For more than 150 years, Fordham’s philosophy department has trained students and teachers in the Jesuit tradition. As part of that tradition, our program is grounded in a strong understanding of the history of philosophy from the ancient world to the contemporary.

Fordham highly values philosophical pluralism. Our faculty represent diverse schools and perspectives, and students enjoy an uncommonly well-rounded philosophical education. All graduate students take courses spanning the history of philosophy, including contemporary philosophy.

Fordham’s philosophy department is renowned for its strengths in Continental philosophy, Epistemology, Ethics, Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion.

The Jesuit tradition emphasizes eloquentia perfecta, effective and clear writing and speaking. Fordham’s philosophy graduate students are therefore strongly encouraged to publish and present their original research. Our coursework emphasizes papers over examinations, and we conduct yearly seminars on professional writing.

As a Fordham graduate student, you are at the heart of one of the most vibrant philosophical communities in the world. Through the New York City Graduate School Consortium, our students can take classes for Fordham credit at NYU, Rutgers, Columbia, Princeton, and the CUNY Graduate Center, and attend the numerous symposia, conferences, and lectures that take place in the New York area.

At Fordham, you will gain a wealth of experience in teaching philosophy. Our doctoral students regularly begin teaching introductory philosophy courses in their second or third year, and we provide training through pedagogy seminars and faculty mentorship.


For more information about Graduate-level Philosophy, please visit our page on the Fordham website.

Candidates are expected to have at least 24 undergraduate credits in philosophy, preferably a major. Non-philosophy majors should have solid training in some other demanding discipline, such as mathematics, science, classical Latin or Greek; an undergraduate GPA of not less than 3.3 for seven semesters is required, with an average of 3.5 in philosophy. Completed applications will include each of the following items:

  • Official degree transcripts confirming prior degree conferral should be ordered at least one month prior to the application deadline. Please ensure that they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions via secure electronic delivery. If electronic delivery is not available, please request that your transcripts be submitted directly via post, in a sealed envelope, to: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Office of Admissions, Fordham University, 441 E. Fordham Rd., Bronx, NY 10458. Please note: you may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts to your application while the Office of Admissions awaits receipt of your official transcripts.
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of intent (500 - 750 words, submitted electronically, via the online application)
  • Writing sample (5 - 20 pages, submitted electronically, via the online application)
  • Three letters of recommendation (submitted directly by referees via the online application)
  • GRE scores are optional. Official GRE scores should be sent directly by the testing service to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Fordham University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences – Code  #2259.
  • English Profiency - International applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete and submit to GSAS prior to matriculation their official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). GSAS will also consider a student’s International English Language Testing System (IELTS)—Cambridge English Proficiency Level language testing results. Competitive applicants will have earned TOEFL scores above 100 and/or an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher.

The department may prescribe additional coursework for students whose backgrounds are deficient, in which case the time limit for completion of coursework will be extended.


For more information about admissions to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, please visit their page on the Fordham website.

PHIL 5001. Introduction to Plato. (3 Credits)

Study of Plato's developing thought, starting with the materials he inherited from poetic and philosphical forerunners, and analyzing how his original ethical-political interests compelled him to confront epistemological, metaphysical, and theological concerns. Course will focus mainly, but not exclusively, on early and middle dialogues.


PHIL 5002. Nineteenth Century Philosophy. (3 Credits)

Post-Kantian developments in philosophy from Hegel to Nietzsche.

Attributes: PGCM, PGCP.

PHIL 5003. Natural Law Ethics. (3 Credits)

A study of the natural law tradition in ethics: its origins in classical philosophy, its integration with Christian thought in the Middle Ages, and its application to selected contemporary problems. A study of the principles of natural law ethics and its applications to selected current moral problems. The course includes a treatment of the historical origins of the theory of natural law, with special emphasis on the relevant texts of Thomas Aquinas from the Summa Theologiae. Among the topics treated will be the relation of morality to positive law and to divine law, the nature and limits of authority, the common good, the nature of the human person, virtue and vice, and such principles as subsidiarity double effect, and finality.


PHIL 5005. Classical Modern Philosophy. (3 Credits)

A study of the history of philosophy from Descartes to Kant.

Attributes: PGCM, PSEP.

PHIL 5009. Introduction to Aristotle. (3 Credits)

An introduction to the thought of Aristotle through the study of the De Anima and the Metaphysics.


PHIL 5010. Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas. (3 Credits)

This course will be a general introduction to Aquinas's philosophical thinking.We shall pay special attention to his philosophy of God. We shall also turn to what he says about questions such as the scope of human knowledge, the nature of the human being, and the nature and significance of human action. As well as being expository, the course will consider the cogency of Aquinas's position on various topics. It will also try to relate what Aquinas says to what other philosophers, especially modern philosophers, have had to say. The course will not presuppose any previous detailed knowledge of Aquinas on the part of students.

Attributes: CEED, CEMP, MVSG, PGMD.

PHIL 5012. Introduction to St. Augustine. (3 Credits)

This seminar provides a systematic survey of the main themes of St. Augustine's philosophy and theology. Topics will include faith and reason, divine ideas, time, eternity, and creations, the theology of the Holy Trinity, the nature of the soul, the freedom of the will and divine predestination, good and evil, original sin and divine grace, and the human history as the history of salvation. The unifying theme of the discussion will be a synthetic account of St. Augustine's Neoplatonic Christian anthropology, occasionally contrasted with St. Thomas Aquinas' Aristotelian Christian anthropology. The discussion will be organized around student presentations and two term papers on topics other than one's presentation topics.

Attributes: CEED, CEMP, MVSG, PGMD.

