Ancient Philosophy Ph.D. Track

This track is for philosophy PhD students who wish to specialize in Ancient Philosophy. Students on this track will satisfy all the normal requirements for the philosophy PhD, and some additional recommendations, listed below.

It will be possible to join the track at any point up to the beginning of the thesis prospectus, which is usually in the fifth term. (It is advisable that students who know that they are interested in the track declare their interest on the application, but there are no spots reserved for the track and a declaration of interest will make no difference to the prospects of admission.)

The NYU Philosophy Department has two faculty members who specialize in Ancient Philosophy: Marko Malink (joint appointment with Classics, working mainly on Aristotle’s logic and metaphysics) and Jessica Moss (working mainly on Plato’s and Aristotle’s psychology, moral psychology, epistemology and ethics). We will soon be hosting Sarah Broadie as a visiting Global Distinguished Professor. We also have several other faculty members with interests in Ancient Philosophy: Kit Fine, Tim Maudlin, John Richardson, and David Velleman. In addition, NYU’s Classics Department has three faculty members who specialize in Ancient Philosophy – David Konstan, Phil Mitsis, and David Sider – and many who work in related areas. We also run reading groups and works-in-progress seminars in Ancient Philosophy for faculty, post-docs and graduate students at NYU, CUNY, Columbia, and other local programs.

NYU is thus an excellent place for philosophy graduate students interested in Ancient Philosophy, and the Ancient Track is intended to give guidelines and recommendations for such students.

Languages: Proficiency in Greek and/or Latin, depending on the intended area of dissertation research. This will be demonstrated by language exams set by philosophy faculty members, or by a grade of A- or above in an intermediate or advanced language course in the Classics department. This should be completed by the beginning of the fourth year. Students who have studied the language adequately before should sit the language exam as soon as they begin the track.

(Students who need to take language classes while at NYU can be awarded a maximum of 4 points for each language, even if they need to take more than one class.)

Courses: Three out of the (typically) seven courses required for basic coursework will be in ancient philosophy, OR two of these courses plus one associated writing. (Note: in keeping with the ordinary guidelines for the PhD programs, some of these courses may be at other institutions, and students working in Ancient Philosophy are encouraged to take advantage of the course offerings at many nearby programs, including Columbia, CUNY, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale.)

Distribution: students should do some coursework, writing, or teaching in at least two of the following areas: Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy.

Reading list exam: At the beginning of the 5th year (one year into dissertation work) students will sit an exam that demonstrates their knowledge of primary texts specially relevant to the dissertation, in the original language. The reading list will be designed by the dissertation advisor and committee, in consultation with the student.