Philosophy

Department Head

Professor Donald L. M. Baxter

Professors

Bar-On, Beall, Bloomfield, Clark, Gordon, Green, Lynch, Simmons, 

Associate Professor

Bontly, Rossberg, Schneider, Shapiro

Assistant Professors

Killmister, Liberto, Ripley, Silvermint

Emeritus Professors

Elder, Meyers, Millikan, Wheeler

The Department of Philosophy offers study leading to the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The department is primarily but not solely an Analytic Philosophy department. Courses of study typically focus on philosophy of psychology and mind, philosophy of language and philosophical logic, ethics or political philosophy, or Africana Philosophy. However, students can plan a dissertation on metaphysics, history of philosophy, epistemology, or other areas. The instruction is broad enough to make students versatile undergraduate instructors,and concentrated enough to enable students to do significant research.
Students are able to work closely with the faculty at every stage of progress from the initial construction of a plan of study to the completion of a dissertation.

Admission

After reviewing the basic requirements for admission to the Graduate School, applicants should present to the Philosophy Department their scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations, three letters of recommendation from individuals (preferably philosophy professors) familiar with their academic work, and a philosophical writing sample. Students admitted to the program normally are awarded full graduate assistantships.

The M.A. Program

The Department generally offers only Plan B (non-thesis) for the M.A. Thus a student must have 24 credits in Philosophy in order to take the M.A. examination. First year students must satisfy a formal logic requirement, normally by taking Philosophy 5307. First year students also should take Philosophy 5301 unless they have a strong background in contemporary analytic philosophy and Philosophy 5302 unless they have a strong background in ethics.

The M.A. examination consists of turning in two papers written for seminars in philosophy at UConn. On the basis of these papers, a research proposal endorsed by two faculty, the student’s record, and recommendations from professors under whom the student has worked, the student is either passed with continuation in the Ph.D. program, passed with a terminal M.A., or failed.

The Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree requires eight graduate seminars beyond the M.A. level. Generally students admitted to the Ph.D. program do our M.A. first.

The General Examination consists of three papers, normally seminar papers, in the three areas of philosophy we have defined, namely (1) Metaphysics and Epistemology, (2) Social and Political Philosophy and Ethics, and (3) History of Philosophy. The papers are read by the examining committee and the student is either passed or failed. General examination papers may be turned in to the Director of Graduate Studies at any time. See the Guide to Graduate Students and the timeline for degree completion on the Philosophy Department’s website <www.philosophy.uconn.edu/grad> for further details and a definition of satisfactory progress.

Special Facilities

The holdings of the Homer Babbidge Library are adequate for the pursuit of scholarly research in most fields of philosophy. The Library subscribes to all major philosophical journals and has a complete collection of past issues of most journals. The Department conducts informal weekly brown-bag seminars at which graduate students and faculty discuss current research with their colleagues. It runs a program of colloquia featuring distinguished philosophers from around the country, and presents the yearly Ruth Evelyn Parcells Lecture in ethics. Our faculty in political philosophy run a lecture series on issues of injustice. Students interested in logic may participate in the University’s Logic Group (http://logic.uconn.edu). Students interested in Cognitive Science may participate in the Expression, Communication and the Origins of Meaning (ECOM) Research Group (http://www.ecomresearchgroup.com).

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