The Joint Programs in Philosophy

Joint Programs are always between two partners: the Department of Philosophy and one other department. Their purpose is to allow a graduate student to come into sustained and rewarding dialogue with faculty and graduate students working in a related field.

These programs grow out of a recognition that the serious study of certain areas within the discipline of philosophy itself requires literacy outside the discipline and, in particular, in the fundamentals of a wholly different discipline. Our joint programs are designed to facilitate the study of such areas of philosophy within the framework of our existing Ph.D. program.

Our joint programs are not joint Ph.D. programs: they are not designed to provide students with equally in-depth training in two different disciplines, each of which has its own exacting and distinct standards of disciplinary training, thereby leading to a degree which would equip a graduate student to be hired in either of two sorts of department. Our experience is that such joint-Ph.D. programs either fail to be properly balanced or to lead to a student staying in graduate school much longer than is advisable.

Our joint programs are concerned, rather, to fulfill a somewhat more modest mission: to provide two sets of graduate students, working within two different departments, a comparatively restricted degree of involvement in the intellectual life of the other department, with the aim of creating an environment in which these two different communities of inquirers with overlapping interests can come into contact, cross-fertilize, and enrich each other.

Instead of a joint Ph.D. program, in the case of each of the joint programs between the Philosophy Department and the Departments of Classics, Germanic Studies, and Linguistics respectively, we have therefore sought instead to establish a cooperative program: one in which students will enroll either in the Ph.D. program of the allied department or in the Ph.D. program in Philosophy, but will also be required to take certain courses in the department in which they are not enrolled.  Each such program is a cooperative program in two senses: first, in the sense that the faculty of both departments are committed to training students in the other department, and, second, in the sense that the students in both programs develop a working relationship with each other through participation in seminars, as well as in a specially dedicated workshop which serves as the central forum for intellectual exchange within the joint program.

The Philosophy Department currently has three such joint programs (also called cooperative programs): The Joint Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, The Joint Program in German Philosophy, and the Cooperative Program in Linguistics and Philosophy. These three programs are, in turn, to be distinguished from our Joint Degree Program in Social Thought and Philosophy, which is a program in which the PhD students in the program are enrolled as full-fledged PhD candidates in two different graduate programs, in Social Thought and in Philosophy, and upon successful completion of the joint PhD program receive dual PhD degrees issued by both the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy.

Please use the navigation to the left to find more specific information about each of these four programs.