University of Otago emblem    Philosophy

Welcome to philosophy at Otago!

Nau mai, haere mai ki te hōtaka whakaaroaro!

Philosophers ask fundamental questions about

  • the nature of the world
  • our place in it
  • moral standards
  • methods of reasoning
  • minds
  • language

and more. Philosophy is the systematic attempt to ask and to answer such questions, rigorously and analytically.

Philosophy means 'love of wisdom'. The study of philosophy is its own reward. A degree in philosophy is also an excellent entry-point to a wide range of careers.

Why study philosophy?

Location of the Programme: Second floor, central and north wing, Arts/Burns Building, 95 Albany Street.


Professor Lisa Ellis, and some of our Southland U3A attendees (March 2020). The Southland U3A hosted a four-lecture series, featuring staff from the Philosophy Programme: Dr Heather Dyke (who spoke on reasoning in ethics), Assoc. Prof. Charles Pigden (who spoke on the history of philosophy at Otago), postgraduate Briony Blackmore (who spoke on AI and ethics), and Prof. Ellis (who spoke on environmental ethics).

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((Otago Philosophers on COVID-19:))


  • Welcome back to campus - we hope you have an excellent first semester!
  • Have a good holiday break!  See you in 2024 (we're open again on 8 January)
  • Taylor Lecture: 'How to respect the dead', Prof. Tim Mulgan (Auckland; St Andrews), Weds 6 September, 5:30pm in Archway 4 (link)
  • July 31 -- Heather Dyke on "Why time doesn't pass"; ABC Radio National (link)
  • July 26 -- "Critical thinking" on the radio! Zach Weber talks about fallacies on Radio New Zealand (link)
  • More to come...