Our Tradition


When alumni are asked what they remember of their Ateneo education, most mention their classes in philosophy. This is because their philosophy classes helped them become open to what provokes reflection with rigor and a sense of wonder. They helped them to read complex philosophical texts dealing with the deepest questions in life and to read life as if it were a text of wisdom.

The Department of Philosophy is unique in its capacity to bring together what is valuable in Filipino, as well as in Eastern and Western thought, through academic research and lived reflection on everyday life. Because it is the home of Roque Ferriols and the site of the first philosophical utterance of Meron, it is a pioneer of philosophizing in Filipino – its faculty being among the first to teach classes and write award-winning books in the language – and is one of the major centers of formation for philosophical scholarship in the country.

With this unique philosophical tradition, the Department of Philosophy has formed leaders with vision and insight in all sectors of society: from bishops to justices, from legislators to telecom CEOs, not to mention some of the best philosophy teachers and scholars.

Today, the philosophical associations in the Asia-Pacific region have recognized the leadership of the Department's senior faculty members. They hold key positions in the Asian Association of Catholic Philosophers and the Asia-Pacific Philosophy Education Network for Democracy of UNESCO. They also serve on the editorial boards of Philosophical Frontiers, Humanitas Asiatica, Budhi, Philosophy Culture, and Traditions, and the Research in Values and Philosophy.

Presidencies of national philosophical associations are being served continuously by members of the Department through the Philosophical Association of the Philippines and the Philosophy Circle of the Philippines. The Department's faculty extends its expertise by delivering lectures to regional associations such as the Philosophical Association of the Visayas and Mindanao and other schools and universities in various parts of the country.

Eminent professors, such as Jean-Luc Marion, Richard Rorty, W. Norris Clarke, Quentin Lauer, James Bernauer, and Vanden Brooke, have delivered lectures to different audiences in the Philippines under the Department's sponsorship. Regular lecturers from different countries, such as Georges de Schrijver of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Nicole Revel of the Centre for Research in Paris, and Peter Murphy of Monash University in Australia, participate in annual team teaching courses offered by various members of the department.

Contemporary philosophical traditions, such as Critical Theory, Postmodernism, Deconstruction, Neo-Thomism, as well as the main figures in contemporary philosophy, namely Husserl, Heidegger, Habermas, Arendt, Foucault, Gadamer, Derrida, Ricouer, Levinas, Apel, and Rawls are well represented in the expertise of the Department's faculty. The classical traditions nevertheless remain to be the interest of its young faculty members, who are sustained by its founding members.