PHIL 5030. Topics in the Philosophy of Education: Education and Democracy. (3 Credits)

In this seminar we will investigate the relationship between education and democracy. In what ways does democracy depend on education? Do some educational practices promote democratic values better than others? Should education be in the service of politics at all? How do questions of race, gender, and colonial oppression inflect our understanding of the parameters of these discussions? We will examine answers to questions such as these by reading the work of authors coming from a number of different philosophical traditions—Hannah Arendt, John Dewey, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Martha Nussbaum, and Jacques Rancière.

Attribute: PSNM.

PHIL 5040. Topics in Latin American Philosophy: Philosophies of Liberation. (3 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to Latin American philosophy through the theme of liberation. We will focus primarily on texts written in the 20th century from across the Americas, exploring what liberation might mean in the context of a history of conquest and colonization.

Attribute: PSJH.

PHIL 5051. Existentialism and Critical Phenomenology. (3 Credits)

This course studies the 20th-century French existential phenomenologists as germinal for the contemporary critical turn in phenomenology. Readings will be both classical and contemporary, and authors may include Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir, Fanon, Ahmed, Guenther, Al-Saji, Ortega, and Salamon.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME.

PHIL 5075. Continental Philosophy and Faith. (3 Credits)

A survey of significant movements in 20th century European philosophy in regard to their consideration of and impact on questions of faith or religion, especially in regard to postmodern culture, the "death" of the subject, and the grounding of rationality.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME.

PHIL 5100. Logic I. (3 Credits)

An introduction to symbolic logic.

PHIL 5114. Normative Ethical Theory. (3 Credits)

This is a masters-level introduction to major theoretica approaches in normative ethics, including virtue ethics (mainly in the Aristotelian tradition), utititarianisnm, deontological or rights-based theories, and contractualism. It does not cover natural law theories or alterity ethics. The main readings will focus on contemporary examples of these normative theories with some attention to applications, historical sources may be included as needed, but our discussion will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the theories rather than on historical developments. The course assumes no particular background, though it is helpful if students have read some Aristotle, Kant, and Mill before.


PHIL 5209. Ancient Philosophy. (3 Credits)

This course studies major figures at the foundation of Western philosophy, reflecting on the questions the philosophers posed and the teachings they developed in response. Pre-Socratics, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle, as well as Stoics and Epicureans are among those to be examined. There will be opportunities to connect the ideas of Greek and Roman antiquity with early Eastern philosophies as well as later Western philosophies.

Attributes: PGAN, PSAP.

PHIL 5250. Philosophies of Race. (3 Credits)

This course presents a survey of philosophical perspectives on the question of race. There are four main units: Race and Historicity, the Lived Experience of Race, Race and Power, and Race and Intersectionality. The first unit, Race and Historicity, focuses on the question of race as a question of social ontology, analyzes the emergence of race in the colonial context, and focuses on the idea of race as a specifically colonial invention. The second part, the lived experience of race, focuses on phenomenological perspectives on race and interrogates how racialization works on the level of the self and self-identity. The third unit, Race and Power, focuses on race in relation to contemporary political institutions, such as the prison industrial complex, and presents a brief introduction to Afro-Pessimist Thought and Critical Prison Studies. We will end the course by focusing on intersectional theories of race and interrogate how race interlocks with other categories of oppression, such as gender and sexuality.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME, PGVT, PSRR.

PHIL 5305. Confronting Moral Controversy. (3 Credits)

Moral and political controversy is everywhere, but it can seem like it never gets anywhere. Our society is deeply divided over certain controversial topics--for example, abortion, affirmative action, animal rights, free speech, pornography, and climate change. This course will ask students to confront these moral controversies, and it will focus primarily on developing three crucial skills. First, students will learn to read and interpret influential articles by moral philosophers on these issues. Second, students will develop the ability to argue productively about these controversial issues with other students who might not share their opinions. Third, each student will develop and defend a moral principle (or set of principles) that can justify their own particular moral views. Students should leave the course better equipped to deal with moral and political controversy in their lives and careers.


PHIL 6025. Philosophy's Origins. (3 Credits)

Starting with the beginnings of Philosophy in Greek antiquity (i.e, the testimonies and fragments of works transmitted from the early pre-Socratics of the 6th century B.C.E), the seminar takes up three intersecting topics. The first considers commentary from the classical Greek era to the 20th century on how and why this new inquiry, "philosophy", originated. The second, related topic is the role, indeed the centrality, of the topic of "origins" for the early Greek thinkers themselves. The third seminar topic is the concept of "origins".

Attributes: PGAN, PSAP.

PHIL 6101. Presocratic Philosophy. (3 Credits)

In this course, students explore the first philosophers or theorists of nature before Plato and Aristotle. Drawing on readings of Presocratic/Preplatonic thought from Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, Karl Popper, Paul Feyerabend, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, the course reviews the relevance of early Greek thinking for philosophy today.

Attribute: PGAN.

PHIL 6102. Human Rights. (3 Credits)

This course will survey the major philosophical theories of human rights today, which focus on (a) the central meaning(s) of the concept (and its roles); (b) grounds or justifications; and (c) the contents or schedule of human rights—both at more abstract and more specified levels. (I) There are more “orthodox” conceptions starting from moral theory, including (i) neo-Kantian accounts focused on dignity or personhood (Griffin, Gilabert); (ii) interest-based theories focused on basic needs or central goods (Tasioulas, Raz, David Miller); and mixed accounts (Nussbaum’s capabilities theory, Carol Gould’s self-shaping account, Sangiovanni’s vulnerability-based conception). (II) Then there are “political” theories that attempt to avoid cultural differences critiques by focusing on legal and social roles of human rights, especially international law (Rawls, Beitz, Reidy). (III) We will conclude with a look at hybrid theories—both mainstream analytic and critical theoretic—that attempt to bridge this divide (Allan Buchanan, Habermas’s discourse-ethical account, Seyla Benhabib, and David Ingram). Throughout, we will also consider some case studies that can be used in teaching human rights topics.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT, PSJH.

