Master of Arts - Philosophy (all programs)

Reading List for Comprehensive Exams

(Approved by the Department of Philosophy, 20 October 1993)
MA Reading List in pdf (Acrobat Reader) format

Students will write on two items of their choosing from each of the categories (I-III) and on one item which they nominate from category (IV). An ‘item' is whatever follows a particular Arabic numeral; hence an item may comprise two or three distinct texts. Please note that I-2 and III-3 contain disjunctions.

General remark (I-III): Subject to departmental approval, a student may, in each of the categories (I-III), substitute a different item, either by one of the authors listed or by a different author.

I. Ancient philosophy
Restriction: A student may not choose both items from the same author.
1. Plato Republic
2. Plato Meno,
Gorgias or Phaedrus,
3. Plato Theaetetus,
4. Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
5. Aristotle Politics
6. Aristotle Rhetoric,
7. Aristotle Metaphysics

II. Early modern philosophy
(Rationalists marked with ‘R'; Empiricists with ‘E')

A student may not choose two empiricists (two 'E' items) or two rationalists (two 'R' items).
1. Descartes (R) Discourse on Method,
2. Spinoza (R) Ethics
3. Leibniz (R) Discourse on Metaphysics,
4. Locke (E) Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book II
5. Berkeley (E) Principles of Human Knowledge,
Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
6. Hume (E) Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,
Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
7. Kant Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics,
Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals
8. Hobbes Leviathan
9. Rousseau First and Second Discourses

III. Late modern philosophy
1. Hegel Phenomenology of Mind, excerpts: "Introduction," "Sense Certainty," "Lordship and Bondage"
2. Marx Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
3. Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil or On the Genealogy of Morals
4. Mill On Liberty,
5. James Pragmatism,
Meaning of Truth
6. Dewey Experience and Nature
7. Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations, Part I
8. Heidegger Being and Time, Division I

IV. Areas of contemporary philosophy
Subject to the approval of two regular department members (who will also serve as graders), the student will nominate a work from one of the following two divisions of contemporary philosophy.

Restriction: No author chosen in (III) may be chosen in (IV).
1. Value theory (areas such as ethics, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, feminism)
2. Metaphysics and epistemology (areas such as metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of language)