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UNINE_PHILO_banner.jpg (Neuchâtel, UniNe, septembre 2016)

Curriculum objectives

Objectives of a Master's degree programme with a branch of philosophy

Master's studies, together with the Bachelor's degree, constitute the basic university training course. The Master's programme is the second programme. The training offered in the curriculum, which includes a philosophy branch at Master level, aims to acquire advanced intellectual and communicative skills of two kinds.

I. The training aims at acquiring skills specifically related to philosophical activity, such as:

  • express and promote a broad knowledge of the different fields of modern and contemporary philosophy, systematically considered with their own problems;
  • express and promote a broad knowledge of the history of modern and contemporary philosophy;
  • formulate relevant questions and theses about texts and philosophical problems;
  • construct and evaluate arguments relating to texts and philosophical problems;
  • interpret in a relevant and comparative manner major texts of the history of modern and contemporary philosophy in their own contexts;
  • analyse in a thorough and systematic way the philosophical problems discussed in these texts;
  • distinguish the relationships and contrasts between philosophy and other scientific and other knowledge;
  • develop a personal reflection that is both rigorous and creative on philosophical issues;
  • carry out personal and critical research independently, including documentary research, under the supervision of a teacher, as part of a Master's thesis.

II. The training also aims to acquire skills that are essential in philosophical activity, but also very useful in the pursuit of advanced studies in other academic disciplines, and which prove particularly fruitful and enriching in many extra-academic professional activities, in the public life of the student as a citizen, and in the sphere of his/her private life. For example:

  • cultivate oral and written expression in the exchange and debate of ideas;
  • consider a general thesis from a variety of perspectives, taking into account the reasons that others may have for thinking differently;
  • combine in-depth analysis with a broad but precise synthesis of issues depending on various historical and/or systematic contexts;
  • clearly explain the long-term challenges of the different positions in question;
  • develop critical thinking (for example, question acquired intellectual habits, seek counter-examples to a questionable generalization, uncover questionable consequences of a theory, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a position);
  • justify his opinion rationally, by a rigorous argumentation that takes into account his own distinct views;
  • in short, to apply philosophical methods to the discussion of problems without easy solutions, encountered in other academic disciplines, in the complex and changing society in which we live, or in the events of our own lives.