Joint Program in Ancient Philosophy

This program is offered jointly by the Departments of Classics and Philosophy. It is administered by an interdepartmental committee whose members are:

  • John Ferrari, Department of Classics
  • Anthony Long, Department of Classics
  • Timothy Clarke, Department of Philosophy
  • Klaus Corcilius, Department of Philosophy

The program is designed to produce scholars with a broad range of expertise both in philosophy and classics, with the intention of bridging the gap between the two subjects. It provides the training and specialist knowledge required for undertaking research in ancient philosophy, and at the same time equips students for scholarly work and teaching in either classics or philosophy. Those who complete the program will be qualified to work as a full member of one of these disciplines, while having developed a broad competence in the other.

Students apply for admission to either of the participating departments in accordance with their qualifications and interests. They are treated accordingly as graduate students fully in either the Departnent of Classics or the Department of Philosophy. The program offers graduate students of Classics the opportunity of taking classes in philosophy as an integral part of their work. It offers graduate students of philosophy the opportunity to develop their knowledge of both classical languages, and to make a thorough study of Graeco-Roman culture. Students from the two departments will meet each other regularly both in seminars on ancient philosophical texts and in reading groups and colloquia. Seminar offerings from the two departments are designed to give students, during their years in the program, the opportunity to study a wide variety of topics, including the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy and the philosophy of later antiquity.

Classics Students

Entrants to the program as Classics students, during their first two years, will fulfil the standard requirements of the Classics Department for the MA in Classics. They will be able at this time to take some philosophy courses in satisfying their requisite number of units. For the PhD their major field will be ancient philosophy. Like a PhD student of Classics who chooses philosophy as major field, they will take a broad range of seminars in ancient philosophy, but in addition they will take at least two courses in philosophy other than ancient philosophy, to be approved by the committee. Their seminars in ancient philosophy will include at least one course taught in the Philosophy Department.

Philosophy Students

Those entering the program as Philosophy students will take the broad range of philosophy courses and seminars standardly required for the PhD in Philosophy. At least three of these, to be approved by the committee, will be in ancient philosophy, including at least one taught in the Classics Department. By the end of the fourth year, students in the program must have passed the PhD Qualifying Examination on three different fields of philosophy; two of these will consist of topics in ancient philosophy. In addition to satisfying the standard foreign language requirements for the PhD, those in the program must demonstrate, by examination and before advancement to candidacy, proficiency in reading Greek and Roman philosophical authors in the original languages.