Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Joint Program Reading Lists and Requirements

Philosophy

Reading List
Teaching and research in any area of ancient philosophy require familiarity with certain core texts and problems. The Reading List, which reflects these needs, comprises major texts from the Presocratics and Plato to Aristotle and Sextus Empiricus. It should be a major focus of your study during your three years of coursework. Some of this work will be covered in seminars and other courses, but much of it you must study independently. 

A. Presocratics, Socrates, Plato

1. Presocratics: "B-fragments" of Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Melissus, Empedocles, and Anaxagoras, in Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (7th ed.)
2. Plato: Euthyphro, Crito, Meno
3. Plato: Phaedo
4. Plato (selections): Republic I (331e-35d, 338c-54c), II (357a-62c), IV (427c-45e), V (474b-80a), VI-VII (504b-21a).
5. Plato: Theaetetus

B. Aristotle and Scepticism

1. Aristotle: Categories 1-9, De Interpretatione, Posterior Analytics 1.1-4, 1.13, 2.1, 2.16-19
2. Aristotle: Physics I-II
3. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics I-III.5
4. Aristotle: Metaphysics Z and H
5. Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism I

Classics students in the Joint Program have a very similar reading list.

Languages
Members of the Joint Program must take at least 2 upper level classes in Greek before advancing to candidacy, preferably by the end of their second year in the program. A candidate may opt out of this requirement by passing a translation exam.

Portfolio
By the beginning of their third year in the program, students must submit a portfolio of 2 papers in ancient philosophy to the Director of the Joint Program. This portfolio will be evaluated by each member of the Joint Program Committee. 

Classics

Reading List
Teaching and research in any area of ancient philosophy require familiarity with certain core texts and problems. The Reading List, which reflects these needs, comprises major texts from the Presocratics and Plato to Aristotle and Sextus Empiricus. It should be a major focus of your study while doing coursework. Some of this work will be covered in seminars and other courses, but much of it you must study independently.

A. Presocratics, Socrates, Plato

  • Presocratics: "B-fragments" of Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Melissus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Protagoras, and Gorgias in Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (7th ed.)
  • Plato: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo, Symposium, Theaetetus
    Note: Apology and Symposium are also on the Classics reading list.
  • Plato (selections): Republic I, IV-VII, and X
    Note: Republic X is also on the Classics reading list.

B. Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy

  • Aristotle: Categories 1-9, Physics I-II, Nicomachean Ethics I-III.5
    Note: Poetics is on the Classics reading list but not covered by this exam.
  • Cicero: Academica II, De Finibus I and III, Somnium Scipionis
    Note: Somnium Scipionis (from De Re Publica VI) is also on the Classics reading list.
  • Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism I

Philosophy students in the Joint Program have a very similar reading list.

Exam
Members of the Joint Program must pass a three-hour written exam before advancing to candidacy. A candidate who fails the exam may petition the Joint Program Committee for permission to retake it. The exam covers texts on the Reading List above. It has two parts:

  • two commentaries on excerpts from works on the Reading List. Candidates select one excerpt from each set of texts (A and B);
  • two essays on general questions covering material on the Reading List. Candidates select one question covering each set of texts (A and B).

Each exam is allotted three hours. Exams are prepared and evaluated by a sub-committee of the Joint Program Committee.

Portfolio
By the beginning of their third year in the program, students must submit a portfolio of 2 papers in ancient philosophy to the Director of the Joint Program. This portfolio will be evaluated by each member of the Joint Program Committee.