Joint Program in Ancient Philosophy
This program is offered jointly by the Departments of Philosophy and Classics. It is administered by an interdepartmental committee whose members are
- Timothy Clarke, Department of Philosophy
- John Ferrari, Department of Classics
- Sara Magrin, Department of Classics
- Kinch Hoekstra, Department of Political Science
- Anthony Long, Department of Classics
The program is designed to produce scholars with a broad range of expertise both in philosophy and classics, with the intention of bridging the gap between the two subjects. It provides the training and specialist knowledge required for undertaking research in ancient philosophy, and at the same time equips students for scholarly work and teaching in either classics or philosophy. Those who complete the program will be fully qualified to work as a member of either one of these disciplines, while having developed a broad competence in the other.
Students apply for admission to either of the participating departments in accordance with their qualifications and interests. They are treated accordingly as graduate students fully in either the Department of Classics or the Department of Philosophy.
The program offers graduate students in Classics the opportunity to take classes in philosophy as an integral part of their work. And it offers graduate students in Philosophy the opportunity to develop their knowledge of both classical languages, and to make a thorough study of Graeco-Roman culture. Students and faculty from the two departments meet each other frequently and regularly in seminars, reading groups and colloquia. Seminar offerings from the two departments are designed to give students, during their years in the program, the opportunity to study a wide variety of topics, including the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy and the philosophy of later antiquity.
Those entering the program as Philosophy students will take the broad range of philosophy courses and seminars standardly required for the Ph.D. in Philosophy. This standard set of requirements is, however, modified in the following ways:
- At least three out of the eight required courses should be in ancient philosophy.
- Students should take at least one seminar in the Classics Department.
- Students in the program will have until the end of the fourth year to pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination.
- Two of the three topics for the student's qualifying exam will concern topics in ancient philosophy.
- Students must demonstrate, before advancement to candidacy, proficiency in Greek and Latin. This can be done in either of two ways: (i) by passing a sight translation exam; (ii) by passing (with a grade of A- or A) an upper-level undergraduate translation class taught in the Classics department.
- In addition, students must pass a reading examination in either German, French, or Italian.
- Students should declare their interest in joining the program by the beginning of their fifth semester at Berkeley.
To enter the joint program as a graduate student in Philosophy, prospective graduates should apply to the Ph.D. program in Philosophy and mention their interest in the joint program as part of their statement of purpose. For information about entering the joint program as a graduate student in Classics, please visit the Department of Classics website.
Ancient Philosophy Events
The Working Group in Ancient Philosophy, which is jointly sponsored by the Philosophy Department, the Classics Department, and the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, hosts many talks in ancient philosophy each year.