Classical Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Philosophy

The purpose of the program in Classical Philosophy is to provide the student with the basic training in both philosophy and classical philology necessary for work in this field. Students who wish their primary grounding to be in the classics should apply to the program in Classical Philosophy in this department; students who wish their primary grounding to be in philosophy should apply to the parallel program in the Department of Philosophy.

Prerequisites. Competence in Greek and Latin sufficient to allow the student to take courses number above 100 in Greek and above the beginning level in Latin upon entering graduate school.

Academic Residence. Minimum of two years of full-time study (a combination of 16 courses, 301s or units of 303). Students are not normally permitted to take more than two courses numbered 301 before sitting for their General Examinations, and only after taking Greek 201 (for a 301 in Greek) and Latin 201 (for a 301 in Latin), or equivalent.

Program of Study. Such as to foster expertise in:

  1. The methodology covered in the Proseminar.
  2. Greek and Latin literature and philosophy; to be tested in the General Examinations (see below).
  3. Intensive exegesis. By the end of the second year, the candidate must take two courses designated "primarily for graduates" and given by the faculty of the department. In addition, the candidate must, by the end of the second year, have taken courses requiring substantial papers, or have submitted independently written papers, in each of the following areas: Plato, Aristotle, and either Pre-Socratic or Hellenistic Philosophy.
  4. Prose composition. This requirement is met by passing Greek K (or the equivalent) and Latin H before taking the Special Examinations.
  5. Modern philosophy. Before taking the Special Examinations, the candidate must complete, with a grade of B or better, the following courses in the Department of Philosophy:
    1. One course in Formal Logic
    2. One course in Ethics, Political Philosophy, or Aesthetics
    3. One course in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, or Philosophy of Science

Modern Languages. The demonstration of a reading knowledge of French or Italian and of German, to be tested by the department (with the aid of dictionaries). This requirement must be fulfilled before the Special Examinations are taken. Tests are normally administered in September, February, and April.

General Examinations. All students will, normally by the end of their second year, take General Examinations comprising:

  1. Two written examinations of three hours each in the translation of Greek and Latin authors; each examination will consist of six passages, including both prose and verse, of which two will be at sight.
  2. An oral examination of one-and-one-half hours, of which half will be on the history of either Greek or Latin literature, and half on Greek and Roman philosophy.

These examinations may be repeated only once in case of failure. If a student fails only one part of the examination, then he or she need only repeat that part.

Special Examinations. By the end of the third or, at the latest, the fourth graduate year the candidate must take a two-hour oral examination in two special authors, one Greek and one Latin, and one special field, which will in this case be a period or area of ancient philosophy. The candidate will be expected to know the historical background and manuscript tradition of the chosen authors. The choice of authors and field should be submitted for approval at the time of the General Examinations or as soon thereafter as possible. These examinations may be repeated only once in the event of failure.

Dissertation Regulations. See the Dissertation Regulations page.