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Welcome to the UC Davis Philosophy Department

Welcome to the UC Davis Philosophy Department Web site. Within these pages you will find a wealth of information about the Department, its people, and its programs.


New Spring Professors

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark R. Reiff, who taught for many years at the University of Manchester School of Law in the UK, will be a Visiting Professor of Philosophy with us this Spring term. He will be teaching Philosophy 118 (Political Philosophy) and Philosophy 119 (Philosophy of Law). Dr. Reiff is the author of four books: On Unemployment, Volumes I and II (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Exploitation and Economic Justice in the Liberal Capitalist State (Oxford University Press, 2013), and Punishment, Compensation, and Law: A Theory of Enforceability (Cambridge University Press, 2005). His papers on issues within legal, political, and moral philosophy have appeared in leading academic journals in the US, the UK, France, and Canada. Dr. Reiff is also a lawyer, admitted to practice in both the US and UK, and was a Faculty Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University in 2008-09.

We are also pleased to welcome back two old hands in Spring 2016. Professor Dennis Holden (American River College), will be teaching PHI 105, Philosophy of Religion, and Dr. Vadim Keyser (PhD UC Davis, 2012), will be teaching PHI 30, Introduction to Philosophy of Science.


Most of the teaching and research in the Department is in analytic philosophy. The Department has strengths in metaphysics, formal epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science (especially philosophy of biology and philosophy of physics), philosophy of mathematics, philosophical logic, ethics, meta-ethics, political philosophy, history of analytic philosophy, history of modern philosophy, and ancient philosophy. The philosophy department is proud of its commitment to diversity in philosophy; 6 of its 15 full-time faculty members are women.

Degrees Offered

The Department is a part of the College of Letters and Science, Division of Social Sciences. It offers the Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor for undergraduates and the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees for graduate students.


Professor James Griesemer is Chair of the Department. Professor Cody Gilmore is Graduate Adviser, and Professor G.J. Mattey is Undergraduate Adviser. The staff is administered by the Social Sciences Yellow Cluster.

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1240 Social Science and Humanities
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0703
Fax: (530) 752-8964


UC Davis and the Philosophy Department are committed to fostering an environment that is respectful, welcoming, and inclusive for students, faculty, and staff. Sexual harassment is prohibited by law and University policy. UC Davis has established complaint resolution procedures for students to use if they have concerns or complaints regarding suspected sexual harassment. For information, students may call the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (530-752-9255), or the Anonymous Call Line (530-752-2255). Additional information is available at