PHIL 6103. Dialectical Thinking and Ideology Critique. (3 Credits)

The aim of this course is to instigate a philosophically rigorous and historically informed exploration of the extent to which dialectical thinking can be useful (perhaps even necessary) in the articulation of a credible critique of ideology. The meanings of key terms around which our investigations will revolve (e.g., “dialectics,” “ideology,” and “critique”) are themselves highly contested, and so this course will seek to develop, rather than merely presuppose, a working vocabulary for the task ahead of us. Important intellectual currents to be considered include: Hegelianism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, legal theory of various kinds, and critical theory (e.g., the Frankfurt School).

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP, PGVT.

PHIL 6104. German Idealism and Freedom. (3 Credits)

German Idealism was animated by the topic of freedom. This course will examine and critically evaluate three major German Idealist theories of freedom—namely, those of Immanuel Kant, F.W.J. Schelling, and G.W.F. Hegel. The course will also include important background from the early modern figures Leibniz and Spinoza. Topics discussed may include free will, moral responsibility, the origins of evil, autonomy, the highest good, divine freedom, theodicy, and social/political freedom.

Attribute: PGCM.

PHIL 6105. Laws of Nature. (3 Credits)

Philosophers and scientists alike have said that science aims to discover the laws of nature. This course is a survey on the history and contemporary state of the debate on laws of nature. What is it that constitutes a law of nature? For instance, what distinguishes a regularity that is lawlike from merely accidental regularities? What is the role of laws of nature in scientific explanation? What, if anything, distinguishes the laws of the fundamental physical sciences from those found in biology, chemistry, and so on? The course will include both historical context from 17th- and 18th-century philosophy, as well as the contemporary state of the debate and recent developments.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6106. Autonomy and Paternalism. (3 Credits)

Paternalism, broadly defined as interference with another person against their will yet for their benefit, has routinely been objected to on the basis of the individual’s right to autonomy. However, in recent years there has been growing support among philosophers of law and ethicists for paternalistic interventions, either due to evidence that even autonomous individuals will not always act to their benefit, or because the categorical value of individual autonomy has come into question. In this course, we will tackle the complex issues surrounding the opposition of paternalism and autonomy. This includes theoretical issues that trace back to Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, as well as practical questions, such as how to ensure that individuals are making autonomous decisions about their medical care and whether physicians can ever make decisions for patients without consulting them.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 6108. Communitarianism. (3 Credits)

Communitarian political thought charges modern liberal societies with a basic failing. According to communitarians, by creating maximal opportunities for choice, liberal societies have undermined a basic precondition for human flourishing: community. In this course we will read broadly from the communitarian tradition, engaging with such thinkers as Alasdair MacIntyre, Edmund Burke, Daniel Bell, Robert Nisbet, Michael Sandel, Michael Walzer, and Robert Putnam. We will also study the communitarian tradition in African philosophy, engaging with the works of such thinkers as Munamato Chemhuru and Segun Gbadegesin. We will try to assess the viability of the communitarian critique in the modern world, with particular attention to two related objections: (1) it may be that modern mass society is basically incompatible with communitarianism, and (2) the sorts of goods that communitarians prize cannot be intentionally planned, but only emerge organically under the right conditions.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT.

PHIL 6109. The Epistemology and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. (3 Credits)

This course examines a range of epistemological and ethical issues concerning artificial intelligence. Questions to be addressed include: Is there anything human beings can do that an AI system cannot do, such as have beliefs, achieve understanding, enjoy consciousness, or have emotions? What moral principles should guide our use of AI? Does AI pose an existential threat to humanity?.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6110. Philosophy of the Islamic World. (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to philosophy of the Islamic world, covering philosophical developments in both the eastern and western Islamic world. It begins shortly after the Graeco-Arabic translation movement of the eighth to the 10th centuries with the work of al-Kindī and ends with the establishment of post-Avicennan philosophy in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 6111. Affective Injustice. (3 Credits)

Affective injustice is an exciting emerging area of scholarship in social and political philosophy. Key questions include: how should we define affective injustice (what is the scope of this concept)? What is unjust about affective injustice (what normative moral or political frameworks should be invoked to ground claims about what counts as an affective injustice)? Why do we need a concept of affective injustice distinct from epistemic injustice (what's uniquely affective about the relevant injustices)? What would affective justice be? Much of the extant literature focuses on anger, but what other episodic emotions and affective phenomena should concern scholars interested in theorizing affective injustice?.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 6120. Democratic Political Economy. (3 Credits)

This course investigates the contributions philosophy has to make to the interdisciplinary project of developing a general, context-sensitive, and justice-oriented framework for democratic political economy. The thinkers discussed come from a variety of traditions, including analytic philosophy, pragmatism, feminism, critical theory, African-American philosophy, and indigenous philosophy.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 6190. Feminist Political Philosophy. (3 Credits)

We will balance a study of feminist critiques with a study of feminist contributions to reimagining political theories, institutions, and practices. We will focus our study around a current scholarly debate in the field, while inquiring into the philosophical context of this debate in canonical texts and figures.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 6215. French Philosophy of Education. (3 Credits)

In this course, students examine philosophies of education in recent French thought, paying particular attention to the teaching of philosophy itself. Authors studied include Bourdieu, Derrida, Le Doeuff, and Ranciere.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME.

PHIL 6242. Language and Identity. (3 Credits)

In this course we will examine the relationship between language and identity, primarily as it is theorized by three thinkers writing in French: Jacques Derrida, Edouard Glissant, and Barbara Cassin.

PHIL 6251. American Pragmatism. (3 Credits)

A survey of the central themes and figures of American Pragmatism from Peirce to the present.

Attributes: PGME, PGOC, PSCP.

PHIL 6252. American Philosophy. (3 Credits)

From transcendentalism to naturalism- Emerson, Royce, Peirce, James and Dewey.

Attributes: PGME, PGOC.

