Department of Philosophy
801 22nd Street, NW
Phillips Hall T-525
Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-6265
Fax: (202) 994-8683


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Department of Philosophy

It is with great sadness that the Department of Philosophy mourns the loss of Professor William B. Griffith.

Please click here for a statement about his time spent at GW. 

Welcome from the Chair

Greetings from the Department of Philosophy at The George Washington University! We are a pluralist department with ten full-time faculty and ten part-time faculty offering courses in the history of philosophy, ethics, social, political, and legal philosophy, logic, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, analytic, American, continental philosophy, and philosophy of race and gender. 

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. We offer two different majors in our department: 

  • 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).
  • A philosophy and public affairs option that emphasizes value theory and social and political philosophy.

Our department is distinctive in offering an MA 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 MA 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 of our MA students 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. 

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

Professor of Philosophy and Human Sciences

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. 

Recent Updates

5/2/13 - Memorial Service for Professor William B. Griffith - late afternoon - See flyer. 

4/14/14 - Deadline for Thacher-Reynolds Fellowship Applications.  Here's the flyer and application form.

4/11/14 - GW Philosophy Undergraduate Student Conference - 1:00pm - 5:00pm

3/21/14 - First Annual Griffith Lecture (formerly the Goutman Lecture) featuring speaker Dr. Mark Wrathall (University of California, Riverside) - Duques Hall Room 151, 4:00pm

2/28/14 - Annual Thacher Lecture Featuring Speaker Otavio Bueno - Duques Hall Room 251 - 4:00pm

12/06/13 - First Annual Sophia Lecture featuring speaker Dr. Gayle Salamon (Princeton) on "Phenomenological Anonymity" - Duques Hall, Room 152, 4:00pm

06/09/13 - 2013 Elton Lecture - Elliott School, 1957 E St NW, Harry Harding Auditorium, Room 213, 4:00pm

04/26/13 - Goutman Lecture in Phillips B152, 4:30-6:30

03/22/13 - Thacher Lecture in Phillips 411, 4:30 - 6:30

03/01/13 - Undergraduate Philosophy Conference in Funger 222, 12:00-5:00

02/22/13 - Reception in honor of Peter Caws

09/10/12 - New brownbag presentations



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