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Best Schools for Studying Philosophy?

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Hey all,

A good friend of mine is seriously considering majoring in philosophy in college, and asked me if I knew of any schools with good philosophy departments. He's not an Objectivist (yet, he hasn't had time to read any of the books I'm so eager to lend him, being a Junior in high school), so I can't expect him to accept something like Founder's College (which I'm not even convinced is the best choice), but he is a brilliant, rational guy and I'd hate to see his mind destroyed by modern philosophy. Are there any schools out there with good philosophy departments? This kid is the kind who, if introduced to the right ideas, could become a vital part of the inellectual revolution America so sorely needs (He wants to be a professor).



P.S. We've recently been having sporadic philosophical discussions, and when I brought up metaphysics and the various views on it, he seemed most interested in an objective metaphysics.

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If you're talking about studying philosophy at the undergraduate level, then I wouldn't choose a school based on its philosophy department.

I also wonder what you mean by "good philosophy departments." If you mean respected philosophy departments, there are quite a few. If you mean rational philosophy departments, I don't think there are that many. Founders College will probably have a great department, since Gary Hull is spearheading it.


I believe the departments of Duke, UT — Austin, and Seton Hall all have Objectivists.

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University of Chicago has an active Objectivist club, and they seem to be the only school in Chicago to have classes specifically on Aristotle (as opposed to having to learn Aristotle as part of a survey class on "Ancient Philosophy").

In most places studying philosophy will do more harm then good, since all courses tend to start with the "father of modern philosophy" ;)

If he picks one of those schools, try to encourage him to pursue disciplines outside of the humanities.

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The Philosophical Gourmet has some good advice for choosing a philosophy program. If your friend wants to be a professor, he will of course need to spend a long time in graduate school. That means he will need to have a solid background in the analytic tradition, which currently dominates philosophy. Going to Founders College would most certainly handicap him.

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