Each year, the Bryn Mawr Philosophy Department presents three types of lectures: Departmental Colloquia, the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Joint Speaker, and the Cautman Lecture. In certain years, the Flexner Lecture Series is presented by the philosophy department: a lecture series which rotates between humanities departments at Bryn Mawr.
The department regularly invites leading scholars to visit Bryn Mawr and give a talk on their current research and scholarly work. Recent colloquia featured Stephen Perry of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and John Caputo of Syracuse University, among others.
For a list of recent departmental colloquia and other lectures, go to the Department Events page.
Bryn Mawr and Haverford's philosophy departments have long collaborated, and in 2005 the Joint Speaker lectureship was founded. For this event, a speaker is invited to give a lecture at one campus and the next day, a discussion with the speaker is held at the other campus. Each year, the event rotates so that the lecture is given at Bryn Mawr and discussion at Haverford, then the opposite the following year.
Recent speakers have included Gopal Sreenivasan of the University of Toronto, a Senior Fellow in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health; David Kolb of Bates College; and John Perry of Stanford University.
The Mary Flexner Lectureship was set up in 1928 by Bernard Flexner in honor of his sister, Mary Flexner (Class of 1895), and brings to the College each year some distinguished scholar in the humanities, who spends several weeks on the campus, holds seminars and discussions with graduates and undergraduates, and principally, gives a series of public lectures to which all who are interested may freely come.
Renowned philosopher and Africana-studies scholar K. Anthony Appiah, one of the world's leading theorists of identity, race and culture, delivered the 2005 Mary Flexner Lectures at Bryn Mawr College, on the theme of "Why Ethics?" In philosophy, other notable lecturers included Alfred North Whitehead and Erich Frank.