Comprehensive Exams

Reading List for Doctoral Comprehensive Exams at Emory University (4 Written Exams, September 2006)







Zeno of Elea



Plato: Apology; Meno; Parmenides; Republic; Timaeus; Sophist

Aristotle: Categories; De Interpretatione; Physics (1-2); Metaphysics; Nicomachean Ethics; Politics; Poetics

Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Pyrrhonism

Cicero: De Finibus

Plotinus: Enneads (I.1-4, 6-9; II.3-4, 9; III.2-8); Enneads (IV.3-4, 8; V.1-5, 7-9; VI.4-5, 7-9; “Life of Plotinus”

Augustine: Confessions

Anselm: Proslogion

Aquinas: De Ente et Essentia; Summa Theologiae (Ia qq. 1-2, 13, 75-87; IaIIae qq. 90-100)

Machiavelli: The Prince

Montaigne: “Of Repentance,” “On Experience”

Hobbes: Leviathan

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy

Locke: Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Locke: Two Treatises on Civil Government

Spinoza: Ethics

Leibniz: Discourse on Metaphysics

Vico: New Science

Berkeley: Principles of Human Knowledge

Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature; Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Rousseau: The Social Contract

Kant: Critique of Pure Reason; Critique of Practical Reason; Critique of the Power of Judgment

Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit; Aesthetics (Introduction)

Mill: Utilitarianism

Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling

Dilthey: The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences

Peirce: “Fixation of Belief,” “How to Make our Ideas Clear,” “Some Consequences of Four Incapacities”

James: Pragmatism, “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”

Nietzsche: The Birth Of Tragedy, The Genealogy of Morals

Frege: On Sense and Reference

Dewey: Experience and Nature

Husserl: Cartesian Meditations

Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk

Prichard: Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?

Russell: On Denoting; On Our Knowledge of the External World

Moore: Principia Ethica

Cassirer: An Essay on Man

Locke (Alain): Pluralism and Intellectual Democracy

Heidegger: Being and Time

Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigations

Carnap: Testability and Meaning

Gadamer: Truth and Method

Ryle: The Concept of Mind

Nagel: The Reduction of Theories

Popper: Conjectures and Refutations

Sartre: Being and Nothingness

Levinas: Otherwise than Being

De Beauvoir: The Second Sex

Quine: Two Dogmas of Empiricism; Speaking of Objects; Ontological Relativity; Epistemology Naturalized

Ayer: The Elimination of Metaphysics; Critique of Ethics and Theology

Austin: How To Do Things With Words

Sellars: The Language of Theories; Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man

Grice: Logic and Conversation

Davidson: A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge; Mental Events; On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme

Hare: Prescriptive Language; Moral Conflicts; The Archangel and the Prole; Another’s Sorrow

Murdoch: The Sovereignty of the Good Over Other Concepts

Rawls: Justice as Fairness

Kuhn: Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice

Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

Foucault: Discipline and Punish

Putnam: Meaning and Reference; The Nature of Mental States

Winch: Understanding a Primitive Society

Frankfurt, Harry: Free Will and the Concept of a Person

Habermas: Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action

MacIntyre: After Virtue

Derrida: Signature Event Context

Dussel: Beyond Eurocentrism: The World-System and the Limits of Modernity

Fodor: Why There Still Has to Be a Language of Thought

Irigaray: Sexes and Genealogies

Hacking: Experimentation and Scientific Realism

Nagel: What is it Like to Be a Bat?

Ruse: Teleology Redux

Churchlands: Eliminative Materialism and Propositional Attitudes; Some Reductive Strategies in Cognitive Neurobiology; Consciousness: The Transmutation of a Concept

Dennett: Intentional Systems; Multiple Drafts Versus the Cartesian Theater

Gibbard: Wise Choicces Apt Feelings

Boyd: How to be a Moral Realist

Young: Five Faces of Oppression

Scheman: Though This Be Method, Yet There Is Madness In It

Fraser: From Redistribution to Recognition

Nussbaum: Women and Cultural Universals

McGinn: Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?

Korsgaard: The Sources of Normativity


Reading List for MA Comprehensive Exams at Boston College (Oral Exam, May 2004)

Ancient Philosophy

Plato: Republic, Meno, Sophist

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, Metaphysics, I, VII. Physics II, III ch. I-3, Poetics

Parmenides: On Nature

Plotinus: Enneads I, 6 (On Beauty) and 1,17 (On Time)

Medieval Philosophy

Augustine: Confessions I-XI; De Magistro

Aquinas: Summa Theologiae Part I, qq. 2-3 (the existence and simplicity of God); qq. 76, 79, 85 (union of body and soul; the intellectual powers; the mode and order of understanding); Part I-II, qq. 90-92, 94-95 (treatise on law)

Anselm: Proslogion

Modern Philosophy

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy

Hobbes: Leviathan

Hume: Treatise of Human Nature, Bk I. Parts I and III

Kant: Critique of Pure Reason, Prefaces, Introduction, Transcendental Aesthetic, Transcendental Logic, Transcendental Analytic, Books l-II; Groundworkfor the Metaphysics of Morals

19th and 20th Century philosophy

Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit

Heidegger: Being and Time; Letter on Humanism


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