PHIL 6270. Pragmatist Ethics. (3 Credits)

This course will consider the elements of ethics present in the tradition of American pragmatism from roughly 1860 to 1960. We will engage with texts from some or all of the following thinkers: Charles Peirce, William James, Jane Addams, W.E.B. Du Bois, John Dewey, Ella Lyman Cabot, George Santayana, Josiah Royce, George Herbert Mead, Alain Locke, and Clarence Irving Lewis.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 6410. Understanding and Wisdom. (3 Credits)

The course will mainly deal with contemporary work from epistemology and philosophy of science on these topics, but we will also look at some ancient traditions that are relevant, as well as spend a few classes looking at continental and hermeneutical approaches.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6420. Expertise. (3 Credits)

Specialization and division of labor have scored tremendous gains in human knowledge. We live in a world of expertise and experts. But the mere existence of expertise does not settle all of the practical and intellectual questions we face about properly taking advantage of expertise—and not being taken advantage of by experts who mislead and misinform. Over the past couple of decades, philosophical questions about expertise, trust in experts, and the abuse of expertise have gained attention, and that growing literature will be our focus in this seminar. Here are some of the questions we will consider: What is the nature of expertise and the function of experts? Does the nature of expertise vary by field or domain? How can non-experts effectively identify expertise? What is required for non-experts to trust experts reasonably or rationally? How can experts effectively signal their credentials and reliability to non-experts? When should conflicts of interest undermine the value of expertise or our trust in experts? What are the various misuses of expertise, and how can these be mitigated? Can there be expertise about philosophical topics? In the main, our readings will be from social epistemology and the philosophy of science, but some readings will be drawn from the social sciences, psychology, and the history of science.

Attributes: PGAN, PGCA.

PHIL 6436. Philosophy of Time and Persistence. (3 Credits)

This course is an exploration of the contemporary analytic debates regarding the nature of time and ontological persistence, with special focus on the relationship between the human person and time.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6440. The Epistemology of John Henry Newman. (3 Credits)

This course will mainly focus on John Henry Newman's “Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent,” a classic exploration of the relationship between evidence, faith, and assent. In the early part of the course, we will focus on the philosophical context of the grammar through a reading of texts such as John Locke's essay “Concerning Human Understanding” and Thomas Reid's “Inquiry into the Human Mind.” Throughout the course we will also bring Newman into conversation with contemporary debates and questions in epistemology: for example, how does assent differ from other doxastic attitudes such as belief or faith, and is belief an all-or-nothing affair, or does it come in degrees?.

Attributes: PGCA, PGCP.

PHIL 6457. Mind-Body Problem. (3 Credits)

"The mind-body problem" refers loosely to the philosophical difficulties involved in integrating the image of ourselves as free, rational beings having beliefs, desires, hopes, fears, joys,loves, etc. with the image of ourselves as complex biochemical systems. We consider some of these difficulties with an eye to understanding how they have shaped approaches to human nature both in philosophyand in scientific disciplines such as psychology, and then consider whether anyof these difficulties can be overcome using the resources available to the currently dominant philosophical theories. Finally, we examine the claim that thereare viable historical alternatives to these theories capable of circumventing the mind-body problem altogether.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6460. Intentionality. (3 Credits)

This course explores the key concept of intentionality both in its medieval and in its modern varieties, as it functions in various medieval and modern theories of cognition and mental representation.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 6471. Responsibility and Blame. (3 Credits)

In this course: we will examine the nature of moral responsibility, the nature of blame, and the connection between them. We will ask questions such as the following. Does moral responibility require free will? Can we understand blame exclusively in terms of altitudes such as resentment and indignation, or must blame have an outward manifestation? Does understanding the nature of blame shed light on the nature of moral responsibility?.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT.

PHIL 6472. Responsibility, Blame, and Forgiveness. (3 Credits)

In this course, we will examine the natures of moral responsibility, blame, and forgiveness, as well as the connections between them.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT.

PHIL 6505. Medieval Philosophical Theories of the Fall. (3 Credits)

This course will be devoted to the study of some medieval interpretations of the Christian doctrines of the fall of the devil and of original sin. The focus will be philosophical. We will study the positions of Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus. Some of the questions taken into account will be: "Is it possible to choose evil for evil's sake?" and "What is the motive of a morally wrong action?"

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 6580. Virtue Epistemology. (3 Credits)

Virtue epistemologists are especially interested in what it is that makes people intellectually excellent- what it is, for example, that makes a person a responsible inquirer, of what is that makes his or her beliefs amount to knowledg. In this class we will consider the main positions and some of the most recent developments in the area of virtue epistemology.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6630. Discourse Ethics. (3 Credits)

This seminar will trace the development of Jurgen Habermas's "discourse ethics." We will also analyze alternative versions of discourse ethics in the work of Karl-Otto Apel, Albrecht Welmer, Seyla Benbabib, and Rainer Forst, and consider challenges from communitarians like Charles Taylor and contractualists such as Thomas Scanlon and Stephen Darwal.

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT, PSEN.

PHIL 6805. Topics in Phil of Rel.. (3 Credits)

This course will introduce and discuss a range of topics in the philosophy of religion. Topics to be considered will include: the propriety and possibility of natural theology: arguments for God's existence; the problem of evil; the attributes of God; life after death.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 6850. Hermeneutics. (3 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to contemporary hermeneutics, with a special focus on the problem of the relation between subject and text.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME, PSNM.

PHIL 7009. Plotinus. (3 Credits)

This course will examine in detail Plotinus' original positions in metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, and ethics as presented in the Enneads along with his polemics against the Stoics, Epicureans, Peripatetics, and quasi-philosophical schools such as the Gnostics.

Attribute: PGAN.

