When the Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876, it was the first university in the United States designed as a center for research and doctoral education. Among its earliest graduate students were Josiah Royce and John Dewey; C.S. Peirce was an early faculty member. The Department of Philosophy continues this tradition today, preparing graduate students to make original contributions to the field and to pursue careers in college and university teaching.
Usually there are about 15 graduate students taking courses and seminars, and another 15 at various stages in the writing of their dissertations. Because classes are small, we look for students who wish to take advantage of the individual attention available here. The department’s purpose is to provide opportunities for students to develop special interests within a program that also ensures breadth of knowledge. We offer classes, seminars, and directed study in the history of ancient, modern, and contemporary Western philosophy, and in the systematic areas of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of mathematics, mathematical logic, and aesthetics. Courses with relevance to philosophy are frequently offered in other departments, and in certain circumstances these may be used toward the PhD or MA course requirements in philosophy.