Welcome to philosophy at UNC! Although the discipline has the reputation for being abstract and technical, the word literally means “love of wisdom,” and our faculty is committed to bringing the benefits of a philosophical education to students from all walks of life.
Did you know that among college graduates with no further training beyond a bachelor’s degree, philosophy majors earn higher average salaries by mid-career than other humanities and social sciences majors except economics, and more than most technical and vocational majors as well? Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at this salary survey from the Wall Street Journal by clicking on the box below. Once you’ve opened the survey, click twice at the top of the “Mid-Career Median Salary" column to sort from high to low.
These numbers aren’t surprising when you consider the story behind the data. Philosophy facilitates serious reflection on your most fundamental beliefs and values, enabling you to clarify your most basic concepts and discover the reasons you have for thinking and acting in the ways you do. Whether you take a single course or complete one of our degrees, philosophy will help you understand more about who you really are, and how you can craft a meaningful and productive life in our ever changing world.
News and Announcements
Fall 2022 Ethics Bowl
Earlier this month, UNC’s Ethics Bowl team competed at UCCS with an incredible amount of skill, professionalism, and Bear Grit.
We faced off against two teams that ended up undefeated placing 1st and 2nd, and still held our own with several judges marking us ahead. We ended the day with our best round, unanimously scoring ahead of CU Boulder’s Team.
Cases were incredibly challenging, from issues in litigation financing, the personhood of Happy, an elephant in captivity, and the question of how best to serve justice in the murder of Emmet Till, given a recently unearthed arrest warrant and lack of a fair trial at the time of Till’s death. Our team dedicated dozens of hours to the 12 cases assigned and presented clear and detailed arguments in response.
Coach Bailie Peterson and Judge Jeff Brown were so pleased with their hard work and performance, and other judges commented on our teams’ spirit and skill.
Join me in congratulating Conner Sheets (Criminology & Criminal Justice), Madison Baczuk (Philosophy, Criminology & Criminal Justice, and Communication Studies), Maxim Tuell (Philosophy), Brenner Dugan (Philosophy and English), Breanna Bailey (Political Science, Mexican American Studies and Leadership Studies ), and Daniel Mangandi-Escobar (Philosophy and Psychology). Go Bears!
We would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the Monfort College of Business.
Students Recognized at 2022 Honors Convocation
Philosophy students Luna Abernathy, Brayden Denovellis, Brenner Dugan, and Kelly Lundberg were recognized on April 10th for excellence in their program. Congratulations!
UNC Ethics Bowl Team 1 Competed In the 2020 IEB National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
UNC Ethics Bowl Team 1 competed in the 2020 IEB National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, this February in Atlanta, Georgia. We are currently placed 20th in the nation (IEB 2020 Final Results). Coach Peterson is very proud of the accomplishments of everyone who participated in the National and Regional Ethics Bowls this year! Reach out if you'd like to participate this fall. Ethics bowl is open to all majors and experience levels and is a fun opportunity for ethical deliberation among peers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured in the photo (L to R): Daniela Mburunyeme Yakorde,
Vanessa Salazar, Cole LeRoy, Rachel Lesser, and Nate Evans.
New Faculty Publications
- Dr. Jeff Brown's article, "What Makes Disability Discrimination Wrong?" was accepted for publication by the journal Law and Philosophy.
- Dr. Bailie Peterson's article "Can Summer Philosophy Programs Help Close the Achievement Gap?" has been published in PreCollege Philosophy and Public Practice.
Professor Tom Trelogan, who taught at UNC since 1976, passed away in January 2020 after being hospitalized due to complications from cancer.
Over five decades at UNC, he developed and taught a range of Philosophy courses, introducing many to the subject. He was instrumental in helping create the Honors and Liberal Arts Core programs and was an early adopter of the Internet, managing an online Argument Clinic from 1997-2015 and serving as the webmaster for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences from 1999-2009.
“I know for quite a few of you, he was your guide through the history of western philosophy; for others, he was a mentor, friend, and the person who introduced you to philosophy,” Assistant Professor and Chair of Philosophy John Ramsey wrote in an email to the department. "He will be sadly missed."
Among his awards, Trelogan was recognized with the UNC Excellence in Academic Leadership Award in 2006 and was named Honors coordinator of the year in 1991 and professor of the year in 1988.
While no services will be held, the Philosophy Department is planning a tree dedication in memory of Trelogan when the campus reopens. Details will be shared in UNC Today when they become available.
Philosophy Student Featured on Colorado Department of Higher Education Blog
Nate Evans recently published a blog post, "Philosophize this: Closing gender equity gaps in higher education," for the Colorado Department of Education "Student Voices" series, discussing the Undergraduate Women’s Philosophy Conference.
"This conference is a powerful testament to the importance philosophy programs across Colorado have placed on inclusive engagement, specifically in empowering women."
Faces of 2019 Spring Graduates: Langston Mayo
Graduating senior and Philosophy major discusses why he chose UNC. Langston was also featured in UNC's "Faces of 2019 Spring Graduates" - Congratulations!
UNC students selected to present at Undergraduate Women's Philosophy Conference
Two Philosophy majors have been selected to present papers at the 4th Annual Undergraduate Women’s Philosophy Conference at MSU Denver on April 5-7. This is a highly selective conference with an acceptance rate of less than 25%.
- Senior Flor Mendoza will be speaking on Philosophy Through the Guilty Silence
- Junior Vanessa Salazar will be speaking on Counterpart Theory and its Implication on Free Will
Flor’s presentation began as a paper for Assistant Professor John Ramsey’s seminar on “What is Philosophy?” Vanessa’s presentation began it’s life as a paper for Assistant Professor Bailie Peterson’s class on Metaphysics, and is inspired by Dr. Peterson’s research in counterpart theory.
Six more philosophy students — Lillian Canfield, Nate Evans, Annika Holm, Alina Moreau, David Rodezno and Jorge Rubio — will also be participating in the conference as commentators or session chairs. And philosophy faculty members Nancy Matchett and Bailie Peterson will be co-facilitating a workshop on Empowering Women in Philosophy.
Philosophy major selected for Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy
Junior Philosophy major Nate Evans has been selected for the Hamilton College Summer Program in Philosophy (HCSPiP). The program brings together creative teachers, ambitious undergraduates, and engaging graduate students, for three concurrent, innovative, two-week courses in philosophy. Room and Board are free, and students also receive a $750 stipend and up to $500 to cover travel costs to and from the site in rural New York state. Not surprisingly, this is one of the more competitive summer programs for undergraduate philosophers in the country, and the philosophy department faculty are incredibly proud of Nate for securing a spot.