About Carleton Philosophers

The philosophers at Carleton have made significant contributions in many fields within philosophy, including epistemology and philosophy of mind and language, with applications to cognitive science; ethical theory, meta-ethics, and intercultural ethics; moral and social/political philosophy, including feminism, with applications to environmental ethics, health ethics, and development ethics; in history of philosophy, we have expertise in the ancient, early modern, modern, and 19th-20th century periods.

About Masters Students

MA students are offered a two-year research-oriented program. Each small, 8-10 member incoming class begins with a Pro-Seminar to understand relations and interactions between the Department’s two broad strengths in contemporary philosophy: philosophy of mind, language, and knowledge; and moral, social, and political philosophy. Here, and in other seminars, they acquire graduate-level research competency in one or both of these fields, or in history of philosophy. Each of the students can explore their own research interests in small-group or one-to-one graduate tutorials. Over the years, the Department has designed a highly successful Research Seminar in which first-year MA students develop research topics for their MA Research Essay or Thesis research. Graduates of the Carleton MA in Philosophy are very well prepared either for doctoral programs or else for advanced, upwardly-mobile positions in government, civil society, or other occupations.

About The Undergraduate Experience

The undergraduate experience in Philosophy at Carleton is equally rewarding and enjoyable for the students and for their instructors. It begins in first year with explorations of basic questions about how mind and world manage to connect, or the equally basic questions about how we may answer questions of right and wrong. First-year students can begin with these questions either in contemporary philosophy, or by studying the great ideas provided by the history of philosophy. In their second year, Philosophy Majors take two courses designed just for them, which challenge and enable them to rise to excel both in theoretical and in practical philosophy; in another required course, they engage in careful study of the history of Western philosophy before 1600. A wide range of courses, to suit everyone’s interests, is available in the middle years of the BA program. The fourth year offers a final reward: small seminars on the research topics of Philosophy faculty, in which students develop and complete their own research projects.