Thought and Knowledge

What do we think? How do we think? How can we use the powers of the human mind to understand what constitutes us as individuals and as groups of people?

All branches of knowledge, from the sciences to morality and justice, were once understood broadly as the province of philosophy, with the centrally important thinkers of the world, from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Bacon, Descartes, and Newton labeled with the honorific term "philosopher."  Contemporary philosophers address science, culture, ethics and the law, the powers (and limitations) of the human mind, and other questions with the tools of thought created, or discovered, over thousands of years. All of our humanities' areas address central problems about our place in the world and how we create meaning. 

Arizona State University is home to a distinguished philosophy program in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, and it is also home to a number of philosophers in different units. The History and Philosophy of Science Program lives in the School of Life Sciences, and the Lincoln Center of Applied Ethics takes what's best in philosophy to answer questions of practical urgency.

Deserts are demanding and pose large questions to us—questions that invite ecological solutions at scale.
The environmental humanities bring humanists together with social scientists and scientists to improve human wellbeing, promote justice, and protect earth’s life support systems.
Health Humanities Initiative addresses a new and growing interdisciplinary area committed to bringing the insights of humanities disciplines to healthcare research, training and policy-making.
The History and Philosophy of Science shows that scientists ask the big questions that are typically considered humanities questions: what is life, who are we, where did we come from, how can we achieve a good life.
Through the Institute for Humanities Research, humanities scholars collaborate with each other and with researchers across the university to address our most fundamental and challenging “big questions”:
Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics supports research and education that will guide and direct ethical action and will develop the next generation of moral actors.
Narrative Storytelling Initiative is dedicated to expanding the population of knowledgeable narrators and enhancing the quality and scale of their public engagement.
At the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, we explore our diverse heritage, traditions, beliefs and history, and express their relevance through application in every day life.
The global celebration of the bicentennial of the writing and publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, led by researchers at Arizona State University.
Imagination is essential to the ability of individuals and societies to create, design and bring about the futures they want.