Around the Department

There is always a great deal going on both within the Department of Philosophy at SF State and in the greater Bay Area philosophical community. (UC Berkeley, Stanford, University of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis among others are all within a traveling distance.) Below are some of the things happening at SF State right now, both extracurricular and for-credit.

Extracurricular Opportunities

The San Francisco Bay Area Feminism and Philosophy Workshop

The San Francisco Bay Area Feminism and Philosophy Workshop (BayFAP) is a group of San Francisco Bay Area scholars in philosophy (and closely related fields) interested in feminist philosophy. BayFAP was started up in 2005 by two former members of WOGAP, Jacqueline Taylor at University of San Francisco and our very own Ásta (Kristjana Sveinsdóttir). For more information, including past and current speakers series, visit the BayFAP website.

Bay Area Philosophy of Science Working Group

BAPS is the Bay Area Philosophy of Science Working Group, organized by Michael Friedman  (Stanford University), David Stump (University of San Francisco), our very own Bas van Fraassen (SF State), Elaine Landry (UC Davis) and Vadim Keyser (Fresno State). For more information about BAPS, including past and future meetings, visit the BAPS website.

Philosophy Club

The student-run SFSU Philosophy Club holds weekly meetings in the Philosophy Lounge (HUM 392). During these meetings they engage in open and respectful dialogue, making it a welcoming space for all people to speak their mind. They also host guest speakers, student presentations, as well as other “creative” events. Getting involved is a great way to connect with other students and faculty in the department and across campus. For more information please email

High School Ethics Bowl Coaching (Academic credit also available)

In the 2013-2014 school year, San Francisco State University's Department of Philosophy was proud to participate in the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) program, sponsored by UNC Chapel Hill. Several of our graduate students in philosophy volunteered their time to coach local High School students in preparation for the regional championship which took place at UC Santa Cruz. In our first year participating we successfully coached a team into the final round of the regional championship. This year we are expanding our program to include more high schools and look forward to representing San Francisco State University at the national level at UNC Chapel Hill next April.

Mentorship Program

In this program, incoming students will have the opportunity to work with experienced graduate students in order to best prepare for higher education. Mentees will be able to learn about work expectations, helpful research sources, and all aspects of graduate life. If you are interested in participating or have questions, comments, or concerns please direct them to Please note that this is not intended to be a tutoring service, although graduate mentors may advise their mentees on helpful resources and approaches to philosophy.

Ask a Philosopher!

Roughly once a semester we host “Ask a Philosopher!” during which students are invited to ask a panel of professional philosophers any questions (related to philosophy) that they want. Questions can be general—“How did you get interested in philosophy?” “What is philosophy, anyway”—or discipline specific—“What is metaontology?” “Why did the debate shift from talking about morality of affluence to global justice?”—or just a prelude to vigorous discussion—“Characterize the analytic/continental divide” “Do mathematical objects exist?” In short, it is a wide open evening that will be whatever students make of it!

Critical Thinking Lab

Our department hosts a computer lab with 20+ computers available for students to use. The computers contain argument analysis software programs which help develop teaching and critical thinking skills for graduate students.

For-Credit Activities

Reading Circles

Our professors sometimes offer formal reading circles for credit, such as a reading circle on Chinese Philosophy. Additionally, students often form their own, informal reading circles on select topics such as Marx, philosophy of math and Heidegger, among others.

Independent Study

Focus on a specific philosophical topic for a semester with guidance from a professor.

Publishing Credit

Selected instructors teach both 600 and 800 level courses (1-3 units) that offer students hands on experience with the process of publishing philosophy.

Field Project in Philosophy

Apply your philosophical skills to community service projects such as bioethics consultation, law and public policy internships, coaching high school students for Ethics Bowl, urban environmental ethics development and even museum work.