Research-driven mentoring and instruction

A wide range of orientations in philosophy with a high degree of faculty-student interaction


Cutting edge research area with career pathways in the Masters Degree Program

PPE Degree Program

PPE: Blending Philosophy, Politics, and Economics to address social problems


  • PPE student initiative helps make BUFFALO SOUP a recurring event
    PHI 485, Integrating PPE, is a course that challenges students to find a way to concretely make a social improvement, and then do it. One team accomplished that with BUFFALO SOUP. Their professor, Dr. David Gray, designed the philosophy course. He states, “I am really proud of our PPE students who continue working on their capstone project from Spring 2023, transforming Buffalo Soup into a regular Buffalo institution that is now bringing in partners from other colleges at UB.” BUFFALO SOUP is now apart of a micro-funding group. Read news story by David J. Hill.
  • Jiyuan Yu's philosophical legacy is examined in two new books
    The philosophical legacy of Jiyuan Yu is examined in two new books. Published in 2023, both books are written in Chinese. The first, Between Ancient and Modern China and the West: Academic Anthology of Jiyuan Yu, is a collection of his important articles and of responses by other scholars. The second, Lecture on Aristotle's Metaphysics, contains a series of lectures delivered in 2011 by Professor Yu at Shandong University that were later compiled by Professor Yu’s doctoral students.
  • PHI 485 students deliver new areas for reading at Buffalo City Mission
    When the student team in the PPE course, PHI 485, identified a need for places to read inside the Buffalo City Mission, they proceeded to develop three areas, and built bookshelves for over 1,000 donated books for the residents. Their capstone project is the subject of an article by Charles Anzalone, UB News.
  • Philosophy graduate students selected as Social Impact Fellows
    The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that three graduate students have been selected as Social Impact Fellows for Summer 2023. Botan Dolun, Katrina Johnson, and Noah Kim are among ten graduate students selected for this program. They’ll each receive a $5,000 stipend and spend the summer interning with a local, Buffalo non-profit organization. Learn more about the program.
  • David Emmanuel Gray recognized for promoting academic integrity
    In conjunction with National Honesty Day, UB's Office of Academic Integrity recognized David E. Gray as one of five individuals who promoted a culture of integrity at UB during the 2022-2023 academic year. The award cites Dr. Gray's proactive approach to ensuring academic integrity in his classes through clear communication of expectations, Honor Agreements, and the use of “philosopher’s stones” when students need coursework extensions. He approaches policy violations in a compassionate and educational manner, always with an eye on character development for the student. Dr. Gray’s PHI 485 course challenges students to “make the world a better place”. Read more.
  • PHI 485 students aim to make the world a better place, Spring 23 Edition
    David Gray's course, PHI 485 Integrating PPE, challenges students to find a way to concretely make a social improvement, and then do it. For the Spring 2023 Edition, students organized into three teams: Team Traffic Cones is collecting items that will populate a reading room in the women’s shelter at the Buffalo City Mission; Team Gift of Thrift is collecting lightly used items from students’ dorms as the inventory for pop-up sales, with proceeds going to charity; and, Team Buffalo Soup is orchestrating a crowdfunding event to raise support for local non-profit organizations. Read news story by Bert Gambini.
  • Oxford publishes Jake Monaghan's book: Just Policing
    Oxford University Press has announced the publication of Just Policing, a new book by Jake Monaghan, PhD, UB Philosophy Alum. He was recently appointed assistant professor, tenure track, at the University of Southern California (USC). Monaghan states, "My research is concerned with realized, as opposed to abstract, institutions. I am interested in whether and how we can justify the actual institutions we live in on grounds we can all accept. Further, I explore the moral obligations that arise out of, or in response to, the imperfections of realized institutions."  Monaghan's  dissertation, Theory of Consent, was completed in 2019. Professor Ryan Muldoon served as advisor.
  • Does (mis)communication mitigate the upshot of diversity?
    PLOS ONE has published to the Creative Commons a research article examining the question, Does (mis)communication mitigate the upshot of diversity? Co-authored by Ryan Muldoon, the study examines diversity’s potential across different structures of cooperation. According to Muldoon, “When we work in groups, communication is crucial. Sometimes we randomly make a communication error, but sometimes miscommunication stems from the group diversity. When miscommunication occurs, it is how we’ve organized ourselves that matters.” He observes that it’s the internal structure that makes a difference when introducing miscommunication. Read the news release by Bert Gambini.
  • Muldoon: Reimagining the Civic Commons
    Ryan Muldoon discusses "How Diverse Places Build Trust and Support Democracy" in an interview featured on Medium's forum, Reimagining the Civic Commons. Medium is an open platform that has over 100 million readers who visit the site to find insightful and dynamic thinking. In the interview, Muldoon' observes: "Disagreement and debate — in which we are having a kind of democratic back and forth with people who think differently — helps us get a better idea of what the problems actually are in our society. It also helps us see whether we identify as having the same problems and then, what solutions to problems might look like." Read full interview.
