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UNC Philosophy, engaged.

The aim of our Outreach Program is to use the Philosophy Department’s and the Parr Center’s intellectual resources (1) to help people in the community think carefully and clearly about a broad range of ideas, commitments, and practices that shape their lives, (2) to expand the scope and breadth of philosophical inquiry by bringing new voices into the fold, and (3) to promote the university’s mission to produce and disseminate knowledge for the public good.
We are motivated by the conviction that philosophical activity contributes to a flourishing and autonomous life by helping us to develop a sense of ourselves and the world around us through reflection on our beliefs and values. We also believe that the skills and dispositions cultivated by philosophical inquiry are integral to a flourishing civic sphere. We are fortunate to work with numerous community partners in the Triangle Area, ranging from schools to senior centers to correctional facilities. Our volunteers include UNC undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from Philosophy, the Parr Center, and beyond.

Engagement Resources
A compiled list of online resources to assist in teaching and learning philosophy, and public philosophical efforts more generally.
Testimonials

Participants, program coordinators, and educators share their experiences with the Philosophy Outreach Program.
Michael Vasquez

Contact

Please contact Dr. Michael Vazquez to discuss the prospect of partnering with UNC Philosophy or the Parr Center for Ethics!


2022-2023 Outreach Fellows

Aurora Yu

Intergenerational Outreach Fellow
Read Aurora's Bio

Aurora is a third-year graduate student in the Philosophy Department with interests primarily in Early Modern Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Moral Theory, and 20th century Continental Philosophy. She is charged with planning, overseeing, and helping to deliver Intergenerational Colloquia Series for older adults in the Chapel Hill area.

Logan Mitchell

K-12 Schools Outreach Fellow
Read Logan's Bio

Logan is a second-year graduate student with interests in most sub-fields of ethics, social and political philosophy, LGBTQ+ philosophy, and philosophical questions about mindfulness. They work to integrate philosophical reflection, critical thinking, and ethical deliberation into Triangle area schools.

Program History


UNC-Chapel Hill’s Philosophy Department has a longstanding tradition of outreach and community engagement, dating back at least to 1979 when Maynard Adams founded Carolina Public Humanities (then called the Program in the Humanities and Human Values), which aimed to promote a culture of engagement within the humanities and to share the intellectual resources of the University with the community. Over the years, doctoral students and faculty members in philosophy were active in the program’s efforts to bring philosophical and humanistic reflection into schools and communities. In the early 2000s, Adam’s tradition of engaged philosophy received a welcome infusion of support that led to the creation of the present-day Outreach Program in Philosophy. In 2012 the Department and the Parr Center for Ethics together established the directorship as a permanent position, a reflection of their commitment to stable and lasting community partnerships.