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Why pursue the ESSP with Philosophy as a focal department?

The ESSP/Philosophy program allows students to gain a solid foundation in academic philosophy while pursuing interdisciplinary interests in complementary fields, including architecture, biology, English, geography, law, planning, political science, sociology, and many others. Our graduates are fully prepared for academic positions in philosophy departments, environmental studies programs, or other interdisciplinary contexts.

The Philosophy Department at the University of Oregon emphasizes the history of western philosophy and the traditions of American, Continental, and Feminist philosophy. Our approach to issues in environmental philosophy is multifaceted. Among the perspectives that receive a hearing in our effort to explore the moral and ontological standing of the human and more-than-human world are critical animal studies, critical theory, deep ecology, ecofeminism, environmental justice, indigenous philosophy, land ethics, phenomenology, pragmatism, and social ecology. Such inquiries are also complemented with questions and insights drawn from the history of philosophy, thus bringing a thoroughly historical perspective to reflection on the environment.

Faculty interests include eco-phenomenology, animality, embodiment, environmental aesthetics, sustainable architecture and design, the role of place in human experience, and Native American perspectives on the environment understood within the broader context of Native thought. Recent courses include Animality, Ecophenomenology, Ecotheory in Philosophy and Art, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Aesthetics, Native American Philosophy, Philosophy of Ecology, and Philosophy of Disaster.

The journal Environmental Philosophy is published at the University of Oregon as a joint venture of the Philosophy Department and Environmental Studies Program.

Chaone Mallory, our first student to complete the doctoral program in ESSP & Philosophy, is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University.

Supplementary Application Information

Application to the Philosophy Department requires “A writing sample that reflects your highest quality work in philosophy. There is no strict policy on length for your writing sample, but no more than 10 to 15 pages is strongly recommended.” See How to Apply for Graduate Study in Philosophy for more information.

Contact Environmental Studies graduate programs coordinator Nathan Adams at for more information about the application process.

See also the standard application procedures for the Environmental Studies Doctoral Program.

Useful Links

Department of Philosophy
Ted Toadvine, ENVS Core Faculty
Philosophy Faculty Affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program
Journal of Environmental Philosophy
Tim Christion Myers and Paul Guernsey, Current PhD Students in ESSP and Philosophy