Department History

Students confer outside the department chair's office, circa 1997.

Established in 1846 as a private institution, UB became part of the SUNY system in 1962, and the Philosophy Department is one of the oldest in the University. In the twentieth century the Department was noted for its orientation to phenomenology under the leadership of Marvin Farber, who edited the journal Philosophy and Phenomenological Research for several decades.

Since then, the Department has been characterized by a diversity of interests and orientations. The present composition of the faculty includes researchers in metaphysics, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, the history of philosophy, and philosophy of science. Our faculty investigates both traditional subjects of the discipline and issues that have grown in the field more recently, such as bioethics, environmental philosophy, theories of race and ethnicity, and experimental philosophy. Since 1992 The Monist has been housed at UB under the editorship of Barry Smith.