How should we live? What gives our lives meaning and purpose? What should we believe, and how can we be confident that our beliefs are true? These are the questions that have occupied philosophers for centuries, and that occupy us as we live our lives. Philosophy seeks to give rigorous, well thought out answers to these questions, or, at least, to help us frame the right approaches in the search for truth. At Marquette, we pursue these and other perennial issues primarily through the study of Western philosophical traditions from their Greek origins to contemporary thought.

The Philosophy Department has 27 regular full-time faculty, with a wide range of teaching and research interests. The department has a long tradition of research strengths in Medieval Philosophy and Continental Philosophy. During the past fifteen years, the department has greatly expanded teaching and research strength in ethics, social, and applied philosophy.

For undergraduates, the department offers a major with three specialization tracks: History of Philosophy; Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy; and Ethics and Values. For graduate students, we offer a Ph.D. that allows for specialization in all areas of the history of philosophy as well as many systematic areas. We also offer an M.A with specializations in the History of Philosophy and Social and Applied Philosophy.

Philosophy Department Mission Statement 

          The Philosophy Department at Marquette University aims to enable students in all disciplines with the development of interpretive, critical, analytical and communicative skills necessary to personal intellectual and moral development, cultural literacy, and achievement in the complexities of life in the Twenty-First Century. The Department aims to foster among faculty and students a climate of mutual respect and support for engaging in scholarship, learning, and service that embraces diversity, respect for historic traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge in historic and contemporary approaches to philosophy. The department aims to extend the role of philosophy beyond the university through its publications and leadership in the profession and through innovative programs that engage alumni and community members. As a philosophy department in a Jesuit Catholic University, the Department encourages students and faculty to engage in exploration of the Catholic tradition in the history of philosophy and an examination of the role of philosophy in a life of faith and service. The Department understands its mission in the context of the University’s Mission statement. (Adopted 08/2009)

Gving LinkDept. of Philosophy

Help support the Department of Philosophy at Marquette.

Click on giving and in the drop down menu of the "Designation Box," select "other," then copy and paste the following phrase "Friends of Philosophy" into the box labeled "other."


Rev. Roland J. Teske, S.J. in Memorium

The members of the Department of Philosophy, Marquette University, and the Jesuit community mourns the death of Rev. Roland Teske, S. J. on May 18, 2015. A long-time member of the Philosophy Department. Fr. Teske was a preeminent scholar of Medieval philosophy and did ground-breaking work on St. Augustine, William of Auvergne, and Henry of Ghent. He joined the department as an instructor in 1970, and was the first faculty member to hold the Donald J. Schuenke Chair of Philosophy at Marquette (2002-2008). In addition to his time at Marquette, his renowned scholarship brought him offers to visit at several universities, and he was a visiting scholar at Santa Clara University, John Carroll University, and Villanova University.

When Roland retired in Spring 2008, Dr. James South had the privilege to say a few words at his reception. His remarks at that time provide a sense of his many accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, and colleague. Those of you who were fortunate to know Roland readily recall what a kind and thoughtful colleague he was. Please remember him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

A message from the Jesuit community and details about funeral arrangements can be found here.

Smith Dissertation Fellowships Awarded
Kimberly Engels and Jered Janes have been awarded Smith Family Fellowships for the 2015-2016 academic year. Congratulations!

Seniors Win Academic Awards
Three senior Philosophy majors have been recognized by the faculty for their outstanding academic accomplishments in their chosen areas of study:
Samantha Zlevor has received the Francis X. Boden Award for excellence in academic ahievelemt in social, political, and legal philosophy.
Mitchel Gutbrod has received the James H. Robb Memorial Award for excellence in the history of philosophy.
Elena Fransen has received the Rev. John Naus, S.J. Award for excellence in the study of ethics and values.
Congratulations to all of these outstanding seniors! We wish you well as you leave Marquette!

Faculty Promoted Congratulations to Sebastian Luft and Kevin Gibson. Both have been promoted to full professor!