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Specialisations

Specialisations

The Department of Philosophy at Radboud University offers the entire range of philosophical disciplines. However, when you enrol in the Research Master programme you are expected to choose a specialisation that is linked to one of the following research programmes:

Metaphysics and Epistemology

In this specialisation we mainly focus on how metaphysical questions are affected by hermeneutical philosophy as it has developed in the 19th, 20th and 21st century, key figures being: Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Derrida.

Philosophical Anthropology

In this specialisation, you’ll study the philosophical significance of questions related to approaches in phenomenological, psychoanalysis and gender and feminist theory. Key authors for this specialisation are, in alphabetical order: Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Philosophical Ethics

In this specialisation, you will research the moral conflicts and ethical issues in contemporary Western culture and set them against the backdrop of continental European philosophy. Key authors for this specialisation are, in chronological order: Aristoteles, Thomas van Aquino, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Heidegger, Gadamer, Levinas, Ricoeur, Habermas, Taylor and Toulmin.

Social and Political Philosophy

In this specialisation, you will study ‘the political' as an essential but conflict-ridden aspect of the human condition, and how politics is a way of coping with the issues resulting from this. Aristotle, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Hobbes, Kant, Marx, Schmitt, Arendt, Rawls, Zizek and Foucault are central figures in this specialisation.

Philosophy of Language

In this specialisation, you will learn to research the relationship between language and verbal and non-verbal communication in the context of social interaction. You will also study language from an evolutionary point of view.

Philosophy of Mind

In this specialisation, you will discover the mysteries of the mind and some of the most profound questions about ourselves, such as: What is it to have a mind? How is our mind created by our brain? What is consciousness? How can our mental states drive our actions? Do we have free will? What is it that makes (most) human beings persons? And do we understand other people’s mind?

History of Philosophy and History of Science

In this specialisation, you will explore specific issues in the history of philosophy and science from antiquity to the contemporary period. You can specialise in areas as diverse as: ancient cosmologies, medieval natural philosophy, the Scientific Revolution and the birth of modern philosophy, idealism and phenomenology, the emergence and end of the metaphysical tradition and philosophy in the technological age.

Philosophy of Religion

This specialisation focuses on contemporary philosophical reflections on religion in a (post)secular society and in a global age. In this specialisation you will also study the relation between philosophy and religion in non-Western contexts – for example in the Eastern (Indian) tradition, in the African context or in an Islamic context. The specialisation thus offers a combination of a focus on a Western philosophical body of thought and a comparative global approach to philosophical reflections on religion.

You can find more information about these eight research programmes at our website for future students.

As a Research Master student, you must choose a specialisation that formally falls under the responsibility of one of the following professors:

  • Philosophy of Language and Logic (Prof. B. Geurts)
  • Philosophy of Mind (Prof. M.V.P. Slors)
  • Metaphysics and Epistemology (Prof. G.-J. van der Heiden)
  • Philosophical Anthropology (Prof. P.I.M.M. Van Haute)
  • Philosophical Ethics (Prof. J.-P. Wils)
  • Social and Political Philosophy (Prof. E. van der Zweerde)
  • History of Philosophy and History of Science (Prof. P.J.J.M. Bakker, Prof. C.H. Lüthy, Prof. C.R. Palmerino)
  • Philosophy of Religion (Prof. H. Westerink)