Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Philosophy department!

Academic philosophy can be intimidating at first, so the human context in which it is done matters. If I tried to capture the spirit of our department, I would say: caringcommittedconvivial.

A feature that makes this possible is our size: “Not too large… not too small… Just right!

Chair of Philosophy, Professor Annie Larivée

Not too large: this is not an impersonal department. You are not just a ‘number’ here. While being top specialists in their field, your professors are approachable. We are happy to engage in discussion with you outside the classroom. Many students stay connected with the department long after their graduation. This can only be a good sign!

Not too small: The array of research topics covered in the department is surprisingly wide. This is because most faculty have several strong fields of interest. With your instructors, you will explore a variety of fascinating issues from the most concrete, such as surrogacy or universal basic income, to the most fundamental, such as the meaning of life.

When I think of what makes philosophy at Carleton special, four more things come to mind.

First, our care for teaching. Our faculty are dedicated pedagogues and mentors. This is a top priority for us.

Second, the distinctive nature of our MA program. Our grad students receive individual attention, and it shows! Our robust program will prepare you to meet the rigorous challenges of a PhD, or entry into the workforce at large. Check out our student testimonials and graduate placement record.

Third, our commitment to gender equality. For the past fifteen years, women have represented a bit over or under 50% of our faculty body. Our hope is that our commitment to gender equality will inspire young women and gender diverse folks to enter the discipline!

And fourth, the significant role we play in the context of the university. Each year, we get on average 5000 enrollments in philosophy courses. Our lower-level courses such as The Meaning of LifeCritical ThinkingHappiness, Well-Being, and the Good Life, or Philosophy of Pop Culture (to name but a few), are especially popular as electives. Even a bit of philosophy can durably enrich life, try it out! We are also very committed to making philosophy accessible to the public, as is shown by our partnership with the Ethics Bowl.

If you are curious and wish to discuss our courses and programs, feel free to drop by! Or why not make arrangements to attend a class?

With my very best wishes of success!

Annie Larivée
Professor and Chair
Philosophy Department
Carleton University