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Philosophy is the study of questions and inquiry. Early philosophy reflected on everything from the nature of a good life to the structure of the physical world to our knowledge of it. Along the way, these pursuits spawned mathematics, physics, and other important academic disciplines. Though much progress has been made on aspects of these questions, they are still difficult to answer: What is a good life? What kinds of things are there? What do we know? How do we answer these questions? Should we care about these questions? Hard questions are inevitable, so it pays to tell the important ones from the unimportant, the real answers from the false, and the right methods from the wrong. In the broadest sense, that is what philosophy is about.

Course Details

Duration: Three to four years (full-time study); six to eight years (part-time study)

Difficulty: Advanced

Entry Requirements: Undergraduate degree or equivalent general education

Course Description

Core Curriculum

The core topics introduce the field of philosophy and give students the skills and understanding to choose and pursue their interests in the specialized topics. The Director of Studies will make adaptations based on student ability and schedule. On completing the core, students will be able to independently read the historical and academic literature. The core topics are:

  • Introductory Logic
  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Methodology
  • Historical or Contemporary Ethics
  • History of Political Philosophies
  • History of Philosophical Traditions
  • Practical Philosophy
  • Applied Hermeneutics


Specializations should be discussed with the Director of Studies. On completing specializations, students will be able to independently read advanced literature and conduct a final project in that topic. Some suggested specializations are:

  • Pre-Socratics
  • Neoplatonism
  • Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Cynicism
  • Post-Aristotelian Philosophy
  • Pyrrhonism
  • Ancient Indian Philosophy: Orthodox Schools
  • Ancient Indian Philosophy: Heterodox Schools
  • Ancient Chinese Philosophy
  • Medieval Western Philosophy
  • Modern Western Philosophy
  • Pre-Modern African Philosophy
  • Modern African Philosophy
  • Early Islamic Philosophy
  • The Philosophy of Avicenna
  • Islamic Philosophy After Avicenna
  • The Philosophy of a Canon Philosopher
  • The Philosophy of a Non-Canon Philosopher
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Physics
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Art (and Aesthetics)
  • Philosophy of Race
  • Philosophy of Gender
  • Philosophy of Disability
  • Philosophy of Medicine
  • 19th Century German Philosophy
  • 20th Century German Philosophy
  • Phenomenology
  • Marxism
  • Postmodernism
  • Feminism
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Philosophy
  • Existentialism
  • Pragmatism
  • Foundations of Analytic Philosophy
  • Formal Epistemology
  • Rationality
  • Meta-Ethics
  • Normative Ethics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Virtue Theory
  • Metaphysics
  • Meta-Metaphysics
  • Set Theory
  • First-Order Logic
  • Mathematical Logic
  • Computational Logic
  • Paraconsistent Logic

Final Project

The final project in philosophy consists in one or more papers written on an area of specialization. The paper should take the form of a dissertation elaborating an original argument, interpretation, or perspective. All final projects should be discussed with the Director of Studies, who will assist in choosing an appropriate focus and method. Advanced students may be advised to submit their paper for publication in an appropriate academic journal.

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