What is it to be human? Do we have free will? How can we justify our own beliefs? What is the relation between the mind and brain? What moral dilemmas arise with emerging biotechnologies?

Philosophy professors and students at the College of Arts and Sciences Welcome Back picnic, 2015. These are the kinds of questions addressed in UAB’s Philosophy Department. They remain some of the most important questions we can ask, both as individuals and a community. Reasoning about such challenging topics facilitates rational debate among our diverse body of students and society at large. We aim to empower the minds of the future, equipping them to make positive contributions locally and globally.

By exercising their minds on life’s deep questions, philosophy students develop highly transferable skills, like critical thinking, analytical writing, moral reasoning, and the ability to articulate complex ideas. As a result, our students succeed in many areas of personal and professional life. They have gone on to successful careers or further studies in fields such as medicine, law, politics, writing, business, management, and nonprofit work.

UAB Philosophy has a long-standing interest in ethics, focusing on moral psychology and bioethics. However, we offer a wide range of courses taught by active scholars who publish widely in philosophy and related fields — e.g. psychology, biology, neuroscience, and law.

The Department supports extracurricular activities that enrich the experience of our students, including a thriving Philosophy Club and stimulating discussions with Department faculty and invited scholars. We also sponsor a highly competitive debate team on contemporary moral issues, which has won three national championships: the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in 2010 and the Bioethics Bowl championships in 2011 and 2015.