Professor Nicholas J.J. Smith

Nicholas J.J. Smith

I am delighted that you are considering the study of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. We are very proud of our Department. No Philosophy department in the southern hemisphere is more highly regarded for its research and teaching – and none can match our breadth and diversity. We have 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. From the great philosophers of the past to cutting-edge developments – from ethics and aesthetics to logic, epistemology and metaphysics – you'll find it here!

Our aim is to excite, provoke and stimulate you to reflect and argue insightfully about almost anything. Philosophy is about learning to think for yourself – in a rigorous way, so that you can defend your positions with considered reasons and cogent arguments. Our department provides the sort of curriculum and training that fosters such development. Students of philosophy can expect distinct improvements in their abilities to speak and write clearly, logically and convincingly. The broad skills that you will acquire in philosophy – along with the philosophical bent for independent thought – are highly transferable, and powerful aids to future success in any profession. Philosophy at the University of Sydney has an enviable record of placing its students in excellent graduate schools and academic positions – and our former students work in areas as diverse as law, education, government, NGOs, the private sector and the arts.

In Philosophy, we ask deep, often counter-intuitive questions – and don’t mind if they lead to further, even more difficult questions! Philosophy at Sydney is a diverse and welcoming community and we extend a warm invitation to you to join us in critical reflection and debate.

Nick Smith
Professor and Chair
Department of Philosophy