About Us

The Center's mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the ideals of freedom and responsibility along four dimensions: published research, undergraduate education, graduate education, and community outreach.

Core Intellectual Values
These are core values that we will not compromise.   

1. Growth
We aim to stand up from our desks at the end of every day knowing something that we did not know when we sat down that morning.  We do not teach from old lecture notes.  With our students we will share what we know, along with our uncertainties & struggles.  Our students will know the joy & trepidation of exploring the intellectual frontier.

2. Seriousness
We are theorists, but we go beyond the kind of analysis where claims end up being true by definition. Our claims have real implications & are subject to the kind of fact-checking that may well prove us wrong from time to time. We say, if your definition makes it unnecesary to check the facts, then you need to check your definition.

3. Independence
Whatever we stand for, we have to stand for honest scholarship first. Truth comes first. If and when the truth turns out incompatible with our beliefs, we change our beliefs.

4. Diplomacy
We will not demonize those who disagree with us.  Our engagements will be constructive.

Life at the Arizona School
Our goal is to be a place where scholars have time for research and collaboration. We will brainstorm in solitude in the morning, and brainstorm in concert in the afternoon. We envision an ongoing faculty workshop where members of the Center meet for a “brown bag” lunch and one of the members presents a philosophical puzzle related to his or her current writing or teaching.

Graduate Study
Graduate students are the lifeblood of the Center. They serve as teaching assistants and teachers for courses offered by the Center; they play key administrative and planning roles. With a reduced teaching load, graduate students have time for research and collaboration: they present their work at “brown bags” and brainstorm alongside their professors. Our Current Research Workshops showcase the work of our alumni.