  • PHI 485 inspires student initiative: UB Homework Helpers
    Motivated by grim state data identifying significant educational deficiencies, UB’s Homework Helpers is trying to make a difference for Buffalo public school students who need extra help with their studies.  Founded by five students in spring 2021, UB Homework Helpers is a volunteer-run organization providing free virtual tutoring — from reading to math and beyond — to K-12 students in the Buffalo Public Schools. It is currently managed by four of the five original founders: Julia Dietz, Evan Forti Hong, Gubaz Giorgadze and Shanaz Uddin, all current or former UB political science students. The idea took form in the PHI 485 classroom of David Gray. The course is part of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) program designed to help students develop an interdisciplinary toolkit for approaching social and political problems.
  • Routledge publishes book by Barry Smith and Jobst Landgrebe
    Routledge, a leading publisher that champions the knowledge-maker, has announced the publication of a book by co-authors Jobst Landgrebe and Barry Smith. The book, Why Machines Will Never Rule The World — Artificial Intelligence Without Fear (Routledge 2022),  presents the core argument that an artificial intelligence that could equal or exceed human intelligence—sometimes called artificial general intelligence (AGI)—is for mathematical reasons impossible.
  • UB Philosophy PhD Leo Zaibert appointed to Hirsch Professorship in Cambridge University
    The UB Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Leo Zaibert, one of our most successful PhD students, has been elected to the Hirsch Professorship of Penal Theory and Ethics in Cambridge University, effective September 1 2022. Zaibert’s dissertation, which he completed in 1997 under the joint supervision of UB professors James B. Brady and Barry Smith, is on the topic of “Intentionality and blame: A study on the foundations of culpability” and won the UB Philosophy Department Perry Prize. Zaibert is the author of over 100 publications, including books, edited books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles.
  • Integrating PPE (PHI 485) has students combining theory with practice to make the world a better place
    When David Gray set up the course, Integrating PPE (PHI 485), he issued a challenge to students: Find a way to concretely make a social improvement, and then do it  “Our students are taking this really seriously,” says Gray, interim director of undergraduate studies in UB’s Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences. “They are getting out there in the community and trying to make a difference. To me, that is really impressive. " Read the news article by Charles Anzalone.
  • ISO/IEC recognizes Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as a top level ontology for supporting global information technology
    The ISO/IEC standard establishes Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as the first Top Level Ontology for describing complex processes, objects and functions in ways that will allow scientists to proceed with greater confidence that their data will be reusable by others. Barry Smith, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy and director of the UB National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR) led the UB team behind the effort, which included Werner Ceusters, division chief, Biomedical Ontology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Alan H. Ruttenberg, former director of clinical and translational data exchange, UB School of Dental Medicine. Read the news article by Bert Gambini.
  • Ryan Muldoon's book selected by “Syndicate” for scholarly analysis
    “I was delighted hearing the news about my book being chosen,” says Ryan Muldoon, an expert in social and political philosophy. “It’s an exciting opportunity to explore the topics presented in the book and to receive feedback from other scholars that could direct my next steps in this line of research.” Muldoon’s book is a work of political philosophy that offers an interesting departure from conventional thinking about social contracts, theories that center concepts of morality and justice in ways that are generally agreed upon by members of a society. Read the news article by Bert Gambini.
  • William Duncan, PhD, named UFCD's first Artificial Intelligence-focused hire
    The University at Buffalo Department of Philosophy congratulates our alumnus, William Duncan, PhD, on being named by the University of Florida, College of Dentistry as the college’s first artificial intelligence-focused hire. “I am thrilled to have Dr. Duncan on board to help guide and support UFCD in the development of our vision for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI-related research initiatives and goals,” said Dean A. Isabel Garcia. 
  • The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia
    About the book: Fleeing Cuba in 1961, Jorge J. E. Gracia arrived in the USA at the age of nineteen without family and unable to speak English. Ten years later he was assistant professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Over the next 50 years Gracia published dozens of books and hundreds of articles, making major contributions to numerous areas of philosophy: Latin American philosophy, race and ethnicity, Medieval philosophy, philosophical historiography, metaphysics and ontology, and theory of interpretation. This book is a critical response to Gracia’s work and a tribute to his legacy. It includes a comprehensive bibliography of Gracia’s philosophical works. Learn more.
  • Laura Rivera Salgado wins $5,000. tuition waiver in 2021 poster design contest
    The University at Buffalo Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that UB sophmore Laura Rivera Salgado (Psychology) is the winner of the $5,000. tuition waiver in our 2021 poster design contest. Philosophy Department Chair Neil Williams notified Salgado that her poster won the grand prize.