Around the Department

There is always a great deal going on both within the Department of Philosophy at SFSU 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 travelling distance.) Below are some of the things happening at SFSU right now, both extracurricular and for-credit.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1. BAYFAP

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. It is now run by two SFSU graduate faculty: Ásta and Shelley Wilcox. For more information, including past and current speakers series, visit the BayFAP website.

2. BAPS

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

3. High School Ethics Bowl Coaching (Academic credit also available)

In the 2013-2014 school year, San Francisco State University's Philosophy Department 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.

4. Undergraduate Mentoring

In this program, undergraduate students in philosophy have the opportunity to work closely with philosophy graduate students in order to best prepare for graduate work in philosophy. Undergraduate students will be able to learn from their mentors about work commitments, preparation for graduate study in philosophy, and all aspects of graduate student life. 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.

5. 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!

6. 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:

7. Hypatia

Professor Shelley Wilcox has joined the editorial team of Hypatia Reviews Online: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy as book review editor. Hypatia is the foremost journal of feminist philosophy, publishing cutting-edge articles and book reviews from diverse philosophical perspectives. Hosting Hypatia at SFSU complements our faculty’s research strengths in feminist philosophy and provides a number of exciting opportunities for our students, including a funded student assistantship.

8. 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.

9. Independent Study

Focus on a specific philosophical topic for a semester as you receive guidance from a professor.

10. Publishing Credit

Dr. Wilcox will also be offering both 600 and 700 level courses (1-3 units) that offer students hands on experience with the processes of philosophy publishing.

11. 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.