Department of Philosophy
The mission of the MSU Denver Philosophy Department is to provide our students, ourselves, and our
community with both formal and informal occasions to reflect upon and engage in, in a serious and systematic
way, the great human conversation about the nature and meaning of human existence, with an eye to our
correlative commitments to the concepts of truth, freedom and opportunity.
Philosophy holds fast to a pursuit of the truth and an examination in which no questions are barred and in
which no result is unconsidered, regardless of their beauty, utility, political correctness, or popular appeal.
Philosophy names the occasion for the mutual pursuit of truth by faculty and students. But in order to maintain
a lively connection with and to contribute to the ongoing endeavor that is philosophy, an essential element of
this mission of this department is the fundamental activity of continuing education and professional
contributions in the forms of talks, communications, commentary, papers and monographs in our field. In our
view, research and instruction are inseparable and so our Department upholds the unity of purpose inherent in
the very notion of the teacher-scholar. Through its extracurricular activities, student organizations and the
departmental colloquium, we also invite our students to take first steps in similar directions.
An education in philosophy is an education for life because it addresses questions and issues of enduring
interest, in an engaged and sometimes practical way. Philosophical inquiry recognizes no pre-established limits
or disciplinary boundaries in its critical examination of topics of human concern. It enlarges the student’s
horizon of ideas and encourages the student to critically examine and creatively extend these ideas in a free
and open manner. The possibilities of unlocking human potential and increasing self-understanding follow
from tools that increase individual autonomy and provide for the liberation from received opinions and empty
custom. In this way, individuals may be prepared for a fuller and deeper civic participation and responsibility.
Among philosophy’s special gifts are enrichments to what are sometimes called “letters” or the “humanities”
or “humane studies.” On its humanistic side, the Department provides important and singular offerings to the
University’s General Studies requirements, as well as to such programs as Legal Studies and Women’s
Our Department is committed to providing academic programs of study, which feature curricular flexibility
and individualized learning, with an eye to increased opportunity. The skills and abilities associated with the
disciplinary rigor of the philosophy program – especially analytical and abstract thinking and clarity in thought
and written exposition – are transferable to almost any conceivable human endeavor. Indeed the emphasis on
logic and method are part and parcel of the self-identity of both philosophy and modern natural science. Hence,
within and without the academy, it is important to note our discipline’s ongoing contributions to mathematical
logic, theoretical linguistics, cognitive psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence and statistics and
game theory. Accordingly, the Department also assists a number of other colleges, such as the School of
Business, and other programs, including Computer Science, IDP, and the Linguistics minor, among others.