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Philosophy at VCU

The Division of Philosophy offers an undergraduate major in Philosophy, as well as minors in philosophy, and the philosophy of law. 

2017 Spring Courses

2016 Fall Courses

We are pleased to announce two new concentrations within the philosophy major: a Philosophy and Science concentration and a Philosophy and Law concentration. For more information, see the philosophy advisor, Professor Donald Smith.

Advising: Professor Donald Smith is the advisor for all philosophy majors. If you have advising questions or would like an advising appointment, contact Professor Smith (

Heidi Lockwood and Michael Tooley visited VCU to debate how sexual assault on campus should be addressed. A video of the debate can be found here.

Seminar in Philosophy (PHIL 490) topics:

  • Fall 2016: Paradoxes, taught by Donald Smith
  • Spring 2017: The Nature of Persons, taught by Catherine Sutton


News and Events

Fall 2016 Talks

Should We Vote?

Speaker: Professor Jason Brennan (Georgetown University)
Time: Tuesday., September 20, 2016, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Hibbs Hall 403

After Open Borders: The Individual Ethics of Immigration

Speaker: Professor Javier Hidalgo (University of Richmond)
Time: Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: MCALC 2104


Past Talks

Educational Justice: Equality or Priority?

Speaker: Professor Christopher Freiman (College of William & Mary)
Time: Mon., April 18, 2016, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Place: Starke House, Room 101 (915 W. Franklin St.)

What Can Analytic Philosophers and Continental Philosophers Learn from One Another?

Speaker: Dr. Gregory Sadler
Time: Thurs., March 31, 2016, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Starke House, Room 101 (915 W. Franklin St.)

The Moral and Economic Case for Open Borders

Speaker: Professor Jason Brennan (Georgetown University)
Time: Wed., March 23, 2016, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Hibbs 201

Virginia Philosophical Association talks

Speakers: Full program posted on the Website linked above 
Time: Friday, October 9, at 2:15 p.m. through Saturday, October 10, at 1:00 p.m.
Place: University Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave., Richmond, VA 23284)
Friday meetings are in the Commonwealth Ballroom, and Saturday meetings are in the Richmond Salons 

"Transformative Experience and Big Life Choices"

Speaker: Professor Laurie Paul (University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill)
Time: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Hibbs Hall, Room 403 (900 Park Ave.)

"Re-imagining the Secular"

Speaker: Professor James Smith (Calvin College)
Time: February 28, 2015, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Academic Learning Commons (MCALC), Rm. 1107

"Sexual Assault on Campus" [video]

Speakers: Professor Michael Tooley and Professor Heidi Lockwood
Time: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: Singleton Center for the Performing Arts (922 Park Ave.)

"Can Skepticism Be Refuted?"

Speaker: Professor Michael Tooley (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Time: Friday, March 20, 4:00 p.m
Place: Starke House 101 (Philosophy department seminar room)

"Cheating: How Honest Are We?"

Speaker: Professor Christian Miller, Wake Forest University
Time: Thursday, April 23, 2015, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Place: New location--Room 2104 of the Academic Learning Commons (MCALC)