Ancient and medieval philosophy and classical philology, Master's Programme
The master’s programme in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Classical Philology is historical as well as a philosophical. It is philosophical because it seeks the origins of contemporary philosophical debates, and historical because it seeks to understand these origins in their own terms and context. To access the sources, practitioners also need to master classical languages—Greek and Latin—and textual criticism. As a student of the programme, you will have the opportunity to acquire a set of skills increasingly rare even on a global scale.
Philosophers from the ancient and medieval Western world—from Plato and Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and William Ockham—wrote in either Greek or Latin. In addition to philosophical competence and a high level of methodological and historical sensitivity, linguistic skills in Greek and Latin and related auxiliary sciences such as palaeography, codicology and textual criticism are essential tools for any student or researcher who wants to access these texts directly and independently. Hence, as a scientific discipline, ancient and medieval philosophy requires a set of essential skills that are becoming increasingly rare even on a global scale. The master’s programme in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Classical Philology offers you the possibility to acquire these skills in a leading research environment.
Acquire a comprehensive skillset
The history of ancient and medieval philosophy of language and mind is largely understood to include ancient and medieval logic and semantics, theories of communication and argumentation, theories of knowledge, cognitive psychology, theories of mind, and their metaphysical foundations. We emphasize texts in original languages, with elements of textual criticism and comparative studies of different translations. Texts are read throughout in original text and parallel translation, and the philosophical development during each time period is analysed. Attention is paid to interpretation problems that require close reading of the original text, but also problems rising from both ancient and medieval commentary tradition and modern philosophy-historical research. Thus, the tradition of the text and the reconstruction of the original text are constantly taken into account and examined.
The programme has originated as a direct result of a major interdisciplinary research programme and is offered in close interaction with the research environment in history of philosophy and classical philology and its international network of leading scholars and partner institutions. Our seminars are linked to contemporary research that is conducted or has been conducted partly by our teachers and international colleagues in connection with the department. To ensure breadth and diversity in the programme’s seminars, a research theme is taken from each area covered by the courses in the first year for in-depth discussion at each seminar.
The teaching method is based on your active participation and independent contributions, and you will present a short article or essay at one of the seminars in the second year to be discussed in the whole group. You will write your final thesis project in parallel to the seminars, which provides inspiration and support during your work.
Programme structure and content
In the first semester, if you have a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, you begin with Latin for Philosophers and Greek for Philosophers. If you have a bachelor’s degree in classical languages, you begin with Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Greek Philosophy and Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Latin Philosophy.
The second semester has the following courses:
- Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Classical Philology 1
- Ancient and Medieval Logic and Knowledge Theory
- Ancient and Medieval Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics
- Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Classical Philology 2
- Ancient and Medieval Ethics
- Philosophical Texts: Greek or Philosophical Texts: Latin
The second year is research-oriented and two seminars with themes from previous semesters run parallel to your final degree project work throughout the year. You will also take the method course: Text Critical Method, Text History, and Palaeography: Greek and Latin Philosophical Texts.