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UC Davis Department of Philosophy


Philosophy Department

1240 Social Sciences and Humanities
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Phone: (530) 752-0607

Fax: (530) 752-8964

Picture of speakers at an ancient philosophy conference

Michael Pakaluk and the late Julius Moravcsik at a 2002 conference on ancient philosophy

The UC Davis Philosophy Department hosts a number of events each academic year. Below is a brief description of these activities.


The Philosophy Department presents a number of colloquia throughout the academic year. Speakers are drawn from international as well as American universities. Many of them are from campuses in the region, including UC Davis, where our visiting faculty customarily give a talk to the Department. The links to the left give names, dates, and titles of past colloquia since 1995. The Web pages covering the years from 1998 on since also contain digital photographs of nearly all of the speakers.


Workshops in the Philosophy Library most Friday afternoons to hear presentations of work in progress by department faculty and graduate students.


The Philosophy Department holds occasional philosophy conferences in which visiting speakers present their research. These conferences draw participants and audience members from many different institutions as well as from UC Davis.

Friday, Nov. 11 - Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Philosophical Issues in Law, Morality, and Politics: A Conference in Honor of Jerry Dworkin.

A two-day conference honoring the work of UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Gerald Dworkin. Invited speakers are Richard Arneson (Philosophy, University of California, San Diego), John Deigh (Law and Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin), Shelly Kagan (Philosophy, Yale), Connie Rosati (Philosophy, University of Arizona). The conference will be held in the Philosophy Department Library, 1231 Social Science and Humanities. A poster for the conference is here.

Awards Ceremony

Each year at the end of Spring Quarter, the Philosophy Department holds an awards ceremony, in which are awarded Departmental Citations for outstanding work by undergraduates and the Michael V. Wedin Teaching Award to graduate students who have distinguished themselves as teaching assistants.

UCD Faculty Talks

UC Davis Philosophy faculty are active in presenting papers at conferences and departments throughout the world.

Philosophy Club

The undergraduate Philosophy Club meets weekly to discuss philosophical topics. The club's Web site is here.

Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Department holds an annual essay contest for undergraduates. Submissions will be made in the Spring Quarter. See here for last year’s contest poster.

Food for Thought

The Philosophy Department held its first "Food for Thought" session on September 30. Philosophy majors and minors and other interested students joined in an afternoon of discussion and free pizza. The discussion was initiated by Professor Bernard Molyneux on the following topic: “One characteristic that has been said to distinguish human beings from other things is conscious intelligence. Humans are thought to be the only beings that are both highly intelligent and capable of having conscious experiences. But this belief has been challenged by movies such as The Matrix, by increasingly sophisticated computers and robots, by studies in neuroscience, and by philosophers.”