Philosophy PhD

Recover wisdom of the "first things."

The aim of philosophy at the University of Dallas is to recover the possibility of a wisdom dealing with those "first things" which ground and locate human experience within the whole of being. Philosophy explores the totality of human existence. It analyzes the frameworks within which other human endeavors occur and recommends ways in which they might be situated so as to throw light on the character of the totality. Such illumination, in turn, af­fects those other human endeavors by giving them perspective. By reason of its location in a Catholic institution, the Department is particularly interested in the ways revelation has led to developments within a properly philosophic wisdom available to believers and nonbelievers alike.

Dialogue with the masters. 

The major tool of philosophic research lies in the careful study of classical texts from Plato and Aristotle to Heidegger and Wittgenstein. The cultivation of competence in logic and facility in at least one classical and one modern language are viewed as indispensable auxiliaries in the project. The underlying conviction is that texts which have continually attracted reflective minds throughout the centuries contain profound insights into the fundamental issues of being and thought, and that we neglect such insights at our own peril, especially since they have been instrumental in the formation of our own mental horizon. Hence polemical reaction takes second place to sympathetic dialogue. Not so much "Where do they go wrong?" as "What did they see?" governs the approach. Such an approach does not aim at the indifferent cataloguing of historical positions. Rather, it aims at understanding "the things themselves" through dialogue with the masters. The aim is to see the same things in different ways and thereby learn to assess the value and limitations of the differing ways with a view toward an ever-deepening wisdom of the whole.

Philosophy Ph.D. Program Director: Joshua Parens, Ph.D.

News

Professors Awarded NEH Grant to Support Writing Programs

Chair and Associate Professor of English Debra Romanick Baldwin, Ph.D., and Professor of Physics and recent Interim Dean of Constantin College Sally Hicks, Ph.D., have secured a $299,078 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support writing instruction at UD for the fall 2020 semester.

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You Can Do What with a (Spanish) Degree?

His first step was to enroll in physician’s assistant school at Baylor’s College of Medicine, a career trajectory to which he had aspired since his early childhood. Nowadays, Jonathan Cunningham, BA ’17, is dedicated to the vocational pursuit of comfort and healing at MD Anderson in Houston, among the largest cancer treatment centers in the U.S., where he was once a chemotherapy patient himself.

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History Alumnus Heads National Catholic Bioethics Center

During his Rome semester in 1991, Joseph Meaney, BA '93, with his friends (now Father) Kevin Cook, BA '94, and (now Texas State Representative and UD Trustee) Tan Parker, BA '93, attended a private Mass with Pope St. John Paul II. Several weeks earlier, they had hand-delivered a letter to the Swiss Guards outside St. Peter's requesting the Mass and including their contact information; at last, they'd received the phone call instructing them to be at the Bronze Gates at 5 a.m.

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