Skip to main content
Department Information / Mission & Values

Mission & Values

Philosophy encourages critical and systematic inquiry into fundamental questions of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, the meaning of life, the nature of reality, our knowledge about the world, each other, and society. With its emphasis on analytic precision and dialogical engagement, Philosophy is well positioned to help students develop their problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, communication, and other skills highly valued in the real world.

This mix of rigor, creativity, compassion, and intellectual curiosity informs nearly everything we do: the kinds of classes that we teach, the reading and content we assign, the design of our assignments, the work and learning outcomes we expect from our students, and how we advise and mentor both undergraduates and graduates.

Because of the level of abstraction emphasized in philosophy, we help students identify the links between related problems - whatever those problems are. We aim to teach students how to evaluate evidence objectively; how to convey important information to others; how to engage with a problem from different angles, challenging entrenched assumptions; how to seek out, assess, and analyze new information; and how to formulate and address questions relevant to the task at hand. These skills are not only crucial for anyone entering the workforce - no matter what their chosen profession - but they are also key characteristics required of American citizens in the 21st century. 

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Kentucky is an exceptionally diverse in many ways, with an unusually wide variety of research specialties and teaching interests. This reflects our long-standing, collective commitment to being a genuinely pluralistic department that embraces a broad range of philosophical traditions, approaches, and areas of concentration. This diversity of research interests makes the department a unique place for graduate and undergraduate education, and an excellent academic environment for open discussion and intellectual growth.

Moreover, we provide instruction to our graduate and undergraduate students comparable in quality to the best instruction they could receive anywhere in the country in the areas we cover, providing an intellectual environment conducive to facilitating research and scholarship of the highest order.