The Deviant Philosopher is a teaching resource created by a group of scholars who believe that there is value in deviating from the traditional Anglo-American philosophical canon. Both we and our students benefit from thinking about diverse philosophical traditions and perspectives, and there are many non-canonical philosophical ideas that are rich with philosophical interest and can enhance our understanding of a variety of philosophical issues and topics.
We recognize that philosophers may find it either risky or daunting to deviate from the tried and true lesson plans on materials and subjects we find most familiar.

This is because:

  • First, we want to teach well. We want our students to develop an enriched understanding, not to be confused and frustrated by what we offer.
  • Second, we want to do justice to the views that we present. Faculty may reasonably lack confidence about their ability to teach in new areas, in traditions unfamiliar, in idioms in which they are unpracticed, and may thus worry about inadvertent errors, mistakes in their own understanding, or even reproducing problematic stereotypes of other cultures or perspectives.
  • Third, we want our courses to have well-designed arcs rather than disjointed elements. We don’t want to simply tack on some non-canonical philosophy. We want to be able to make fruitful connections, comparisons, and contrasts to other elements of our curriculum.

We at The Deviant Philosopher decided that it was time to do something to about the difficulties associated with diversifying our curriculum, recognizing that there is great value in the end goal. We think we can make it a little bit easier and a little bit less hazardous by collecting and sharing some new teaching resources. And so, we created The Deviant Philosopher. Our mission is:

  • To create quality teaching resources on diverse non-canonical philosophical traditions and perspectives
  • To promote meaningful engagement with the philosophical traditions and perspectives we’re representing

The Deviant Philosopher provides users with four kinds of materials: area primers, unit plans, lesson plans, and class activities. Primers are toolkits designed to help an instructor who is new to a subject area get acquainted with it. Unit planslesson plans, and class activities are teaching plans suitable for various time periods within a course, ranging from a single discussion to full units of study. Instructors can draw from these to suit their own time constraints and emphases. Each item contains suggestions about how to integrate the material into a variety of philosophy courses. Though our plans are (largely) classroom tested, we encourage users to email us at and let us know how our plans are working out for them.

The Deviant Philosopher development team is:


The webpage is built with the Drupal 8 Platform. It uses a version of the Nexus Theme customized by Seth Robertson. The images on the slider are "Six Persimmons," a thirteenth century painting by Buddhist monk Muqi Fachang, and two photographs by Seth Robertson. This project has received  support and assistance from the University of Oklahoma Department of Philosophy, Sarah Clayton and the University of Oklahoma Libraries Digital Scholarship Lab, and Dr. John Stewart at the University of Oklahoma Center for Teaching Excellence.