PHIL 7012. Plato's Dialogues. (3 Credits)

By most counts, Plato wrote 28 dialogues that are recognized as genuine. These dialogues vary greatly in length, content, and approximate time of composition. Most people, including philosophers, have an acquaintance with only a few of these dialogues, for instance, the Phaedo, Meno, Apology, and Republic, all of which probably belong to one period of Plato’s writing. An accurate understanding of Plato’s philosophy must be based on the study of his entire philosophical corpus. This might be said of any philosopher, but Plato is unique because he never reveals what his own philosophical commitments are. We need all the help we can get to understand him. It would be impossible to study all 28 dialogues in one semester. The Laws, for instance, are 339 tedious Stephanus pages long. It is assumed that some dialogues are familiar to students. The course will therefore cover as many unfamiliar but nevertheless important dialogues as possible from all periods of Plato’s writing. The general content and purpose of each dialogue will be debated, and then central, especially significant passages will be discussed in some detail with the help of secondary literature. Student involvement with what will be covered and how to interpret it is expected.

Attribute: PGAN.

PHIL 7018. Ancient Psychology. (3 Credits)

This course examines ancient accounts of human cognitive and moral psychology. The primary focus will be on Plato and especially Aristotle, since their accounts are the most complete, but Epicurean and Stoic psychology will also receive attention.

Attribute: PGAN.

PHIL 7031. Alienation and Reification. (3 Credits)

This seminar traces the development of two central concepts in critical social theory with the aim of evaluating their current relevance for social criticism. We begin with Marx and Lukacs and then consider their influence on Frankfurt School theorists such as Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas. We conclude with recent attempts by Honneth and Jaeggi to rejuvenated the two concepts within social philosophy.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP, PGVT.

PHIL 7035. Recent Critical Theory. (3 Credits)

Much of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School takes the form of immanent critique, a form of criticism that relies on critical standards that are in some form already present within the social order that is the object of critique. This seminar will examine various approaches to immanent critique developed by Frankfurt School critical theorists in the last 10 years. Texts will include Axel Honneth's “Freedom's Right: The Social Foundations of Democratic Life” (Columbia 2014) and Rahel Jaeggi's “Critique of Forms of Life” (Harvard 2018).

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT.

PHIL 7039. Aquinas's Philosophy of God. (3 Credits)

This course is devoted to explaining and commenting on Aquinas's philosophy of God and presented in texts such as his Summa Contra Gentiles, his Summa Theologiae, and his De Potentia.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7042. Buridan on the Soul. (3 Credits)

This course is going to be based on the new edition of the Latin text and annotated translation of Buridan's "Questions on Aristotle's De Anima" along with a companion volume of critical essays, analyzing his sometimes astonishingly modern ideas concerning the nature, powers and workings of human and animal souls, consciousness, and understanding, shedding a stark light on the historical origins and conceptual roots of some of the most persistent problems in post-Cartesian philosophy of mind.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7058. Bonaventure's Metaphysics. (3 Credits)

This course is a survey of the metaphysics of Bonaventure, one of the important representatives of Scholastic thought. Students will investigate major elements of his ontology and natural theology. Particular attention will be given to his treatment of the transcendentals, analogy, and his apophaticism.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7060. Varieties of Essentialism. (3 Credits)

This course provides students with a historical survey of the varieties of essentialism, from Plato’s “exemplarist” essentialism to Kripke’s “semantical” essentialism to the more recent emergence of “neo-Aristotelian” essentialism. Within these historical boundaries, however, the main focus of the course is on the subtle varieties of essentialism in the works of medieval theologians and philosophers from Augustine through Anselm and Abelard to Aquinas and Scotus, and the paradigmatic change brought about by the emergence of nominalism in the works of Ockham and Buridan, as well as its impact on modern philosophy. The course carefully analyzes how the changing semantic theories of these thinkers influenced their metaphysical intuitions, and vice versa, how their changing metaphysical intuitions shaped their semantic views.

Attributes: PGCA, PGMD, PGME.

PHIL 7069. Medieval Logic and Metaphysics. (3 Credits)

This seminar is going to approach medieval logic and metaphysics not as a piece of history, but as genuine philosophy, to be taken seriously by a contemporary philosopher. The course is going to present an extended argument to show that if medieval metaphysical notions are reconstructed against their proper theoretical background (supplied by the sophisticated logical theories of the medievals, as opposed to modern analytic theories or vague historical intuitions), then they can provide us with a comprehensive, unified conceptual framework for discussing our genuine concerns which is unmatched in our fragmented “post-modern” culture. Although this course is primarily offered for philosophers, philosophically-minded medievalists and theologians may profit from it as well, especially if they are interested in tackling the logical subtleties of medieval metaphysical and theological discussions, No previous training in modern (or traditional) logic will be assumed. Main topics of discussion include: meaning (signification) and reference (supposition) in medieval logic; universals and common natures; mental language; nominalism, realism and ontological commitment; the concept of being and theories of the copula; the existence and essence of God; the immateriality of the intellective soul and the hylomorphic mereology of human nature; essentialism, nominalism and skepticism in late-medieval philosophy.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7071. Aquinas: Questions on God. (3 Credits)

An exposition and critical discussion of 'Summa Theologies', la, 1-26.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7076. Metaphysical Themes in Duns Scotus. (3 Credits)

This course focuses on central metaphysical issues in the thought of Duns Scotus, such as being, substance, essence and individuation.

Attribute: PGMD.

PHIL 7080. Medieval Views on Cognition and Certainty. (3 Credits)

In this course, we will study some medieval thinker’s views on cognition and certainty. The main focus will be on the debate of cognition and the role of divine illumination in the years following Thomas Aquinas’s death in authors such as Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus, and Peter Auriol. Some consideration will be given to the influence that the later medieval debate had on early modern philosophy.

Attributes: MVSG, PGMD.

