy of Mind, philosophy of Language, political philosophy and moral philosophy.
  • Taylor Carman, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, especially Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty.
  • John D. Collins, specializing in metaphysics, epistemology, and decision theory.
  • Haim Gaifman, specializing in probability theory, logic, philosophy of language, and early 20th century analytic philosophy.
  • Lydia Goehr, specializing in philosophy of music, aesthetics, critical theory, philosophy of history, and 19th and 20th century philosophy.
  • Jeffrey N. Helzner, specializing in decision theory and logic.
  • Axel Honneth, specializing in social and political philosophy, ethics.
  • Patricia Kitcher, specializing in Kant, philosophy of psychology, and Freud.
  • Philip Kitcher, specializing in philosophy of science, biology, and mathematics.
  • Tamar Lando, specializing in logic and epistemology.
  • Karen Lewis, specializing in philosophy of language and philosophical linguistics.
  • Wolfgang Mann, specializing in ancient philosophy.
  • Christia Mercer, specializing in early modern philosophy with special focus on sixteenth century platonism and humanism, history of science, metaphysics.
  • Michele Moody-Adams, specializing in political philosophy and legal theory
  • John Morrison, specializing in early modern philosophy and philosophy of mind.
  • Frederick Neuhouser, specializing in modern European philosophy, especially Rousseau.
  • Elliot Paul, specializing in early modern philosophy, epistemology, and philosophy of mind.
  • Christopher Peacocke, specializing in philosophy of mind, biology, and mathematics.
  • Carol Rovane, specializing in metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind. In history of philosophy: Descartes, Kant, the pragmatists.
  • David Sidorsky, specializing in political philosophy and ethical theory.
  • Achille Varzi, specializing in logic and metaphysics.
  • Katja Vogt, specializing in ancient philosophy and ethics.

Notable Previous Faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "The Philosophical Gourmet". Blackwell Publishing Philosophy. 2011. 
  2. ^ Graduate Program Handbook, distributed by Columbia University Department of Philosophy (last update: August 28, 2008), unpublished
  3. ^ "NYU/Columbia Graduate Student Philosophy Conference". 2009.