The serious study of German philosophy requires that scholars be able to read philosophical texts in their original language and situate them in their broader intellectual, historical, and cultural context. A student who wishes to specialize in German philosophy therefore ought to have firm grounding in German language, history, and literature. Since both Germanic Studies and Philosophy have exacting and distinct standards of disciplinary training, we deem it inadvisable for most students to pursue a joint PhD, the sort of degree which would equip them to be hired in either sort of department. Instead, we have sought to establish a cooperative program, one in which students will enroll either in the PhD program in Germanic Studies or in the PhD program in Philosophy but will be required to take certain courses in the department in which they are not enrolled. The program is a cooperative program in the sense that the faculty of both departments are committed to training students in the other department in the ways specified below and in the sense that the students in both programs will develop a working relationship with each other, through participation in seminars. as well as in the new German Philosophy Workshop and in events organized by the Chicago Area Consortium on German Philosophy.The Joint Program is also designed to help create and facilitate opportunities for graduate students who wish at some point during their graduate career to spend some months studying German Philosophy at a German university.
The faculty of the Joint Program consists of two sorts: (1) faculty at the University of Chicago who regularly teach courses and seminars and supervise dissertations on topics in German Philosophy and (2) faculty at German universities who have a close relationship with the Departments of Germanic Studies and Philosophy at the University of Chicago, come frequently as visitors to Chicago, and are available as intellectual resources to students enrolled in the Joint Program.
Faculty at the University of Chicago Affiliated with the Joint Program & Regularly Engaged in the Teaching of German Philosophy:
Dan Brudney (Philosophy) - Link
James Conant (Philosophy) - Link
Arnold Davidson (Philosophy) - Link
Vincent Descombes (Social Thought & Philosophy) - Link
Hans Joas (Social Thought) - Link
Michael Kremer (Philosophy) - Link
Brian Leiter (Law School) - Link
Jonathan Lear (Social Thought & Philosophy) - Link
Susanne Lüdemann (Germanic Studies) - Link
Robert Pippin (Social Thought & Philosophy) - Link
Robert Richards (History & Philosophy) - Link
Eric Santner (Germanic Studies & Jewish Studies) - Link
David Wellbery (Germanic Studies & Social Thought) - Link 1 and Link 2
Christopher Wild (Germanic Studies) - Link
Faculty at Universities in Germany and Switzerland Affiliated with the Joint Program:
Gunter Abel, Technische Universität, Berlin - Link
Logi Gunnarsson, Universität Potsdam - Link
Johannes Haag, Universität Potsdam - Link
Andrea Kern, Universität Leipzig - Link
Christoph König, Universität Osnabrück - Link
Albrecht Korschorke, Universität Konstanz - Link
Christoph Menke, Universität Frankfurt - Link
Sebastain Rödl, Universität Basel - Link
Pirmin Stekeler, Universität Leipzig - Link
The remainder of this page is concerned to outline the requirements for those PhD students in the Department of Philosophy who wish to enroll in the Joint Program. These are distinct from the requirements that apply to PhD students in the Department of Germanic Studies who wish to enroll in the Joint Program.
Please note that, in addition to the Department's requirements, the Humanities Division also has requirements for the Ph.D. They are given on page 57 of the current year's University of Chicago Graduate Programs in the Divisions: Announcements and the Humanities Division's online catalog page.
The requirements for Philosophy students in the Joint Program are in many ways the same as those for students in the regular Philosophy Ph.D. program. Differences are found in the distribution of courses (some must be courses listed in the German Department) and in the language requirement. Below you will find a complete list of the requirements with those special to the German Philosophy Program highlighted in boldface. Please contact James Conant with any questions.
Please use the subnavigation links below to view the required components of the Joint Program in German Philosophy.
The Course Requirement has six parts concerning: (a) the number of required courses, (b) the distribution of required courses, (c) the logic requirement, (d) required progress, (e) policies concerning incompletes, and (f) grades.
Students must complete at least thirteen courses in their first two years of study: the first year seminar and twelve graduate courses. First-year students must enroll in the first-year seminar. This is a year-long course that has generally met in past years four or five times a quarter, although its exact organization and scheduling varies from year to year according to the instructor's discretion. It is graded on a pass-fail basis.
In addition, twelve graduate courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
Students are required to take one course in each of the following three areas of contemporary philosophy:
and three courses on the history of philosophy as follows:
It should be noted that not all graduate courses satisfy a field distribution requirement; those not classified in the published course descriptions as belonging to I-V cannot be used to satisfy the distribution requirement. Nor can Philosophy 30000 (Elementary Logic) be used to satisfy a field distribution requirement.
There is a requirement in logic that can be satisfied in several ways.
Courses must be completed, with a grade of B or better, according to the following timetable.
In addition to this timetable, students should keep in mind that because they are expected to be working on their Preliminary Essay over the summer following their sixth quarter, they would be ill-advised not to have their course requirements completed by the early part of the summer or earlier.
At the discretion of the instructor, coursework not completed on time may be regarded as an "incomplete." This means that the instructor will permit a student to complete the work for a course after the normal deadline.
The instructor sets the time period for completion of the incomplete, subject to the following limitation: all coursework must be submitted by September 30th following the quarter in which the course was taken in order to count toward fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. This date is an absolute deadline and is not subject to further extensions by individual faculty members.
Satisfactory grades for work toward the Ph.D. in philosophy are A, A-, B+, and B.
For Philosophy faculty, those grades mean the following. A: pass with distinction; A-: high pass; B+: pass; B: low pass.
Any student intending to write a thesis on a topic in German philosophy must pass the Departmental or University exam in German with a "High Pass".
Such students may take the Departmental exam in German a maximum of three times (as opposed to two times, which is the rule forthe other Philosophy graduate students).
Requirements are the same as for students in the standard track with the exception that the Preliminary Essay and Dissertation must be on a topic in German philosophy.
This workshop is for Philosophy Ph.D. students who are planning on seeking an academic job as a philosophy professor. The workshop is taught by the Placement Director, with the assistance of other members of the departmental faculty. It is designed to help students to complete and polish all the required components of a job dossier and to provide other sorts of preparation for going on the academic job market. For more information on the Placement Workshop, please click here.
By the end of the sixth quarter (normally, the second year):
By the first day of the eight quarter (normally, winter quarter of the third year):
By the end of the ninth quarter (normally, spring of the third year):
By the beginning of the tenth quarter (normally, fall of the fourth year):
By the beginning of the eleventh quarter (normally, winter of the fourth year):
By the end of the fourteenth quarter (normally, winter of the fifth year):
The end of the fifteenth quarter (normally, spring of the fifth year):
Students who do not meet the above expectations may not be permitted to continue in the program.