PHIL 7106. Kant I. (3 Credits)

The aim of this course is to achieve an appreciation of, and some facility withthe problems and mode of philosophizing that dictate teh arguments in Kant's Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Accordingly, the course is organized along thematic lines that, while corresponding to specific passages and sections of the Kritik, provide a route through the text as a whole. After an initial introduction to the structure and context of teh work as a while, the course will focus primarily on the positive doctrines of Kant's critical or transcendental philosophy as presented in the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Analytic of the Transcendental Logic.

Attributes: PGCM, PSEP.

PHIL 7110. Descartes and Spinoza. (3 Credits)

Primarily a study of Descartes' Meditations, preceded by a reading of his Regulae and Discourse on Method, and a study of Spinoza's Ethics, preceded by a reading of his Emendation on the Understanding and selections from other works.

Attributes: PGCM, PSEP.

PHIL 7120. Philosophical Writings of Rousseau. (3 Credits)

In this course, students will explore the philosophical writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, taking a broad understanding of what counts as a "philosophical" text. In the first two-thirds of the class, we will focus on Rousseau's moral, social, and political philosophy, his aesthetics, and his philosophy of human nature and education. Texts to be read include Discourse on the Sciences and Arts; Discourse on the Origins of Inequality; Essay on the Origin of Languages; Letter to d'Alembert on the Theater; Julie: or the New Heloise; Emile: or On Education; and The Social Contract. The final third of the class will bring Rousseau into conversation with some of his contemporary critics, including Catherine Macauleu, Mary Wollsteonescraft, Olympe de Gouges, and Sophie de Grouchy.

Attribute: PGCM.

PHIL 7122. The Limits of Thought in Kant and Post-Kantian Philosophy. (3 Credits)

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argues that the categories provide a priori knowledge of appearances but cannot yield knowledge of things in themselves. Kant’s claim raises a general question about the limits of conceptual thought. This course will examine the development of this question in Kant and post-Kantian thought.

PHIL 7140. Kant and German Idealism. (3 Credits)

This course will examine Kant's detailed treatment of issues in the Critique of the Power of Judgement and will examine how thinkers like Hegel, Schelling, and Schiller helped to develop the German Idealist tradition in the wake of Kant's third and final critique.

Attributes: PGCM, PSCP.

PHIL 7145. Phenomenology and Religious Experience. (3 Credits)

This course will explore different approaches to phenomenological considerations of religious experience, as they have been advanced from the early 20th century (Otto, Scheler, Conrad-Martius, Stein, Walter, etc.) to recent explorations (Steinbock, Marion, Lacoste, Chrétien, Kearney, etc.) We will focus explicitly on this diversity of considering religious experience phenomenologically, asking how various strains of the phenomenological tradition define and practice “phenomenology of religion” differently.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME.

PHIL 7149. Hegel's Phenomenology. (3 Credits)

A reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, in the context of his other writings and in conversation with various other philosophers.

Attributes: PGCM, PSCP.

PHIL 7153. Husserl's Later Thought. (3 Credits)

An investigation of Husserl's later philosophy by way of a careful reading of Cartesian Meditations and the Crisis.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7156. Husserl and Heidegger. (3 Credits)

This course will examine the relation between Husserl and Heidegger at two points of direct contact: (1) Heidegger’s discussion of Husserl’s phenomenology in his 1925 Marburg lectures, and (2) the failed attempt at collaboration in co-authoring an article on phenomenology for Encyclopedia Brittanica. We shall examine the first by reading the relevant sections of Husserl’s Logical Investigations and the first volume of Ideas for a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, volume 1, before turning to the first part of Heidegger’s History of the Concept of Time. We shall examine the latter by reading the various drafts of the article and the relevant correspondence as presented in Psychological and Transcendental Phenomenology and the Confrontation with Heidegger (1927–1931). Where appropriate, we shall also look at relevant selections from Husserl’s “Ideas,” volume 2, his Cartesian Meditations and Crisis as well as Heidegger’s Being and Time.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7157. Phenomenology. (3 Credits)

This course will examine some of the major themes in the phenomenological literature: methodology; intentionality; and self-awareness; embodiment; subjectivity; agency and action; the Other; and social cognition. Readings will include both historical and contemporary figures.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME.

PHIL 7159. Kierkegaard. (3 Credits)

Sources, development, influence of Kierkegaard's thought.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP, PSCP.

PHIL 7161. Nietzsche. (3 Credits)

Detailed investigation of principal Nietzschen themes.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCM, PGCP, PSCP.

PHIL 7164. First Philosophy: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Presocratics. (3 Credits)

This seminar focuses on Friedrich Nietzsche’s lectures on The Pre-Platonic Philosophers and his essay on the tragic age in addition to Martin Heidegger’s lecture courses and essays on Pre-Socratic thinking. Research emphasis highlights contemporary readings of the Presocratics.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCM, PGCP.

PHIL 7166. Recognition and Intersubjectivity. (3 Credits)

This course will examine the notion of recognition, as well as the related notion of intersubjectivity, in philosophical discourses extending from the late eighteenth century to the present time.

Attributes: PGCM, PGVT.

PHIL 7203. Merleau-Ponty. (3 Credits)

This course is a study of the development of the major themes of Merleau-Ponty’s thought. Topics may include Merleau-Ponty’s adaptation of phenomenology through his study of perception and embodiment, his philosophy of language and his engagement with structuralism, the relationship of phenomenology and ontology in his thought, his account of intersubjectivity, his account of time and institution, his engagement with psychoanalysis, his philosophy of the natural world and animality, his engagement with other thinkers such as Bergson or Sartre, his account of childhood and development, his political philosophy, and his influence on contemporary traditions such as critical phenomenology or theories of embodied cognition.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7204. Wittgenstein and Later Wittgenstein. (3 Credits)

A focus on Wittgenstein's classic texts (Tractatus, Philosophical Investigation, On Certainty) along with later receptions of Wittgenstein's work.

Attributes: PGCA, PGCP.

PHIL 7210. Whitehead. (3 Credits)

An analysis of the development of the philosophy of organism in Whitehead's earlier works and its full expression in Process and Reality.

