In 2006, twenty-four remarkable scholars — from fields as diverse as neuroscience and Sanskrit literature — crossed departmental lines and convened in the Low Rotunda of Columbia University to discuss important issues in philosophy and religion. The event was entitled Mind & Reality, and it focused on the “problem of consciousness” and related discourse. At the close of this historic event, there was great enthusiasm amongst the participants to keep the lines of communication open and to continue the conversation. As project director, Christopher Kelley quickly assembled a core team of students and faculty, and put together a proposal for a new University Seminar on comparative philosophy. Frank Tannenbaum, the founder and original director of Columbia University Seminars, was a steadfast supporter of interdisciplinary dialogue. In an essay entitled "Implications of an Education Movement," Tannenbaum wrote:
"The primary aim of the University Seminar is the attempt to see things whole, to merge the disciplines for the purpose of getting a unified view. The aim is synthesis, insight, wisdom, the understanding of the full incidence of the ongoing phenomenon to which any collegium is devoted."
With faculty leadership from Professor Gary Tubb, and graduate student support from Andrea Borghini (philosophy) and Roy Tzohar (religion), the Columbia University Seminar on Comparative Philosophy was established in 2007 as the Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy.
Since then the CSCP has grown to include new members and new faculty chairs. Shortly after the CSCP was formed, professor Tubb accepted a position at the University Chicago. Mark Siderits, a veteran from the Mind & Reality event, stepped-in as chair and spearheaded a year of groundbreaking meetings oriented around the theme of personal identity.
In 2008 professor Siderits relocated to Seoul National University and handed the chair over to Jonathan Gold of Princeton University.
Since 2011, Hagop Sarkissian of The City University of New York (Baruch College & Graduate Center) has shared the chair with Professor Gold.