The Department of Philosophy, in close cooperation with the larger philosophical community of Pittsburgh, offers a broad graduate program in philosophy, oriented primarily toward the doctoral degree. There is also a smaller master’s degree program for students who wish to pursue philosophy as a secondary degree in addition to their primary study at the University.

Breadth of Study

The department’s courses, topical offerings, and coverage are unusually broad, not merely because the faculty is relatively large, but also because nearly every member of the department has more than one area of specialization—often several. Within this wider philosophical scope, however, certain areas might be noted as particular strengths:

  • History of philosophy—especially ancient, modern, and 19th-century philosophy
  • Metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language
  • History and philosophy of science, including (but not limited to) the foundations of modern physics
  • Ethics, value theory, and moral psychology
  • Formal philosophy and philosophical logic
  • Mathematics (both foundationally and historically motivated)
  • Philosophy of mind

Other areas of ongoing interest include social and political philosophy, feminism, and Marxism. Although many figures in the history of philosophy are actively studied and taught in the department, a few may be singled out as the focus of especially wide attention, including Plato, Aristotle, the Hellenistic philosophers, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Frege, and Wittgenstein.

Cooperating Departments

The Department of Philosophy collaborates with the Department of Classics and the Department of History & Philosophy of Science in offering a joint program in Classics, Philosophy, & Ancient Science. The philosophical climate is further enriched by the presence of the Center for Philosophy of Science, which has visiting fellows in residence each year, and by the graduate programs in philosophy at neighboring Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University.


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