Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and offers both a Major and a Minor in Philosophy.

The Department counts 21 full-time faculty members working in a variety of specialties, who are active scholars committed to undergraduate education. They share their expertise in a wide variety of philosophical schools, national traditions, historical periods, and specialized areas of philosophical work.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with a foundation in the history of philosophy and also to encourage students to pursue work in their own areas of interest. Formal coursework is only one part of the Philosophy student's education. Since inquiry and study are most fruitful when conducted in a vital community of fellow scholars, the Department is committed to offering a number of excellent learning opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom structures.

The Department of Philosophy Main Office is Currently Working Remotely

For Assistance and Physical Office Hours

Email us at or call (616) 331-2114

Summer 2021 Faculty Office Hours

Faculty Name Email Office Office Hours
Mark Pestana B3 202 MAK Monday and Wednesday 2:00p-4:00pm
Dwayne Tunstall B3-211 MAK Wednesday 4:00-5:00 pm & by appointment

Permit Approval

approved courses

Banner Submission

Ethics, Practical Reasoning, Agency: Sellars' Practical Philosophy

August 11-14, 2021 (Wednesday-Saturday)

Virtually via ZOOM

To go to the conference website, click here.

To attend the conference, registration (free of charge) is required. To register, click here.

Keynotes/Invited Speakers:

Danielle Macbeth (Haverford College)

Willem A. DeVries (University of New Hampshire)

James R. O’Shea (University College, Dublin)









Confirmed Speakers:

Stefanie Dach (University of West Bohemia, Pilsen).

Kyle Ferguson (New York University)

Zachary Gabor (Harvard University)

Jeremy R. Koons (Georgetown University Qatar)

Ronald Loeffler (Grand Valley State University)

Preston Stovall (University of Hradec Králové)

Nicholas Tebben, (Towson University)

Heath White (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)




w. Sellars' Pic

. . . the fundamental principles of a community, which define what is ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘done’ or ‘not done’ are the most general common intentions of that community with respect to the behavior of members of the group.

Wilfrid Sellars, Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man

Make Life Make Sense Nonsense Image

Make Life Make Sense... Study Philosophy

Check out the Upper Level Philosophy Courses for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022





Philosopher photos

Questions? Contact Professor Spear:


2021 Dewey J. Hoitenga Essay Prize Winner


CONGRATULATIONS to the winner of this year’s GVSU Philosophy Department Dewey J. Hoitenga Essay Contest Winner, Lucas Howe, for his essay

“Tethering the Mind: Embodied Cognition and its Implications”

Congratulations Lucas!

Prof. Spear and the Essay Contest Committee