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 and Clubs

SFSU MAP

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) is an international, student-run organization aimed at promoting the past and present work of underrepresented groups in the field of philosophy.
 

The mission of MAP SFSU is to offer students at San Francisco State University, in philosophy as well as other departments, an environment free from stereotypes, epistemic injustice, and racist and sexist ideology, as well as a platform to discuss the work of philosophers from underrepresented groups, and literature on the philosophy of race, sex, gender, class, disability, and other pressing concerns. We hope to help in opening philosophical dialogue around these considerations, by engaging in public philosophy and outreach on our campus and in our community at large.

SFSU chapter of Minorities and Philosophy (MAP). Mission statement here.

For information please contact mapsfstate@gmail.com or reach out individually to coordinators Alena Chavez and/ or Courtney Cohen.

High School Ethics Bowl Coaching and Intercollegiate Competition (academic credit also available)

For the past 6 years, students of the SFSU Department of Philosophy have been proud to participate as coaches for high school teams in the National High School Ethics Bowl program. Students have also competed on the intercollegiate team at regional competitions at schools like San Diego State University, Cabrillo College, and Arizona State University. In the coming years, the program plans robust development and new exciting opportunities. Rather than adversarial debate, Ethics Bowl is focused on using respectful deliberation to apply ethics to real life problems.  

Participate as a member of the intercollegiate team and debate in competition, earn credits, coach undergraduates or high school students, volunteer for mock competitions. There are many ways to get involved with the program! 

For information, please contact sfsu.ethicsbowl@gmail.com or reach out individually to coordinators Logan Maples and/or Dorian Lok.

Philosophy and Religion Club

This club is in its very beginning. This semester it will meet (every other week?) to discern its focus and leadership. Next semester it will seek official status as one of the clubs sponsored by both the Department of Philosophy and SFSU’s Gator Experience. Roughly and preliminarily, we envision that it will be the club for students who are more interested in religions and the more religious side of philosophy, and interested in philosophies and religions as ways of living. But we are open to many different visions for the club and invite you to discuss it. For information please email coordinator Taylor Morgan.

Philosophy Club

Philosophy Club Mission Statement

The Philosophy Club is intended to provide a philosophically diverse society on SFSU’s campus and additionally aims at supporting students in achieving academic excellence. Club is a space that cultivates a supportive environment for those interested in studying philosophy at SFSU and other colleges or universities in the future. The role of Club within students’ academic careers serves to encourage students and facilitate the study of philosophy at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Furthermore, these efforts will be pursued with the hope of instilling a cultural appreciation for philosophical inquiry amongst the student body of SFSU.

About Club:

Philosophy Club meets and decides weekly to discuss democratically elected topics. Topic selection broadly encompasses all student interests, is inclusive of student assignments and presentations for their classes, and is time sensitive to the current state of the world. In translation, the open nature of discussion allows Club to fulfill a function of collective pertinence. In order to maintain attention towards the topic of the week, democratically selected member(s) put together a presentation, or deploy talking points for re-engaged, guided discussion. This may include a weekly paper that is salient to discussion, or by other educational aids provided by the weekly presenter(s). The operations of Club are not restricted to the format described, they are by all means collectively determined.

Are You Interested Yet?

Undergraduates and Graduates of any major are all welcome. The Philosophy club is a great place to forge student relationships that help learning flourish. It’s also a good place to hear about additional departmental activities or guest speaker events, such as Ethics Bowl and Ask a Philosopher! We hope to see you there. General email: sfsuphilclub2@gmail.com. Instagram: phi.club

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.

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 philmentor.sfsu@gmail.com. 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.