About the Programme

Philosophy grapples with fundamental questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, and how we ought to act. Whether in the Indian or Western tradition, answers to these questions have been supported by rigorous arguments. Our courses offer a historically sensitive immersion in these arguments. Nevertheless, the philosophy major at Ashoka University aims to equip students to work beyond the parochialism of either the Indian or Western philosophical tradition to do philosophy without boundaries.

The philosophy major will equip students with critical reasoning and problem solving skills, expressive precision, and the intellectual spaciousness to appreciate arguments and points of view with which they profoundly disagree. The Ashoka Philosophy graduate will be well prepared for higher studies in philosophy or a career in media, the law, or business.

Format of the Major

Each student will take a total of 12 courses towards the major. Introduction to Philosophy is the gateway course for the major. Subsequent courses will cover moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and logic. Philosophy majors will also have a historical grounding in both the Indian and Western traditions through such courses as Vedānta and The British Empiricists, with the option of pursuing their interests in a particular historical tradition. Philosophy majors may choose to write a Senior Thesis, which must be an original contribution to knowledge via sustained philosophical argument.

Classes will be led by the Professor and will typically meet twice a week for an hour and a half each or three time a week for an hour each. These classes will be supplemented by a weekly hour-long session with the Teaching Fellow for a total of 4 hours a week of class time per course. Some senior seminars might meet for once a week for a 3-hour session.

Distribution Requirements

Each of the core courses offered by the philosophy programme falls into exactly one of the following five categories.

  1. Required (Intro to Philosophy and Symbolic Logic)
  2. Indian & Non-Western
  3. Western Historical
  4. Contemporary Core
  5. Everything Else

See the Courses page for details.

An elective is a philosophy course a student takes that does not fulfill a distribution requirement (either because it is from Everything Else or because the requirements have been or will be met with other courses).  Any course other than Intro to Philosophy and Symbolic Logic can in principle count as an elective.

major must take the two Required courses, two courses from Indian & Non-Western, two from Western Historical, three from Contemporary Core, and three electives.

minor must take the two Required courses, one course from Indian & Non-Western, one course from Western Historical, one from Contemporary Core, and one elective.

PPE major must take at least four philosophy courses.  Those taking four must take the two Required courses, and two courses in different categories among categories 2, 3, and 4.  Those taking five must take one elective in addition.  The requirements for those taking six or more are the same as those for the philosophy minor.  Note that a student cannot both major in PPE and minor in philosophy.  A student may, however, major in PPE with a specialization in philosophy by taking eight philosophy courses.  See the PPE page for more details about the major.

Critical Thinking Seminars offered by the philosophy programme do count towards the philosophy major, minor, or PPE major.  Such a course may fit in categories 2, 3 or 4, in which case it can count towards the distribution requirement for that category.  Otherwise it can count as an elective.

A student can (depending on the approval of the programme coordinator), pass a logic exam administered by the philosophy department instead of taking Symbolic Logic if that student has taken a college-level course covering the majority of the content covered in Symbolic Logic.  Such a student must take an extra elective.

Open Positions

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