Department of Philosophy

Visit department's website:

5 Washington Place • New York, NY 10003-6611 • 212-998-8320

Chair of the Department

Professor Hopkins

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Professor Velleman

Philosophy poses general questions about reality, knowledge, reasoning, language, and conduct. The four main branches are metaphysics (What is the ultimate nature of reality? What really exists and what is mere appearance?), epistemology (What, if anything, can be known and how?), logic (What are the principles of correct reasoning?), and ethics (What is moral value? And what moral values should we adopt?). Other, more specific branches of philosophy address questions concerning the nature of art, law, medicine, politics, religion, and the sciences.

Everyone tends to have or assume answers to these questions. The aim of the department is to enable students to identify, clarify, and assess these answers, both ancient and modern. Philosophy prepares students for a more reflective life, for advanced studies in the subject, and for professions that emphasize analytic thinking and argumentation, such as law, business, and programming.