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Philosophy

Explore fundamental and important questions
We use the tools of logic and reason to analyse the complex social and material nature of the world and our place in it.

Philosophy is about learning to think rigorously for yourself so you can defend your positions with considered reasons and cogent arguments. The study of philosophy improves an individual's ability to speak and write clearly, logically and convincingly. These broad skills, along with capacity for independent thought, are highly transferable, powerful aids to success in any profession.

In philosophy we ask deep, often counter-intuitive questions, and don’t mind if they lead to further, even more difficult questions. We encourage critical reflection and debate.

We are highly regarded for our research and teaching as well as our breadth and diversity. Philosophy at the University of Sydney is home to leading thinkers in a wide range of areas of philosophy, and we offer a rich and varied array of units taught by dedicated and enthusiastic scholars whose outstanding research informs their teaching at every level.

Our study offering

Philosophy formulates and explores questions of fundamental importance to us as human beings.  For example: What is consciousness? Are we free agents? What makes an action right? What makes an action wrong? What is truth, and how can we come by it? How should we form beliefs about the world? Is it possible for machines to think? Studying philosophy will equip you with a disciplined capacity for critical analysis and dramatically enhance your communication skills.

Undergraduate

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  

Research

Critical thinking workshops for IB High Schools

Philosophy offers critical thinking workshops for International Baccalaureate (IB) students. 

In the interests of public health and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff during the current COVID-19 health alert, we have decided to postpone the March 20 and 27 Critical Thinking workshops

We apologise for any inconvenience.

If you would like more information or to enquire regarding future workshops, please feel free to contact us.
E | toner.stevenson@sydney.edu.au
P | +61 2 9351 2271

Our research

  • Aesthetics, art, literature and film
  • Philosophy of science (biology and cognitive science)
  • History of philosophy
  • Logic
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Epistemology
  • Decision theory
  • Philosophy of mathematics
  • Philosophy of law
  • Philosophy of language 
  • Pragmatism
  • Moral, social and political philosophy

Research centres

Anderson Visiting Fellowships

Anderson Fellowships are bestowed through a bequest of the estate of John Anderson (1893-1962), influential Australian philosopher and Challis Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney from 1927 to 1958.

The Anderson Bequest funds travel and expenses up to $17,500, consisting of $2,500 airfare and $2,500/week living allowance. Anderson Fellows will be provided with office space, library borrowing rights and other resources.

Anderson Fellows are expected to be present at the University of Sydney for the duration of their Fellowship and to make a substantial contribution to the academic life of the Discipline of Philosophy through collaborative research and contributions to the teaching program.

For further information, please contact our Research Support Officer.

  • 2023: Hannah Tierney and Natalja Deng
  • 2022: Helen Beebee, Christoph Emanuel Viebahn and Jose Zalabardo
  • 2019: David Bronstein, Carrie Figdor
  • 2018: Amie L Thomasson, Lisa Shapiro
  • 2017: Anna Marmodoro, Natalie Stoljar
  • 2016: Nikk Effingham, Eric Watkins

Our people

 

  • Dr Thomas Besch
  • Dr Pierrick Bourrat
  • Dr Peter Bowden
  • Heather Browning
  • Dr Ross Burns
  • Dr Brett Calcott
  • Dr Millicent Churcher
  • Dr Ryan Cox
  • Dr Timothy Dean
  • Dr Luke Fischer
  • Dr David Glick
  • Associate Professor John Grumley
  • Dr Laura Kotevska
  • Associate Professor Michael McDermott
  • Associate Professor David Miller
  • Mr Tibor Molnar
  • Dr Julie-Ann Robson
  • Dr Peter Rollings
  • Dr Helena Rosenblatt
  • Dr Kerry Sanders
  • Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson
  • Dr Edward Spence
  • Dr Roderick Sutherland
  • Dr Omid Tofighian
  • Hayden Toppeross

Events

Our seminars are moving online. If you would like to sign up for the series, please follow the link below.

The Sydphil list

Sign up for the Sydphil mailing list and receive notifications of upcoming seminars.

Discipline Chair

Associate Professor Luke Russell

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