Philosophers ask fundamental, timeless questions about topics such as ethics, justice, knowledge, the role of the sciences, and the nature of the world around us. They also contribute to urgent conversations about our changing world, including the development of artificial intelligence, climate science, ethics in healthcare, and equity in education. The UW–Madison Department of Philosophy teaches students to reason, argue, and write clearly about both classical and contemporary views on all of these subjects. Our courses are rooted in a deep intellectual tradition, yet they speak directly to issues students confront every day. We have more than 200 undergraduate majors, and every year we introduce thousands of students in the arts, sciences, business, and humanities to philosophy.
Donations help us sponsor world-renowned philosophers for departmental colloquia. They support our outreach programs, which include philosophical lectures to the public and philosophy in local schools. Donations fund conference participation for faculty and graduate students. Graduate student scholarships and support are particularly important; given the high rank of our philosophy program, we compete with better-funded institutions for graduate students. Finally, donations fund our colloquia speakers and philosophy student organizations.