Philosophy

At Oxford, philosophy can only be studied in combination with other subjects.

Most philosophy students at Pembroke take Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), but the College admits students to all Philosophy joint schools except Classics and Computer Science. These schools are Philosophy and Modern Languages; Psychology and Philosophy; Physics and Philosophy; Philosophy and Theology; Mathematics and Philosophy.

Although their philosophy components are differently focused, a central core provides considerable overlap between the philosophy components of all the joint schools. So applicants primarily interested in philosophy should choose joint schools according to their interest in the subject or subjects with which it might be combined. A difficult choice might be made easier by talking informally to one of the Philosophy Tutors here at Pembroke prior to applying to the College (details below).

Course Details

PPE is the most flexible school, and judicious selection of topics (after the first year) from, say, Politics, results in a course resembling many straight degrees in philosophy. By contrast, students in other joint schools must pursue both subjects of the school with more or less equal intensity. In Psychology and Philosophy, Philosophy and Theology, Mathematics and Philosophy, and Physics and Philosophy, the areas of philosophy most closely connected to the other subject - respectively, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of physics - are obligatory. In Philosophy and Modern Languages, the most closely connected subjects - the philosophy of art (aesthetics) and the philosophy of language - are merely optional.

Although their philosophy components are differently focused, a central philosophical core provides considerable overlap between the philosophy components of all the joint schools. So applicants primarily interested in philosophy should choose joint schools according to their interest in the subject or subjects with which it might be combined. A difficult choice might be made easier by consulting the University's Regulations, by consulting the entry in the University Prospectus for the relevant joint schools, or by talking informally to the Philosophy Tutor here at Pembroke prior to applying to the College.