Institute of Philosophic Studies
The Ph.D. granting division of the University of Dallas is the Institute of Philosophic Studies. The IPS attempts to correct the tendency in higher education at the Ph.D. level
toward increasing specialization at the expense of utility, ever more barbarous and
repugnant technical jargon at the expense of intelligibility, and indifference to
the need human beings have to make good choices in life. Yet the primary aim of education,
so we assert, is to supply useful knowledge, expressed with clarity, and ordered in
accordance with a notion of the good. This is the aim of the University's undergraduate
program, and it is the aim of the IPS to produce teachers who can promote this aim
in classrooms of their own at institutions of higher learning throughout the country.
The IPS attempts to fulfill this aim by offering a coherent and unified graduate program
that finds its chief expression in its Core Curriculum, a curriculum that summons the IPS faculty and students to the task of recovery and
renewal of the tradition of Western liberal education and the Christian intellectual
life. Recovery says that there is wisdom in the past. It insists that those who went
before have much yet to teach those who come after. It holds that in the search for
wisdom about the most important things, the ingenious, formative minds of the past
should be chief companions in the inquiry. Moreover, it implies that any grasp of
present realities and any serious projects for the future are intimately bound up
with the principles of the tradition. Renewal reminds us that history always puts
a new face on the difficulties that beset those who endeavor to seek truth and justice
in their own time.
The IPS faculty accepts the challenge to think critically and creatively about the
most significant issues. Indeed, it is the compelling force of our questions today
that gives direction and purpose to our study of the tradition. It is with this sense
of purpose that our doctoral students are asked to examine at their deepest level
the principles of Western liberal learning.
Earn your Ph.D. in Philosophy, Politics or Literature.
Philosophy, Politics and Literature are the three concentrations offered by the Institute.
Although they are distinct ways of knowing, each engages fundamental questions that
concern the whole context of existence. Philosophy and Politics represent the fundamental
speculative and practical modes of inquiry respectively, while Literature presents
the lived through possibilities embodying philosophy in a whole life. These three
disciplines together are cut across and penetrated by the dialogue between faith and
reason rooted in revelation and sustained by theology. The Core Curriculum and its
interdisciplinary character enable students to participate in a common quest for wisdom
through the differing and complementary disciplines.
Consider First Things.
The primary vehicle of instruction is the close study of great texts that are distinguished
by their power to illumine reflective minds across generations and cultures. Although
each of these works presents a face of the human soul and its deepest moral and metaphysical
concerns in concrete, particular historical contexts, they also possess the genius
to lead reflective thinkers into a consideration of first things.