Department of Philosophy

Photo: John Kelsey

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy at McGill University!


The principal aim of philosophy is to increase our understanding of ourselves, the world, and our place in it. The discipline of Philosophy, as a particular way of thinking, emphasizes clarity in expression, both written and oral, and rigour in argument. Philosophical questions are intriguing and complex, and so philosophical method stresses thoroughness and intellectual generosity—the willingness and ability to grasp another's arguments and respond to them.

In the Department of Philosophy, some courses are explicitly devoted to these specific areas of philosophy, each exploring one or several ways of construing and answering the questions it poses. Other courses explore some period or individual figure in the history of philosophy, approaching philosophical questions through the work of past thinkers, and often exploring connections between the different areas of philosophy.

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