Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University specializes in continental philosophy and the history of philosophy.

Our graduate program was among the first in the United States to concentrate on phenomenology and, more broadly, nineteenth and twentieth century continental thought. We remain committed to that tradition and focus on post-Kantian European philosophy, with multiple faculty working in German Idealism, the phenomenological traditions, social and political philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, as well as structuralism, poststructuralism, and their aftermaths. We integrate this into a broader emphasis on the history of philosophy as a cluster of research areas in their own right, as a set of methodological orientations, and as the necessary background for work in contemporary thought. To this end, we also have groups of faculty working in each of the main periods the history of philosophy, including ancient and classical philosophy, medieval philosophy, and modern philosophy.

The graduate program is central to the mission of the Philosophy Department and to our vision of its future. The mission of the Ph.D. program in philosophy is to provide advanced philosophical training to students with demonstrated outstanding scholarly competence so that they may pursue high-quality independent research under the mentorship of faculty, become independent members of the international philosophical community, and successfully find full-time academic employment or satisfying careers beyond the professoriate.

Our department hosts an active and vibrant philosophical community, including an extensive visiting speakers series and graduate research colloquium, student and faculty organized reading groups, and a strong graduate student organization.

Our graduate program is built around small seminars that engage primary texts and conceptual problems. We strongly encourage reading philosophical works in their original languages, when possible, and place a premium on our students developing a high level of competence in the languages related to their doctoral research. To that end, we offer substantial support for our students to pursue language study at Duquesne and through intensive summer language programs abroad.

In the last few years, we have offered graduate courses on the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Hellenistic and Roman philosophy, Plotinus, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Aquinas, classical Islamic philosophy, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Freud, Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Adorno, Levinas, Derrida, Habermas, Foucault, Deleuze, and Badiou. Recent thematic courses have included Aesthetics, Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Phenomenology, German Idealism, History and Philosophy of Science, Early Modern Political Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Psychoanalysis, Idealism and Materialism, Moral Philosophy, Phenomenological Epistemology, Philosophy of the Body, Philosophy of Music, Philosophy of Time, and the Phenomenology of Space and Place. More information about recent seminars is available HERE.

If you have questions please contact Dr. Rodemeyer, Director of Graduate Studies, at