Philosophy Tutorial (PHIL 399)

The Philosophy Tutorial is a structured program of reading and research on a specific topic not adequately covered in our curriculum.  Tutorials allow students to “fill gaps” in their knowledge, extend the knowledge they already have (e.g., studying Davidson’s Philosophy of Language after a general philosophy of language course), or cross the usual lines between disciplines (e.g., examining one aspect of the relationship between Economics and Philosophy). Tutorials usually involve extensive reading, weekly meetings, and at least one substantial paper.  However, since the essence of Tutorial method is its flexibility, instructors are free to tailor the requirements to the specific project.  In addition, some latitude should be allowed so that the student and the supervising professor can adjust the reading or research, without being held rigidly to the plan of study submitted the previous term.  Good tutorials should be allowed to develop as they go along.

 Some recent Philosophy Tutorials:

  • Spinoza and Leibniz
  • Mill’s Harm Principle: Critics and Defenders
  • Dostoevsky and Existentialism
  • Shantideva’s Moral Philosophy
  • Empirical Research About Virtue Ethics
  • The Metaphysics of Personal Identity

Pre-requisites: 6 credit hours of philosophy (excluding PHIL 120), sophomore standing, plus approval by the tutor and department.

Deadline: For Spring tutorials, proposals are due November 15th; for Fall tutorials, they are due April 15th.

For application procedures, please see this form.