Philosophy

For a list of our current courses, see this page. For a list of past and future courses, please see [email protected]. There is a drop-down box at the left which will allow you to see only courses in philosophy.

The Philosophy Department offers a wide range of courses spanning the discipline and its history. Unlike in some other fields, however, there is no clear sequence of courses to take in philosophy, and there is no obvious first course that is best. Rather, the Department offers a range of courses suitable for beginners on a range of different topics, and students are encouraged to choose their first course on the basis of what most interests them.

Courses numbered under 0100 are specifically designed for students new to philosophy. As well as introducing students to a particular set of issues (equality, or the nature of personhood, say), they also focus on teaching the basic skills of how to read, write, and discuss philosophy.

It is not, however, necessary to start with one of these courses. None of the courses numbered under 0990 assume any prior experience with philosophy, and most of them do also teach the basis skills. (The exception is Logic, which is more mathematical.) It is even possible to start with a 1000-level course, especially when the student has some prior familiarity with the subject matter. For example, students who have a background in linguistics might start with a course in Philosophy of Language; those who have a background in Political Science could potentially jump into a more advanced course in Political Philosophy.

Students just starting out are encouraged to speak with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or any other member of the faculty if they would like more advice about choosing a first course, or a second or third!

The Department's courses are (as of Fall 2021) numbered thematically. The grid below explains the numbering system.

 

00xx

 

 

Introductory Courses
(Only one can count towards the concentration)

 

10xx

 

Courses that do not fit elsewhere

 

 

20xx

Required Graduate Courses

01xx

11xx

21xx

Ancient and other pre-Modern History of Philosophy

02xx

12xx

22xx

Early Modern Philosophy

03xx

13xx

23xx

Post-Kantian History of Philosophy

04xx

14xx

24xx

Ethics and Ethical Theory, Aesthetics

05xx

15xx

25xx

Political and Social Philosophy, Other Value Theory

06xx

16xx

26xx

Logic, Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics

07xx

17xx

27xx

Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science

08xx

18xx

28xx

Philosophy of Mind and Language

09xx

19xx

 

Seminars, Independent Studies, Etc

 

 

29xx

Independent Studies, Prospectus and Thesis Preparation, Etc

Courses numbered below 0990, as said above, do not presuppose any prior experience with philosophy. The 0990-level courses are undergraduate seminars intended primarily for junior and senior concentrators. Courses under 1000 and are open to undergraduates only.

1000-level courses are more advanced, and it is recommended (though not required) that students have taken at least one, preferably two, prior philosophy courses before attempting them. (Courses in logic are an exception, though these have their own prerequisites.) They range in difficulty from just above the introductory-level courses to quite advanced. 1000-level courses are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

2000-level courses are intended primarily for graduate students in philosophy, though undergraduates can enroll, with permission from the instructor (an 'override'). Usually, an instructor will want an undergraduate to have significant prior experience with philosophy.