Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Toledo

Continental Philosophy at The University of Toledo

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Toledo is intentionally pluralistic. This means that continental philosophy is more than "tolerated" in our department--we have deliberate strengths in this area of study. So students in our program not only experience a broad range of courses including continental philosophy, but can concentrate in continental thought (much as one would be encouraged to concentrate in Philosophy of Mind, Language or Science, American or Ancient Philosophy, or any other traditional area of philosophical endeavor). All students are encouraged to take a broad array of courses in many different areas. This is (and should be) the case at most graduate institutions. However, a student can comfortably choose to concentrate in Continental Philosophy at UT.

Many among the faculty have deep roots in continental traditions and several of the department's courses are either in continental philosophy or are taught from a continental perspective.  Students pursuing this concentration will also be encouraged to take courses in non-Western and feminist philosophy as well as departmental distributive requirements in the history of philosophy. Students concentrating in Continental Philosophy will be expected to take at least one "Directed Readings" course in a foreign language, usually in relation to a seminar. 

"Continental Philosophy" can name any number of philosophical approaches, styles, movements, or texts, but in general it names those philosophical traditions and texts that characterize European philosophy and their Anglo-American interpreters or interlocutors. Many American scholars do original work in "Continental Philosophy." The term does not denote a commitment to one or another claim with respect to, say, relativism, poetry, language, emotion, or reason. It may denote a questioning stance with respect to what these terms mean, or a considered refusal of the priority of one over another for an understanding of our world. Nor does it exclude a deep and critical relation to the history of philosophy (as "continental philosophers" read and think about, for instance, Kant and Hume, Plato and Aristotle, Peirce and James, Austin and Wittgenstein, and the Presocratic philosophers. This is why we encourage students, continentally oriented or not, to take a broad range of courses in our department). And finally, we would not claim, for example, that "Continental Ethics" is anything more or less than "ethics proper." We hold that Continental Philosophers are diverse in their approaches to philosophical questions and their histories--and welcome that diversity as the condition of philosophical inquiry.

Weinvite you to look into our program and to discuss any questions you have. We would be happy to put you in touch with students and faculty who share your interests.

Last Updated: 2/23/21