Minorities and Philosophy

Columbia is proud to be affiliated with Minorities and Philosophy, an organization that examines and addresses issues of minority participation in academic philosophy. Our chapter aims to foster a vibrant and diverse philosophical community, particularly by encouraging participation by undergraduate philosophers.

We run a number of social and academic events, including biweekly meetings, workshops, and a mentoring program. For details, please contact any of the graduate students below, visit our Facebook page or email us on [email protected].

We are piloting a mentorship scheme this semester! Mentors are available to discuss anything from specific philosophical topics, challenges minorities face in academic philosophy, majoring in philosophy at Columbia, to applying to graduate school! 

Feel free to reach out directly to a mentor! If you would rather have a mentor assigned to you, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/byGimLNNCgLVcY637

MAP Coordinators:

Joe Hamilton
[email protected] 

I am a fourth year PhD student. My research focuses on historical approaches to the issues of moral and practical failure. Currently I am working on Kant and Hegel. I also have interested in critical theory in its myriad forms.  I participated in my undergraduate MAP chapter, which I found incredibly rewarding, and was a central motivation for attending graduate school. 

Tahlia Pajaczkowska-Russell
[email protected]

I am a fourth-year PhD student researching moral psychology and epistemology. Before coming to Columbia I attended the University of Sydney, where I was involved in organizing the USYD Women in Philosophy group. This group later evolved into a chapter of MAP. I, alongside my peers at MAP, share a deep commitment to cultivating a supportive and diverse philosophical community.

MAP Mentors:

Chuyu Tian
[email protected] 

Chuyu received her B.A. at Northwestern, focusing on a comparison between Aristotle and Confucianism for her senior thesis. Her interest is broadly situated in the intersection between ancient philosophy and ethics, and includes such topics as: Aristotelian reasoning, akrasia, and particularism. She is also interested in Buddhist philosophy. In her spare time, Chuyu enjoys dancing.

Ethan Jacobs
[email protected]

I’m a sixth year PhD student primarily interested in the history of philosophy (especially ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy, Kant, 19th century German philosophy, and existentialism) and social philosophy (and especially as related to critical theory’s taking up of the aforementioned historical traditions). I also have interests in feminist approaches to philosophy, philosophy of language (via Wittgenstein), philosophical anthropology, and philosophy of mathematics. Despite (and perhaps because of) the great promise of philosophy as an arena of open, critical appraisal, I believe that it is incumbent on philosophers to confront the issues within the profession, and education in general, that actively exacerbate the current situation in the discipline, in which minorities are systemically underrepresented (as much as two orders of magnitude, for some groups, relative to US population demographics). To that end, I am excited to take up this task with Minorities and Philosophy (MAP).

Helen Han Wei Luo
[email protected] 

My primary research focuses on the intersection between ethics and epistemology, specifically on the norms of belief, in addition to secondary interests in political theory, social philosophy, feminist thought, philosophy of law, and classical Chinese philosophy. I am particularly enthusiastic about normative projects that account for the vulnerability and fallibility of human beings as moral agents. I also have ongoing public-facing philosophy projects centered around aesthetics and the philosophy of love. Currently, I am thinking about problems arising from the concept of human dignity as a grounds for human rights. Prior to joining Columbia, I received my MA in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia, and my BA in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

For more details about my research, as well as on my non-philosophy projects, see my website: https://www.helenhanweiluo.com/

Noah Betz-Richman
[email protected] 

I’m a fourth year PhD student. My main interests are in the philosophy of language, especially social and political applications. I’m also interested in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics.

Sara Wexler
[email protected] 

My research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy and political economy, especially Marx, Hegel, and the relation between the market, organization of work, law, and social freedom. Before coming to Columbia, I received my BA in Philosophy at UC Berkeley (2020)

Ruby Smith
[email protected]

I am primarily interested in the philosophy of responsibility – what it means to have meaningful ownership of one’s actions, and how we can allocate praise and blame both socially and judicially. I’m particularly interested in how this field of philosophy intersects with Indigenous philosophy and political issues, and the ethics of climate change and corporate/governmental responsibility. 

Both undergraduate and graduate students can also take advantage of MAP’s events and larger network of mentors. For more information, please visit the MAP website: http://www.mapforthegap.com.

Other resources:

Undergraduate Philosophy Opportunities 

Best Practices for the Inclusive Philosophy Classroom

The UPDirectory: Directory of Philosophers from Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy

Reducing Stereotype Threat

What it is like to be - 

A Philosopher of Colour

A Foreigner in Academia

A Woman Philosopher

Disabled Philosophers

Discrimination and Disadvantage

Non-Native English Speaking Philosophers

LGBT Academics