Reading Groups

Aesthetics Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Lydia Goehr

The Columbia University Faculty-Student Aesthetics Group meets once a week (more or less) to discuss papers, chapters, themes, and topics pertaining to aesthetics, social theory, and the arts. All approaches and methods are discussed in an open and critical environment. Faculty, graduate students and visitors passing through town are welcome, though membership and attendance should be approved by Professor Lydia Goehr (

Formal Philosophy Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Haim Gaifman

The Formal Philosophy Group (FPG) at Columbia University is a faculty-student group dedicated to the study of the relation between formal methods and general philosophical investigation. FPG holds regular meetings throughout the academic year which cover a variety of topics in mathematical/philosophical logic, foundations of probability, rational choice. A schedule of meetings can be found at FPG's website. Please direct further inquiries to Robby Finley (

French Translation and Reading Group*
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Frederick Neuhouser
*This group will not meet during the 2018-2019 academic year.
The French Translation and Reading Group meets once a week, one semester per year, to read, translate, and discuss philosophical texts in the original French.   Please direct inquiries to Professor Neuhouser (

German Idealism Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Wolfgang Mann

The German Idealism Reading Group meets on a regular basis to read and discuss original texts by Kant or the Post-Kantian German Idealists. The focus is on texts which are less frequently studied in contemporary scholarship. In past semesters, we have read Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Right, the first edition of Jacobi’s Letters on the Doctrine of Spinoza and Schelling’s On Human Freedom. For questions regarding the current schedule, please email Jake McNulty ( or Thimo Heisenberg (

Non-western Philosophy Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Katja Vogt
The Non-western Philosophy Reading Group meets roughly every other week for one hour to read and discuss a single philosophical text from a non-western tradition over the course of a semester. Fall 2018 will focus on Zhuang Zhou, also called Zhuangzi (“Master Zhuang”) (c. 400-300 B.C.), whose philosophical work survives in a thirty-three chapter text bearing his name. Our primary reading is Chapter 2 of the Zhuangzi, the “Equalizing Assessments of Things,” a skeptical, and often humorous, dialogue on knowledge, value, and the question of the good life. No prior knowledge required. All faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students are welcome. In previous semesters, the group has read Nāgārjuna’s Vigrahavyāvartanī (The Dispeller of Disputes) and Jñānaśrīmitra’s Apohaprakaraṇa (Monograph on Exclusion). If interested, please direct emails to Olivia Branscum ( and Chuyu Tian (
Phenomenology Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Taylor Carman

The Phenomenology Reading Group meets (roughly) every other week to discuss primary and secondary texts in and pertaining to early 20th-century European philosophy. All faculty and graduate students are welcome to attend.  Please direct inquiries to Professor Carman (
Philosophy of Language Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Assistant Professor Melissa Fusco
New for 2017-2018. The Philosophy of Language Reading Group meets (roughly) weekly to discuss a variety of issues in philosophy of language. All faculty and students are welcome. For more information, please contact Philip Yaure,, or Andrew Richmond,

Philosophy of Mind Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Assistant Professor John Morrison
The Philosophy of Mind Reading Group meets regularly to discuss issues in the philosophy of mind. For more information, please contact Andrew Richmond,
Social Philosophy Reading Group
Facutly Sponsor: Professor Robert Gooding-Williams

The Social Philosophy Reading Group meets every other week to discuss issues in social philosophy, broadly construed. A non-exhaustive list of the topics covered includes classical social philosophy, Frankfurt School critical theory, social ontology, philosophy of race, and feminist theory. The readings are decided early in the semester according to the participants’ current interests. For more information, please contact César Cabezas (