Brown University ~ Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Courses

Current Courses

The Department of Philosophy offers courses in six broad categories.

  1. About ten introductory courses are offered every year. These include courses on classics of philosophy, critical reasoning, comparative philosophy (e.g., Western and Asian), existentialism, science and values, moral issues, and outstanding philosophical issues concerning freedom, knowledge, ideology, and the mind. These are lecture-discussion courses that give a broad introduction to their subject. They normally divide once a week into smaller sections for more extended discussion.
  2. Historical courses include broad survey courses of large periods in the history of philosophy (e.g., ancient Greek philosophy, modern European philosophy) as well as courses focusing on individual philosophers (say, Plato, Kant, or Marx) or philosophical movements (Rationalism, Empiricism, and the like).
  3. Contact courses are interdisciplinary and examine the presuppositions, goals, procedures, and value of broad forms of human activity or experience: art, language, law, politics, religion, science, and morality.
  4. Logic courses include beginning and intermediate courses in which logic is taught as a tool for use in philosophy and elsewhere (Phil 0100, Phil 0540) and more advanced courses in which logic is treated as a subject for investigation in its own right (Phil 1630, Phil 1880, and beyond).
  5. Advanced courses have more specialized or technical subject matter. There are semester courses in each of the major standard fields of philosophy: ethics, theory of knowledge, logic, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind, and so forth.
  6. Seminars are courses in which a small group of advanced students study a cluster of closely related questions in great depth. These courses are designed to meet the needs of advanced concentrators and graduate students.

There is also provision for independent study and reading with the advice and guidance of a professor.

For a list of current courses, please see Mocha.