Areas of Strength
The Department’s faculty are all committed to broadly educating both undergraduate students and graduate students. In addition, the Department has developed three areas of research strength: Social, Legal and Political Philosophy; Neurophilosophy and empirically informed philosophy of mind; and Kant and Post-Kantian German Philosophy. We feel that our offerings in these three areas are some of the best to be found anywhere in the world. For more details about each area, see the descriptions below. See also:
The Department has a strong group of six faculty who specialize in the normative dimensions of social, political, and legal issues. Andrew Altman focuses on legal and ethical questions related to such controversial current topics as terrorism, racial and religious discrimination, and freedom of expression. Andrew I. Cohen, Director of the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics, focuses his recent work on reparations and apologies for historic injustices as well as some themes in practical/applied ethics. Andrew Jason Cohen focuses on liberalism, with a special interest in toleration and its broad applications, including business ethics and criminal justice ethics. Christie Hartley specializes in feminist political philosophy, Rawls, and contractualism. William A. Edmundson, with a joint appointment in the Department and the College of Law, specializes in rights theory, Rawls and liberalism, and the obligation to obey the law. Peter Lindsay, with a joint appointment in the Department and the Department of Political Science, focuses on liberal political theory and the nature and justification of property.
The Department designates an outstanding incoming graduate student who wishes to work in these areas as the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy.
The Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics is housed within the Department of Philosophy, but counts among its faculty affiliates individuals from across the University. Among its many activities, the Center brings prominent political and ethical philosophers to Georgia State for talks and hosts multi-day conferences whose papers are published in leading journals in ethics, political philosophy, and legal theory.
The Department also houses the new Program in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics (PPE), a program wherein students are taught to use the analytically rigorous tools of all three disciplines to promote serious thought about practical issues, allowing them to delve deeply into moral, social, political, and economic issues.
There is a distinctive Neurophilosophy Track available in the Department's M.A. program, on which students take at least two courses in neuroscience or psychology relevant to their research interests. Examples of M.A. thesis topics of students on this track include cognitive biases of moral intuitions, psychological work on concepts, artificial intelligence, core affect theory of emotions, and the philosophical implications of evidence in neuroeconomics. The Department offers Brains & Behavior Graduate Fellowships to two students each year on the Neurophilosophy Track.
Each year, the Department designates an outstanding incoming graduate student who expects to work in this area as a Graduate Scholar in Kant and post-Kantian German Philosophy. The Department is also home to The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, edited by Jessica Berry, who also serves on the executive committee of the International Society for Nietzsche Studies.
Recent M.A. theses in this area have been on topics such as Kant’s account of desire, the roles of honor and empathy in Nietzsche’s ethics, Nietzsche and Homer on ‘dissimulation, Hegel on marriage, and Hume’s political philosophy.