McMaster University

McMaster University

Department of Philosophy

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy at McMaster University, a vibrant, research-oriented department offering courses of study leading to the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. We embrace a variety of approaches to philosophical study and consider the breadth of our faculty expertise to be one of the advantages of our degree programs. Our research and teaching strengths include both continental and analytical perspectives, legal and political philosophy and ethics as well as epistemology and metaphysics, and strength in the history of philosophy from ancient through modern to twentieth-century thought. Browse our site to find out more about the department and please contact us with any questions you may have.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to both our new and returning students. A letter from our chair, Elisabeth Gedge, can be found here.

2014-2015 Speaker Series Presents

Our series has now concluded.

We would like to thank our Visiting Speakers  
for their contributions to an exciting year of talks.

We look forward to presenting an interesting
series again in September,

Stay tuned…..


Kant and the History of Analytical Philosophy. Strong applicants planning to pursue research in the area of analytical philosophy and its history are eligible to be considered for an entrance stipend of up to $5000. Successful applicants will be expected to collaborate with faculty on a number of projects and activities relating to the project 'Bolzano, Kant and the Kantian logicians' led by Dr. Sandra Lapointe. McMaster is home to the Bertrand Russell Research Centre and the Russell Archives and is ranked amongst the best departments to pursue the study of the history of analytical philosophy.

Graduate Diploma Programs:

  • Water Without Borders: Available through McMaster University and the United Nations University, this diploma program focuses on water issues related to the physical environment and human health. It is open to MA or PhD students in our department and involves three courses, which students undertake concurrently with their other degree requirements. Students interested in applying to the United Nations University Diploma Program should apply simultaneously to Philosophy and WWB.
  • Gender Studies and Feminist Research: Students applying to the Philosophy PhD Program may be eligible for admission to the GSFR Program. This diploma Program is taken in addition to fulfilling the requirements of the doctoral program in Philosophy, and offers intensive interdisciplinary scholarship and mentoring in feminist/gender studies. A brochure can be found here.

Combined Honours Programs:

  • Honours Philosophy and Biology: This combination equips students with a solid grounding in biology while enabling them to develop a philosophically informed perspective on issues arising in their study.
  • Honours Philosophy and Mathematics: This combination equips students with a solid grounding in mathematics while enabling them to develop a philosophically informed perspective on issues arising in their study.


Level IV Seminar Ballots:


Congratulations to our graduate students: external fellowships and awards for 2015-2016 include 3 SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarships, 13 OGS awards, 1 Harry Lyman Hooker Sr. Doctoral Fellowship, 1 International Excellence Award, and 1 Whidden Graduate Scholarship. Well Done!

Affiliate Links:

Recent News

  • Marla Sharp
    CPA May 2015, paper "Stick it to Stigma: On the Necessity of Cognitive-Based Therapy for Depressive Mental Illnesses".
  • Chandra Kavanagh
    “Juliette: A model of consent”  Publication: Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics & Politics indexing:
  • Jen Primmer
      “Beyond the Law-State: The Adequacy of Raz’s Account of Legal System in Explaining Intra-State and Supra-State Legality,” Ratio Juris, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2014), p. 149-158.
  • Maggie O’Brien
    Charter Interpretation, Judicial Review and a Community’s Constitutional Morality: Responding to Natalie Stoljar on Wil Waluchow  was accepted at Problema, the official journal of the Legal Research Institute of the Autonomous National University of Mexico, UNAM and was published in the Dec 14/Jan15 issue.
  • Patrick Bondy
    “The winner of the 2014 AILACT Essay Prize is Patrick Bondy.  Essay title: "Virtues, Evidence, and Ad Hominem Arguments."  Patrick is a postdoctoral fellow at the Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.  He won the 2009 prize. “
  • Matthew GrelletteCongratulations to Dr. Nancy Doubleday, on being the co-recipient of a 2014 SSHRC Ocean Canada Partnership Grant!




  • In Memorian – Samuel Ajzenstat
  • Ben Hamby
    Congratulations to Ben Hamby, who has two forthcoming papers! His review of Diane Halpern's Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, 5th Edition will be published in Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines (Fall 2014) and "Willingness to Inquire: The Cardinal Critical Thinking Virtue" is forthcoming in Critical Thinking in Higher Education (Palgrave MacMillan, Fall 2014).
  • Marco Maestrello
    Congratulations to Marco Maestrello, whose paper "An Argument for a Quasi-Dretskian Approach to Causal Explanation" has been accepted for publication in The Croatian Journal of Philosophy.
    who received his PhD in philosophy at McMaster in 2009, will be taking up a tenure-track position at the University of Nevada at Reno in the fall of 2013. Currently holding a contractually limited appointment at Ryerson University with the rank of assistant professor, David has held limited-term appointments at Trent University as well as Ryerson since receiving his doctorate.
  • Tano Posteraro
    Tano Posteraro's "Organismic Spatiality: Membranic Affectivity and the Composition of Space" has been accepted for publication in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Congratulations!
  • More...