Department of Philosophy

  • Big Questions

    Philosophy is the creative and critical reflection on enduring questions concerning the nature of the world and our place in it. For example, philosophy asks metaphysical questions about what exists, epistemic questions about what we can claim to know, and ethical questions about the nature of the good life and right action. In addition, philosophy involves the study and practice of good reasoning and clear thinking, skills that are essential to any discipline or profession.

    Check out the UAA Ethics Center

The Department of Philosophy

Philosophy, as the center of the humanities, the foundation for the sciences and the core of the liberal arts, supports the mission of CAS and the 2017 UAA Strategic Plan by preparing Alaskans to become knowledgeable and contributing citizens in a diverse world.  Members of the department are committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and public service, and seek to extend the mission of the University by promoting freedom of inquiry, integrity in study and action, and the transmission of knowledge and understanding. Faculty advance scholarship, research, and learning in the history of ideas and ethics. They contribute to the vitality of the natural and social sciences, health professions, art, education, government and public policy, business, technology, and justice studies. The department's emphasis on intellectual strenuousness uniquely prepares students for variety of graduate studies as well as public leadership. Through community engagement, faculty and students raise public discussion of significant issues and provide leadership in addressing conflicts and solving problems in Alaska and beyond.

Presenter lecturing in front of a crowd

UAA’s 19th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

April 19th – April 20th, 2024

The philosophy department invites you to attend UAA’s 19th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.  The conference will be held at UAA’s main campus.  Our conference features student papers, panels, and a keynote speaker on a wide variety of philosophical issues.  Refreshments will be available.  The conference is open to the public.

John Headshot

Dr. John Basl (Northeastern Univ.)

“An Ethics Ecosystem for AI and Big Data: Why? What? How?”

Friday, April 19th, 5:30 pm,

UAA Consortium Library Rm. 307

For a Zoom Link, please register for the event using this link.  You will be automatically emailed a Zoom Link. 
In this talk, Dr. Basl will diagnose errors that continue to occur in our development and deployment of AI and big data analytics and use that to motivate the need for an ethics ecosystem - a coordinated set of components that distributes the task of managing ethical issues - for AI and big data. Along the way, he'll engage with a series of philosophical and ethical issues raised by AI.


Philosophy Students and Faculty in the News!

The Ethics Bowl

Alaska Ethics Bowl: Discuss...Debate...Win!













Participate in the Ethics Bowl