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About the Program

MA in Philosophy and Social Thought Program is designed as a centre for philosophical research and education aiming to provide students with a strong background in the history of philosophy and to focus on the ways in which art theory and social and political thought intersect in modern society.

The Program offers students the possibility of working in two different but related conceptual frameworks: ‘Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Social Sciences,’ and ‘Philosophical Perspectives on Art and Technology.’ Both fields will seek to construct a community of researchers whose main concern is to understand philosophy not as an argumentative skill but as a practice deeply informed by ethics and thoroughly embedded in cultural history. Students are expected to reread and comment on the classics of philosophy and approach contemporary problems from this perspective.

Concentration in ‘Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Social Sciences’ takes social science to be part of the domain it intends to explore and thus contained within social and political thought. This reflexive stance suggests a study of methodology that takes the socio-political background of science into serious consideration, and an approach to political philosophy as a practice informed and mediated by social sciences. The area designated as ‘Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Social Sciences’ intends therefore to constructively combine these two fields.

In the historical development of philosophy the notion of ‘techne’ is of key significance. Originally meaning simply practical knowledge, the idea later came to have two distinct and even opposed senses: technology and art. As technology became a dominant feature of modern society its relationship to the fine arts became a crucial focus in critical thought in the twentieth century. The area designated ‘Philosophical Perspectives on Art and Technology’ seeks to readdress this problematic in relation to the ‘soft’ technologies of the twenty-first century.

One of the fundamental objectives of the MA Program in Philosophy and Social Thought is to make a complementary contribution to the activities of the Santral Campus as a centre for arts and culture. Since the dominance of the conceptual paradigm contemporary art has involved a critical synthesis of practice and theory. Located in a site which itself hosts many artistic activities, studios and exhibition venues, the MA Program in Philosophy and Social Thought will be in an ideal position to constitute a space for the discussion of art theory through its research seminars and by hosting activities open to public participation.

In light of the observations and concerns stated above, the MA Program in Philosophy and Social Thought is conceived of as a focus of activity seeking to intellectually interact with the cultural milieu it belongs to and to provide a centre of gravity for the fields of research concerned.