"The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" Francisco Goya

About the Philosophy Department

Mission Statement

The Philosophy Program promotes academic excellence by providing the highest quality teaching and scholarship in philosophy. It is focused on equipping students with core knowledge and skills, while acquainting them with the range and diversity of traditions and orientations in philosophy. The program is committed to the relevance of its efforts, promoting meaningful institutional, professional, and community service, while emphasizing teaching and research attentive to the application of philosophical knowledge and skills. The philosophy program is dedicated to regular and ongoing scrutiny of all its efforts in teaching, research, and service. Informed by these commitments, the Department of Philosophy seeks to assist its multiple constituencies in appreciating the great intellectual conversations, in clarifying unexamined assumptions, in evaluating the ideas and norms that motivate intellectual inquiry, and in participating intelligently and responsibly in public debates.


Student Learning Outcomes

UNF Philosophy graduates should be able to: 

Content/Disciplinary Knowledge & Skills

  • Explicate the key terms, concepts, and ideas in the discipline of philosophy.
  • Articulate the main historical developments in the tradition and/or methods used in the discipline of philosophy.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Develop arguments that are well reasoned, fallacy-free, with conclusions properly following from premises.
  • Reconstruct and evaluate arguments and ideas, and recognizing forms of fallacious, invalid, and unsound reasoning.
  • Interpret complex texts in a systematic and critical manner.

Communication Skills

  • Write in a reasoned, persuasive, and argumentatively effective manner.
  • Employ the verbal skills needed both for individual presentations and participation in group discussions.


The UNF Philosophy Department offers courses and programs in philosophy:Diploma

  • toward the Major in Philosophy (since 1991),
  • toward several minors,
  • in support of UNF's General Education program (for which we offer three courses: Introduction to Philosophy, Contemporary Ethical Issues, and Reasoning and Critical Thinking),
  • in support of programs throughout the University (such as Criminal Justice, Educational Leadership, Health, Honors, Political Science, and Business Administration), and
  • for students who seek elective courses in philosophy.

The Philosophy Department currently has (in a comprehensive state university of about 16,000 students):

  • Seven tenured or tenure-line,
  • Approximately 60 Philosophy Majors,
  • Approximately 50 Philosophy courses listed in the UNF Undergraduate Catalog

  Students in Library

The Philosophy Program at the University of North Florida has several qualities that make it special among philosophy programs around the country.  

  • The quality of UNF's Philosophy Program rivals any of the dedicated four-year liberal arts programs in the country. Class size is kept small -- lower division philosophy courses are capped at 35 students -- and professors are more available to students than they might be in large research universities. The professors in philosophy keep a minimum of five office hours a week. 
  • The undergraduate program (Major/Minor) entails a wide range of courses based on a commitment to pluralism in philosophical analysis, including Anglo-American, European-Continental as well as Comparative Perspectives, so students receive both a well-grounded and comprehensive education in philosophy.  
  • The program can draw on the vast resources of a comprehensive, both in teaching and research, oriented university. This allows professors to devote a substantial part of their work to research which translates into better informed, better prepared, more "cutting edge" instruction than might be possible in a non-university setting. 
  • The UNF Philosophy Program is pluralistic, committed to working within and across a variety of philosophical orientations, including American pragmatism, analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, non-western traditions, applied ethics, and race and gender theory, so it allows for multiple interdisciplinary relations with other programs in the College of Arts and Sciences as well other Colleges like Business, Health, Education, or Engineering. 
  • The UNF Philosophy Program is small, so upper division classes have an excellent student-to-teacher ratio.