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Ancient Philosophy


roundtwo

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All,

I'm hoping to put together a last-minute thread to open up some discussion of ancient philosophy—it looks like there are a few of us around the forum, but I think it might be helpful and/or interesting to consolidate.

Personally, I'd love to hear from others who have an ancient/classical AOS/AOI: where you applied or have gotten in, whether you applied to any "classical philosophy phd" or "ancient phd" programs, what your language experience is, what your writing sample is on, et cetera. From what I understand, admissions procedures can be a bit different for these sorts of programs (not unlike HPS, I believe): For example, I know at Yale my application was read by the classics department as well...all quiet on the New Haven front, unfortunately. 

I'll start: I'm interested primarily in early Plato/Socratic philosophy. Of particular interest: connections between Socratic method and moral psychology, conceptions of belief, intellectualism, and so on. Also increasingly captivated by various bits of Aristotle's hylomorphism. Admitted to WashU and Notre Dame thus far (rejected from 4 other programs, with a handful of presumed rejections as well). 

Others?

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Hi!  Yay it's great to hear from other ancient people :) I'm interested in ancient and comparative epistemology--this year I'm writing my senior thesis on belief and knowledge in the Republic and Theaetetus (so not too far off from your interests!).  My writing sample was on Pyrrhonism in Sextus Empiricus and how it got adopted by Michel de Montaigne to figure out whether Christianity and Pyrrhonian skepticism are philosophically compatible (turns out they are, interestingly enough).

So far my only acceptance is to Cornell (which is super exciting--hello Gail Fine!!).  I would have a pretty hard time deciding between there and Columbia if I get in, so we'll see if that's a decision I have to make!

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Oops, I didn't know that my Yale application would also be read by the classics department. To be honest, my writing sample is not necessarily classics friendly. 

 

Plato is my main man, but I like to get into Aristotle a bit as well. For Plato, I'm really into his method and the literary aspects of his dialogues. I'm also really into continental philosophy and do both simultaneously. I like Heidegger (obvs) and Hegel and Kant and Levinas. I really dig Jewish philosophy, actually. I also have a side interest in alchemy and magic (in philosophical ways, don't worry). All my stats are in my signature. I've had decent luck, but my application probably screams continental rather than ancient, and my writing sample is a bit risky for more traditional programs. 

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15 minutes ago, doxazein918 said:

Hi!  Yay it's great to hear from other ancient people :) I'm interested in ancient and comparative epistemology--this year I'm writing my senior thesis on belief and knowledge in the Republic and Theaetetus (so not too far off from your interests!).  My writing sample was on Pyrrhonism in Sextus Empiricus and how it got adopted by Michel de Montaigne to figure out whether Christianity and Pyrrhonian skepticism are philosophically compatible (turns out they are, interestingly enough).

So far my only acceptance is to Cornell (which is super exciting--hello Gail Fine!!).  I would have a pretty hard time deciding between there and Columbia if I get in, so we'll see if that's a decision I have to make!

Jelly you get to work with Fine! 

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Call me odd, but I really like Aristotle's theoretical philosophy -- especially his science, phil mind, and categories. Anyone else?

 

also, Plato's abuse of poets and sophists is just hilarious. I think the Ion is my favorite dialogue.

Edited by oldhatnewtricks
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Ancient people! Like my signature says, I did philosophy/classics during my undergrad, and am currently finishing a one-year MA in classics (with a focus on ancient philosophy). So far, I've been accepted to UofT and Chicago, and waitlisted at Berkeley. I've applied almost entirely to ancient philosophy specialist programs - I figured it was the best way to make my non-philosophy MA seem appealing to departments. I'm interested in the role that philosophical theology plays in the philosophical systems of antiquity, and this year I've also discovered a love for Aristotelean metaphysics. My writing sample was on the nature of epistēmē in the Meno. I argued that Plato, in the dialogue, only thinks we can have knowledge (strictly speaking) when a complete and coherent network of latent true propositions (present in the soul ante-natally) is made conscious through elenchus - to know any one thing, we must know everything, and know how all these things cohere with each other. From there, I argue that Plato reifies this latent innate network when he first posits the eidē in the Phaedo, and that the conclusion of the Meno (that virtue-as-knowledge is present by theia moira) ought to be taken quite seriously as an expression of the role Socrates and other philosophers play in human lives (as articulated in the ApologyIon, and elsewhere).

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