Attributes: PGCP, PGOC.

PHIL 7215. Wittgenstein's 'Philosophical Investigations'. (3 Credits)

Following an introduction to the life and writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951), this course will consist of a detailed reading and discussion of his Philosophical Investigations. We will work through this text in class while trying to understand what it is saying. We will also aim to reflect on its philosophical value.

Attributes: PGCA, PGCP.

PHIL 7229. Derrida. (3 Credits)

A study of major texts of Jacques Derrida dealing with such themes as writing, differance, and deconstruction, as well as his relation to traditional and contemporary figures.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7235. Husserl's 'Ideas II'. (3 Credits)

This course is a close reading of Book II of Husserl’s Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, subtitled “Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution".

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7236. The Emotions and Moral Perception. (3 Credits)

This course will examine phenomenological (and some comparable non-phenomenological) accounts of (1) the nature of the emotions and (2) their roled in evaluation, in general, and moral evaluation, in particular.

Attributes: PGCC, PGME, PGVT.

PHIL 7240. Contemporary Metaethics. (3 Credits)

Metaethics steps back from substantive moral debates to ask questions about morality itself. We will consider a range of positions in order to see the benefits and limitations of different ways of answering these questions, and each student will work at developing her or his own answers throughout the term.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT.

PHIL 7245. Moral Psychology of Anger. (3 Credits)

What is the moral status of anger at injustice? Some philosophers say anger is always a vice; others say it can be a virtue. Who is right? And if anger can be good, what is it good for: What is its function in our moral psychology? This is an ancient philosophical debate, going back to Aristotle and Seneca. But contemporary feminist philosophers are reviving and expanding it into important new questions: Can anger at injustice be virtuous even when it is dangerous to our well-being? Are there moral responsibilities concerning how we evaluate and respond to the anger of others? Should we evaluate the anger of aggrieved entitlement differently from the anger of insubordination? Our primary texts will be current feminist philosophy on anger. We will draw background materials from ancient philosophy, classic feminist defenses of anger and critiques of anger evaluation, and interdisciplinary and public intellectual work on the role of anger in contemporary sociopolitical life.

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT.

PHIL 7310. Self-Cultivation Philosophies. (3 Credits)

Self-cultivation philosophies propound a program of development for radically improving the lives of human beings on the basis of an understanding of human nature. We will study the nature and variety of these practice-oriented philosopies through an examination of prominent examples from ancient India, China and Greece as well as more recent approaches in Western philosophy.

Attribute: PGAN.

PHIL 7340. Humility and Arrogance. (3 Credits)

This course examines epistemological questions concerning humility and arrogance, taken in a broad sense to include open-mindedness, overconfidence, intellectual hubris, and dogmatism. What is humility and does it enhance our inquiry? Is arrogance ever beneficial in our pursuit of truth? Readings for the course focus on good inquiry, expertise, disagreement, and the nature of epistemic virtues and vices.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 7350. Evidential Undermining. (3 Credits)

Sometimes we gain confidence that a belief is false. Sometimes we gain evidence that our grounds for a belief are not good grounds. The latter is a case of "evidential undermining". We will explore several important recent arguments that purport to show that particular moral, philosophical, and religious beliefs face evidential undermining.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 7360. Scientific Realism. (3 Credits)

This course focuses on the debate concerning scientific realism, which, broadly, is the view that our best scientific theories succeed in providing true descriptions of the world. We will focus on the development of the debate into its current form, then move to understanding key recent contributions. Particular attention will be paid on how to motivate and refine alternatives to realism. If time permits, we'll also see how themes in the debate over scientific realism reappear in debates over philosophical methodology. Readings will be contemporary philosophy of science, including occasional case studies in the history of science.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 7370. Moral Emotions. (3 Credits)

This course explores historical engagements with the question of what role the emotions should play in our moral lives, focusing on, but not limited to, work from the Early Modern period. Topics to be covered may include: sympathy/empathy, pity and compassion, resentment and gratitude, shame and guilt, and pride and humility.

Attribute: PGCM.

PHIL 7380. Modern Philosophies of Property. (3 Credits)

This course will critically examine competing modern philosophies of property. Our investigations into the meaning, justification, and limits of property ownership will open onto a series of related questions about human nature, human agency or freedom, human sociality or intersubjectivity, human law, human rights, and the relation of the human being to nonhuman nature. The textual sources for our discussions will be taken from the writings of thinkers whose work represents key trends and innovations in early through late modern philosophy, e.g., Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Locke, Hume, Smith, Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Marx.

Attribute: PGCM.

PHIL 7459. Heidegger's Being and Time, Black Notebooks. (3 Credits)

We will read Heidegger's 1927 Sein and Zeit, which may be found in English in a range of trnaslations, along with several other works in order to situate a reading of the recently published Black Notebooks, and even more recently translated for publication in English. The topic is not merely the controversial and scandalous question of what is called Heidegger's anti-Semitism but also the status of his published and unpublished writings in addition to the questio of the question of the question of being.

Attributes: PGCC, PGCP.

PHIL 7465. The Emotions. (3 Credits)

This course will examine and evaluate competing theories of the emotions, their relation to evaluation or values, their relation to action, and their relation to moral judgment and decision-making.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME, PGVT.

PHIL 7580. Biopolitics and Necropolitics. (3 Credits)

Foucault, in The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, states that the 18th century witnessed the emergence of a new kind of power concerned with the control of life. This description of contemporary politics has given rise to rich debates on the question of the meaning of life and death in relation to political power: What kind of life is at stake in this description, and where is death in this account? What is the impact of race and gender in the analyses of power that Foucault provides? We will start with Foucault’s lecture courses from the Collège de France from 1976 to 1978, where he develops his accounts on biopower and security. We will then bring these in dialogue with other accounts that focus primarily on the role of death, or what has come to be called “necropolitics,” as a kind of power that is concerned with regulation of death in politics. Readings include work from Giorgio Agamben, Achille Mbembe, Jasbir Puar, Judith Butler, and Saidiya Hartman.

