About the Department
The Department has a focus on philosophy understood through its history, with a special emphasis on the changing relations of philosophy to science, and with an ethos of drawing on methods and resources from the entire tradition of European and Analytic philosophy.
The faculty ethos reflects the fact that while firmly grounded in the Analytic tradition, many are also actively engaged with other approaches, whether traditions from the Continent or other parts of the Globe, or those skeptical of standard starting points in Analytic philosophy.
Given this ethos, the focus on philosophy understood through its history, and on the relations of philosophy to science and the sciences (biology, psychology, linguistics, physics, etc.), follows naturally: both because the cognitive achievement of modern science and mathematics must be a reference point for any assessment of the status of philosophy in general, and because the special affinity of the Analytic tradition, in particular, to science and mathematics needs to be understood and preserved. The faculty perceive, moreover, a need for a program at a national level with this sort of emphasis, and with the conceptual breadth that a historical view of the subject affords. This view would encompass the conceptual, linguistic, historical, ethical, and social foundations of science and philosophy.
The combination of the faculty focus, as described above, and their ethos in approaching it, makes UCSC a unique and attractive place to study philosophy.