Guidelines for Postgraduate Applicants

Major Research Areas

Mind, Knowledge and Reality

The Department can offer supervision in selected topics in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, especially on consciousness, the philosophy of language, and also Chinese and comparative perspectives on mind and language. Other possible research topics include epistemology and metaphysics, the philosophy of logic, and critical thinking.

Contact person: Dr. Joe Lau, Dr Max Deutsch

Moral and Political Philosophy

The Department has strong and broad expertise in the fields of moral and political philosophy. We can supervise work in the areas of meta-ethics; applied ethics; environmental ethics; Chinese ethics; and ancient and modern Western ethics. Past students have worked on topics ranging from Mencius and Aristotle to Scanlon and Deleuze. In the area of political philosophy, we can supervise students in topics ranging from the rule of law in ancient China, Rousseau and the social contract, social justice, and liberal theory, and on philosophers such as Aristotle, Marx, Nietzsche and Foucault.

Contact persons: Dr. Timothy O'Leary, Dr. Jiwei Ci

History of Philosophy

The Department can offer supervision to students working in a wide range of topics in the history of philosophy. We have particular expertise in classical Chinese philosophy - Daoism and Confucianism; we encourage comparative approaches to the study of this period. In Western philosophy we have special strengths in ancient philosophy - especially Aristotle - and in modern and contemporary European philosophy, including early-modern and Enlightenment thinkers (e.g. Rousseau) and also post-Nietzschean French and German philosophy.

Contact person: Dr. Alexandra Cook

Chinese Philosophy

The Department has a strong tradition in research and supervision of postgraduate work in Chinese philosophy, including schools of thought such as Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, and Daoism, fields of study such as metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy, and major issues such as the place of Confucianism in the modern world. We also have strengths in the comparative study of Chinese and Western philosophy.

Contact person: Dr. Chris Fraser, Dr. Dan Robins

Departmental Requirements

MPhil

  • The research proposal for the MPhil should be 3-4 pages double-spaced. It should set out the field you want to work in (e.g., political philosophy), the specific topic you intend to pursue in it (e.g., global justice), and why you consider the topic interesting and significant. A good proposal will show that the applicant has some acquaintance with the essential literature on the topic (e.g., John Rawls, Charles Beitz, and Thomas Pogge on global justice) and has some sense of what the interesting questions are and where research on them might lead. You should attach a brief bibliography (1 page double-spaced).

Ph.D.

  • The research proposal for the Ph.D. should be 4-5 pages double-spaced. It should set out the field you want to work in, the specific topic you intend to pursue in it, and why the topic is significant and promises original research. A good proposal will show that the applicant has extensive up-to-date knowledge of research on the topic, is well acquainted with the essential literature in the field, and has a clear sense of what the interesting questions are and where research on them might lead. You should attach a brief bibliography (2 pages double-spaced).