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.
Duration: Three to four years (full-time study); six to eight years (part-time study)
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate degree or equivalent general education
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:
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:
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.