Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics

Certain forms of serious work in the philosophy of language require that philosophers be conversant with certain forms of current research in linguistics, especially where those forms of research bear directly on claims set forth by philosophers of language.  A student who wishes to specialize in the relevant areas of philosophy of language therefore ought to have a firm grounding in the relevant basics of the discipline of linguistics as well. In the Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics, PhD students in Philosophy will be required to take certain courses in Linguistics and develop a working relationship with students and faculty in Linguistics through participation in specific seminars, as well as in the Linguistics and Philosophy Workshop. 

Requirements of the Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics

Philosophy students in the Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics must complete all the requirements for the PhD in Philosophy. In addition, these students  must complete four graduate-level courses in Linguistics prior to graduation and these must be distributed as follows:

  • a two-course sequence from one of three "foundational sequences" in phonology, syntax or semantics/pragmatics (descriptions of which can be found here)
  •  a graduate seminar in Linguistics in the same area as the foundational course (so phonology, syntax or semantics) already taken by the graduate student
  • one additional course in any area offered by the Department of Linguistics

Any course co-listed in both the Departments of Philosophy and Linguistics may be counted toward satisfying either the Philosophy or the Linguistics component of the Cooperative Program’s total course requirement, but not both. At most, one the four required Linguistics courses may count toward the overall Philosophy course distribution, and then only if taken in the first two years. This means that in order to satisfy the total course requirement for the Cooperative Program, a graduate student in Philosophy must complete at least three courses beyond the number normally required to satisfy the standard course requirement for a PhD in Philosophy.  

Applying to the Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics

The information above highlights the basic Cooperative Program requirements. Usually, PhD students in Philosophy take at least a year's worth of graduate courses before they can petition to get into the Cooperative Program. At that point, they should discuss all the specific requirements and administrative procedures for the Cooperative Program with their faculty advisors.

Faculty of the Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics

Image of Bruegel's Tower of Babel painting for Cooperative Program in Philosophy and Linguistics page