Some Syllabus Language That Might Be Useful

Please feel free to incorporate the following statements in your syllabus. As I was writing them, I learned so much from, among others, Lauren Alpert’s global ethics syllabus, Alison Reiheld’s feminist theory syllabus and Amy Shuster’s political and social philosophy syllabus. If you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, I’d love to know! (Last updated: June 2021)

Table of Contents

1. Respect, Support and Care for One Another

2. Student Support Resources

3. (Lack of) Diversity in Philosophy

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1. Respect, Support and Care for One Another

Materials in This Course

Since many of the issues we will cover in this course are also personally relevant, you might find it difficult to read and discuss certain course materials. I want to acknowledge that. It’s perfectly understandable.

It’s therefore important that we respect, support and care for one another throughout the course. Please always feel free to talk to me if you anticipate certain topics will be especially difficult for you, or if you think the way they get discussed in the class is disrespectful or otherwise problematic.

How to Respect, Support and Care for One Another

Here are some concrete examples of how you can respect, support and care for your classmates and instructor:

Class Discussions

Classroom Behavior

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

If you feel any aspect of this course makes it difficult for you to participate fully, I want to know. This is very important to me.

2. Student Support Resources

Campus Health Services

Crisis Resources

Food Security

Child Care



Academic Advising


3. (Lack of) Diversity in Philosophy

Unfortunately, philosophy as an institutionalized discipline is remarkably white, cis male, straight and able-bodied. This lack of diversity is often apparent just from the topics and authors typically taught in introductory philosophy courses. However, philosophy as a whole is becoming more and more diverse thanks to the efforts of several generations of philosophers. As a philosophy student, you can also help the profession address its diversity and inclusiveness problems by engaging with minority authors seriously and supporting your fellow minority students.

The American Philosophical Association (APA) has a useful handout for minority undergraduate students in philosophy, which you can read here:

A valuable local opportunity is the Arizona Feminist Philosophy Graduate Conference organized annually by graduate students at the UA Department of Philosophy. The conference takes place in the spring semester. It brings together graduate students working on feminist issues from all around the country and the world. You can find more information and watch recordings of past talks at