The Philosophy Department Climate Page

The Philosophy Department at the University of Notre Dame aspires to be a welcoming and inclusive community in which students, staff, and faculty members feel welcome and supported independently of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or national origin. We are especially concerned with ensuring that members of those groups traditionally under-represented in philosophy find our department a welcoming place. 


Climate Committee

The Department’s Climate Committee is a body of faculty members and graduate students whose role is to oversee and coordinate issues having to do with inclusiveness in the department, and to work towards the establishment and maintenance of a good climate for all. The Committee is especially concerned with ways in which the department is a welcoming one for members of groups traditionally under-represented in philosophy. To that end, the Committee organizes events designed to foster inclusiveness, and formulates policy recommendations to the Chair, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Director of Graduate Studies as appropriate regarding issues of inclusiveness.

For questions about the Climate Committee, for suggestions of activities or issues related to climate, and for concerns about any related issues, please contact the Climate Committee Chair.

Membership:  The Climate Committee includes faculty members and graduate students from the Department of Philosophy. The faculty members include the Department Chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, a Climate Committee Chair appointed by the Department Chair, and (typically) one further faculty member appointed by the Climate Committee Chair.  The student members of the committee, typically three in number, serve one-year terms, and are appointed by the Climate Committee Chair in consultation with the previous year’s Climate Committee. Students interested in serving on the Climate Committee should contact the Climate Committee Chair by April 15 of the year prior to the year in which they might like to serve.

Climate Committee Members 2016-17:

Patricia Blanchette (chair)
Jeff Speaks
Curtis Franks
Janet Kourany
Alex Jech
Callie Phillips
Peter Finocchario
Rebecca Chan


Past Committee Members

Minutes of Climate Committee Meetings

Sept_8 and15, 2014

Nov. 13, 2014

Feb. 16, 2016

April 14, 2016



Recent and Upcoming Climate-Related Events in the Notre Dame Philosophy Department



  • September 2016: Panel Discussion on Diversifying the Syllabus



  • November 6, 2015: Sally Haslanger lecture
  • Spring 2016: Elizabeth Barnes lecture



  • October 15, 2014: Gender-Bias Workshop. Contact: Jim Sterba
  • February 13, 2015: Alison Jagger lecture.



  • The Climate Committee was formed in 2012-13.
  • In May, a group of faculty members and students travel to Dayton, Ohio to participate in the APA Diversity Conference
  • In January 2013, the department  conducted a Climate Survey of all graduate students, as a means of assessing the climate-related strengths and weaknesses of our program.


Climate Reading Group

The Philosophy Department maintains a Climate Reading Group, open to any department  members who want to attend. The group meets occasionally, discussing readings of climate-related material. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, contact Patricia Blanchette.

Summer 2014 Reading:  Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change?, Katrina Hutchison and Fiona Jenkins (eds), Oxford University Press 2013

Previous Readings:

  • Haslanger, Sally: "Changing the Ideology and Culture of Philosophy: Not by Reason (Alone),"
  •  Antony, Louise: “Different Voices or Perfect Storm: Why are there So Few Women in Philosophy?"  Journal of Social Philosophy Vol 43, Issue 3 (Sept 2012) pp 227-255
  • Saul, Jennifer: "Ranking Exercises in Philosophy and Implicit Bias" Journal of Social Philosophy Vol 43, Issue 3 (Sept 2012)pp 256-273

Resources at Notre Dame:

 External Programs and Workshops for Students:

Other Helpful Climate-Related Links and Resources

Climate News