Why study philosophy in Tartu?

Is the increasing polarization of modern society the product of rational thinking? To what extent should science be led by citizens? Do vaccine passports discriminate against the unvaccinated? How does state-funded communal memory (e.g. of public statues) shape our understanding of what’s acceptable in society? These are philosophical questions whose answers have a direct bearing on how we should proceed in meeting the challenges of our age. Our ability to properly answer these questions depends on our ability to find defensible answers to other more foundational philosophical questions like: What is it to be rational? What is objectivity? Can moral claims like “vaccine mandates are unjust” be true just like, say, claims about atoms or the geographical location of St Petersburg?

When you join the University of Tartu Department of Philosophy, you’ll be joining a highly ranked department (within the top 200 philosophy departments in the world according to the QS University Rankings) whose researchers work to address important philosophical questions of these various sorts using the tools of philosophical inquiry. The Department invites candidates (both those with a background in philosophy and those with a background in another discipline) to train in the use of these tools and to acquire knowledge of the contemporary debates currently unfolding between theorists on these and related matters.

A student admitted to our programme develops these skills and this knowledge by pursuing an amalgamation of study and supervised-research that they have tailored both to their own background and to where they want to use these skills after graduating. Graduates of our programme go on to work in organizations that require the skills our programme trains such as start-ups, think tanks, non-governmental organizations and research universities.

Bruno Mölder, Head of the Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics

An MA degree is a small but important step on the path to becoming a philosopher. To become a philosopher, it's not enough to read books and attend lectures. One has to immerse oneself deeply in philosophical problems and learn the art of thinking. The Tartu Philosophy MA program provides the best support in the region for this kind of individual development. If you enter our program, together with your supervisor you will design your own study plan, tailored to your individual needs. You will receive research experience and extensive individual tutoring. You have the chance to take that decisive step towards becoming a philosopher.

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