Graduate Program

Philosophy admitted its first doctoral students in 2001. As of Fall 2016 there are 17 graduate students in the program. Each year 4-5 new Ph.D. and 1-3 M.A. students will be admitted.

The department’s distinctive profile emerges from its approach to the study of philosophy, including an interest in the history of philosophy as an indispensable background to the main areas of contemporary concern in the discipline. More specifically, the department’s characteristic and compelling strength lies in its attitude towards the two current traditions in philosophy—the so-called analytic and continental traditions. While analytically trained, the great majority of the faculty has research and teaching interests in some major 19th and 20th century European figures, including, among others, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, and Foucault. Most important, the department’s approach to the two traditions is highly unusual. Many departments cover both traditions, but one rarely finds the curriculum and the research programs in the two as comfortably joined together as one can find them in our department. We are happy to be, in this way, at the front of what we hope is the wave of the future: one in which the research and curriculum in the best programs of philosophy reflect and integrate the virtues of both traditions.

Among the faculty’s main contemporary interests are those topics commonly pursued in any high-ranking research and teaching program, and particularly those comparable to departments of philosophy at other UC’s: including for example research and teaching interests in philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, ethics and moral psychology.  The faculty’s research and teaching in these areas is informed by leading historical figures, including especially Kant, Aristotle, Hume, Wittgenstein and—again, uniquely for such a small department—leading figures from the Middle Ages and late antiquity (including medieval Islamic figures).

The department’s strongest area of contemporary research and teaching is one that reflects its integration of all three concerns (historical, analytic and continental): namely the history of 20th century analytic and continental philosophy and its main figures—Husserl, Heidegger, Carnap, Quine and Wittgenstein.

Inquiries should be directed to:

John Bowin

Graduate Program Director 


Hollie Clausnitzer

Department Manager & Graduate Program Coordinator

See Also