Jessica Jackley '00

Jessica Jackley '00

Impact of studying philosophy:

"When Gary Steiner assigned our Philosophy of Science class Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he explained that this important work analyzed the evolution of science and scientific thought. Interesting, I remember thinking. I'd always been taught that science proved things and produced facts, and I was curious to witness this truth-producing process questioned..."

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What's the deal with these philosophy lunch chats?

We meet every other Thursday throughout the semester, for informal discussions on a range of relevant topics. Bring your lunch to the Willard Smith Library in the Vaughan Literature Bldg. from noon-1 p.m. to see what the fuss is all about!


"In the knowable realm, the form of the good is the last thing to be seen, and is reached only with difficulty. Once one has seen it, however, one must conclude that it is the cause of all that is right and beautiful in anything, that it produces both light and its source in the visible realm, and that in the intelligible realm it controls and provides truth and understanding, so that anyone who is to act sensibly in private or public must see it." (Republic, VII 517b-c)

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Philosophy blog
Keep up-to-date with news, events, opportunities, lunch chats, announcements, general resources, and more, by following the Bucknell Philosophy Blog.

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GUESS WHO MAJORED IN PHILOSOPHY? British comedian, television producer, author and screenwriter Ricky Gervais was a philosophy major at the University College London.

GUESS WHO MAJORED IN PHILOSOPHY? British comedian, television producer, author and screenwriter Ricky Gervais was a philosophy major at the University College London.

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The Dalai Lama did it. So did Martin Luther King Jr., Susan Sontag and Bill Clinton. Each of them studied philosophy, and each has in his or her own way transformed the world.

Here you'll examine questions about the nature of knowledge, reality and value — questions that are so fundamental to human existence that they are neither easily answered nor easily ignored. With the wisdom you gain, you'll be ready for graduate, medical, law or business school, the corporate world, nonprofit work or creative, educational and entrepreneurial pathways.

Did You Know?

"Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy students learn how to think with a methodical care and rigor that is useful in practice as well as a prerequisite for abstract and theoretical analysis.

Studying philosophy develops skills in interpreting texts, thoughtfully responding to other viewpoints, constructing and evaluating argumentation and the disciplined imagining of novel possibilities for human knowing, valuing and living.

Students develop a disciplined approach to creative thought as they learn philosophical methods and ideas.

Students can study several areas of non-Western philosophy, such as Islamic philosophy, Indian philosophy and Chinese philosophy.

Faculty Spotlight

Meet all of our faculty

Jason Leddington

Associate Professor

Jason Leddington

"The main thing I'm interested in understanding is the nature of our sense-perceptual relationship to the world. We see, hear, taste, touch and smell and the question is, what exactly is it that we are doing when we are doing these things?"

Sheila Lintott

Associate Professor

Sheila Lintott

"I am most passionate about how philosophy can help people live lives that are more meaningful, more just, more careful — literally more care-ful."

More about Professor Lintott
Gary Steiner


Gary Steiner

"The fact that animals cannot use human speech and the fact that most animals don't seem to order their thoughts linguistically doesn't change the fact that there are many, many non-human animals on earth who have rich subjective lives that mean a lot to them."

More about Professor Steiner

Hands-on Experience

Outside the classroom

Study Abroad

Bucknell's philosophy students often complement their on-campus learning by spending a summer, semester or year abroad. Recently, students have spent time in:

  • Australia, Belgium, England, France, Greece, Italy


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Bucknell's philosophy faculty members are eager to mentor students who want to conduct research or embark on independent projects and honors theses. Examples of recent student projects include:

  • Idealism in Action: A Theoretical and Practical Exploration of Political Liberalism in the Work of Martha C. Nussbaum
  • Truth and Lies: A Defense of Moral Relativism
  • Conceptions of Altruism: A Philosophical and Biological Investigation of Selflessness
  • Messengers of Philosophy: The Use of Personae in the Philosophical Works of Plato, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard

Living-Learning Communities

Humanities Residential Colleges

Students in the Humanities College explore the relationship between abstract ideas and life as we live it through a variety of courses that relate the classical tradition to the modern world; the sacred to the political; and the artistic to the technological.

Think across the boundaries between visual, art, science, literature, philosophy, popular culture, and music.

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