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT.

PHIL 7605. Philosophical Aesthetics. (3 Credits)

This course provides a general introduction to the study of philosophical aesthetics, with readings of works by figures from the history of Western philosophy up to today. Issues to be addressed might include the question of "art" itself, the meaning of the so-called "end of art," the role of the museum and gallery in the so-called "art world," the question of "high" and "low" art, feminist aesthetics, and environmental aesthetics.

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT.

PHIL 7650. Aristotelian Ethics. (3 Credits)

This course, "Arustotelian Ethics" is centrally concerned with Aristotle's book, "The Nicomachean Ethics." We will work through the book in detail, mostly in the order that the text is presented. Along the way, we shall examine some relevant secondary literature in the field.

Attributes: CEED, CEMP, PGAN.

PHIL 7664. Philosophy of Literature. (3 Credits)

Philosophy of Literature is devoted to studying the tensions and connections between philosophical analysis and the evocations and descriptions of literary experience. We will consider the philosophy of hermeneutics insofar as this grounds literary interpretation; the philosophical problems concerning the status of the author and the reader in respect to the generation of meaning; the ethics of literary representation; and the ontology of literary language. Our readings will be drawn from such sources as Gadamer, Sartre, Bachelard, Heidegger, iser, Natanson, Nehamas, Hamburger, and Blanchot.

Attributes: PGCC, PGVT.

PHIL 7675. Moral Genealogies. (3 Credits)

In this class, we will attempt to get clear on the nature and significance of genealogies of morality. Rather than read secondary literature on this subject, we will simply dive into several key works in the genre. We will start with Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, proceeding to Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, Rousseau’s On the Origins of Inequality, Charles Mills’ The Racial Contract and Colin Koopman’s very recent How We Became Our Data. The aim is both to critically analyze these texts and to think, in a more abstract way, about what they can accomplish.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 7680. Classics of Analytic Ethics. (3 Credits)

In this course, we will conduct a close reading of two classic full-length books in 20th-century ethics. While they will be in the analytic tradition, the selected books will explore issues that are of broad interest, such as personhood and character, the content and authority of morality, and the nature of practical reasoning itself. This semester, we will read Christine Korsgaard's "The Sources of Normativity" and Bernard Williams' "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy." The first work is a widely cited and highly original defense of Kantian morality, and the second work is a hugely influential attack on the idea of moral theory and on the social institution of morality itself.

Attributes: PGCA, PGVT.

PHIL 7730. Recent Work in Epistemology. (3 Credits)

This seminar will examine recent articles and books in contemporary epistemology. The seminar's themes will likely include: the nature of reasons and evidence, the challenge of skepticism, and the purpose of epistemological theorizing. The seminar's texts will feature perspectives from traditional, social, feminist, and virtue epistemology.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 7752. Divine Providence. (3 Credits)

This course will offer an exploration of the analytic tradition's treatment of divine providence, focusing on traditional problems and contemporary solutions. The course would cover puzzles regarding free will and divine foreknowledge, along with Thomist, Molinist, Ockhamist, and Open Theist solutions to such problems. In so doing, the course will delve into contemporary debates on free will, grounding, modality, and propositions, as those debates determine what is an acceptable solution to questions about divine providence.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 7758. Human Dignity. (3 Credits)

This seminar will focus on recent philosophical work on the concept of dignity. Issues discussed will include the connection between the idea of human dignity and equal status, the role of dignity in constitutional law, how various modes of social suffering and moral injury are tied to the concept of dignity, and the relation between the concepts of human dignity and human rights.

Attribute: PSJH.

PHIL 7760. Dimensions of Political Justice. (3 Credits)

An intensive introduction to key themes in contemporary analytic political philosophy, including contractarian and consequentialist theories of justice; human capabilities and other possible grounds for universal basic rights; collective action problems, market failures and public goods; other problems for libertarian conceptions of legitimate government (including equal opportunity, reward according to merit, and initial acquisition); and (time permitting) issues in global justice including globalizing democracy.


PHIL 7770. Philosophical Bioethics. (3 Credits)

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary, practical subject with a rich philosophical history. This course focuses on the philosophical arguments that have been made about moral and social problems in medicine, including issues in research ethics (e.g., clinical equipoise as a criterion for ethical human subjects research), clinical ethics (e.g., substituted judgment as a model of autonomous decision-making), and methods of bioethical reasoning (e.g., principlism vs. casuistry). Readings will include both classic and contemporary sources.

Attributes: PGOC, PGVT.

PHIL 7857. Topics in Contmp Metaphy. (3 Credits)

The full course title is "Topics in Contemporary Metaphysics." In this course one central topic of current work in analystic metaphysics will be investigated thoroughly. The topics change every time the class is offered.

Attributes: PGCA, PGME.

PHIL 8001. Sem: Phil Education. (3 Credits)

Detailed investigation of methods in the teaching of philosophy and preparation for teaching Fordham core courses.

PHIL 8050. Proseminar: Philosophy Research/Writing. (0 to 3 Credits)

A detailed study of methods for successful philosophical reseach and writing.

PHIL 8070. Professional Writing Seminar. (0 Credits)

This seminar is designed to assist advanced graduate students in Philosophy and prepare for successful academic careers doing research and publishing in Philosophy. Participants will meet regularly to discuss student work and strategies for effective professional writing and success in publishing. This will assist them in preparing articles for publication in professional philosophy journals as well as developing writing samples for job applications. The seminar will be open to PhD candidates who have successfully defended a dissertation proposal. Students may repeat the course.

PHIL 8999. Independent Study. (0.5 to 4 Credits)

PHIL 9999. Dissertation Direction. (1 Credit)