Welcome to philosophy at the University of Sydney. Our department is exceptionally well regarded both for its teaching and research achievements. We offer study of both classic and novel approaches to philosophical matters from the great philosophers of the past to the most up-to-date developments in ethics, logic, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics of the present.
Philosophy is marked especially by the attempt to free ourselves from error, bias, ignorance or presuppositions that can distort our understanding. It is also distinctive in the application of ingenious, unexpected or even just extremely thorough approaches to understanding. Most of all, philosophy is about learning to think for yourself. The wider you extend the range of your intellectual autonomy, the more philosophical you will be.
Our department seeks to provide an environment that will foster such development. We ask difficult, often counter-intuitive, questions and don’t mind if the first question leads to further even more difficult questions. Philosophy is concerned to investigate the major domains of human experience: knowledge, existence, action, and human association. Philosophy at Sydney is a diverse and welcoming community interested in exploring deep questions in concert with others. We extend a warm invitation to you to join us in critical reflection and debate.
Students of philosophy can expect to hone their abilities to speak and write clearly, logically, and convincingly. These skills, along with the quintessential philosophical bent for independent thought, are 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 posts. Our former students work in areas as different as law, education, government, NGOs, the private sector, and the arts. The skills you will acquire in philosophy are eminently transferable to many desirable professions. Finally, and as many who have studied philosophy in a serious manner will know, a brief acquaintance with philosophy can turn into a lifelong love for an endlessly fascinating and loyal companion.
Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy