Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: December 13, 2011 10:12:28 AM PST
WWU Named Among Best Undergraduate Philosophy Programs in the Country

Contact: Ned Markosian, professor of Philosophy, at (360) 650- 3859 or ned.markosian@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – For the second time, Western Washington University was named among the top universities in the country for undergraduate programs in philosophy by The Philosophical Gourmet Report, a respected biennial review.

The Philosophical Gourmet ranks the English-speaking world’s doctoral programs in philosophy based upon the advice of several hundred prominent members of the philosophy profession. The volume is edited by Brian Leiter, the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values at the University of Chicago.

In addition to those rankings, Leiter had this to say in the 2011 report about philosophy programs at the undergraduate level: “Among schools that do not offer the PhD or MA in philosophy, those with the best philosophy faculties would probably include: Amherst College, California Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Reed College, University of Vermont, Western Washington University, and Wellesley College.”

Western’s Philosophy Department was similarly mentioned in the previous report, in 2009. Such recognition not only provides a boost to student recruitment, but enhances the professional standing of faculty who in turn receive more invitations to speak or attend academic conferences and other gatherings, said Philosophy Professor Ned Markosian, who has taught at Western since 1998.

For example, Markosian said, the 2011 Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference drew interest from 125 philosophers for 45 spots, with applications coming from Harvard, Princeton and Oxford universities as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology – all schools whose graduate programs rank at or near the top of The Philosophical Gourmet Report.

“It’s pretty unusual for a program that only has an undergraduate degree, to be in the same mix with philosophy departments at those other universities,” Markosian said.

The Philosophical Gourmet Report is published by Blackwell Publishing and is online at www.philosophicalgourmet.com/.

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