Philosophy is very naturally an interdisciplinary enterprise — not especially in its methods, but rather in its content. There is very little, if anything, that is "just" philosophy; instead, philosophers generally busy themselves studying the most essential, and deepest elements, of more or less every other discipline. That is why you will find so many courses whose titles are of the form "Philosophy of ____": e.g., Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Literature, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, and so on.

As such, the department of philosophy offers an unusually wide range of opportunities to build bridges between academic disciplines, and to explore the intellectual foundations of the sciences, humanities and the arts. It also frequently serves as a very useful second major to complement first majors in any of those other fields.

The department also naturally contributes, in various ways, to the College's five centers for interdisciplinary scholarship. These centers are special academic programs that encourage the exploration of important issues across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Through four of these centers, the Toor-Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy and the Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology, you can earn a certificate by completing a two-year program of coursework, a summer internship and a senior integrative project, in addition to the requirements of your major. A fifth center, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, is the College's hub for researching and teaching race and ethnicity across the disciplines. Department members regularly teach in, or advise students working in, these programs.

Some examples of the department members' particular interdisciplinary interests:

  • Professor Feldman teaches Philosophy of Law as well as courses of interest to those in Gender and Women's Studies and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity.
  • Professor Pessin teaches courses in the Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Perception, of interest to those in neuroscience and cognitive science, as well as the Philosophy of Religion.
  • Professor Pfefferkorn teaches courses such as the Philosophy of Art, the Philosophy of Film and the Philosophy of Literature, and is a faculty member for both the major in Architectural Studies and the Gender and Women's Studies Program.
  • Professor Turner teaches courses in Bioethics, Environmental Philosophy and Philosophy of Biology, and also advises majors enrolled in the Certificate Program of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment.
  • Professor Vogel teaches various courses in applied ethics and political theory, broadly construed.