I am a graduate student in mathematics but I've done philosophy in high school (we have majors in high school where I live). Having gone through a bachelor in mathematics, I would like to revisit philosophy and I was wondering if a study plan/syllabus explaining what the major courses an undergrad student in philosophy is expected to take was out there somewhere. I am looking for something akin to this: https://github.com/ossu/computer-science

This is my first question on this stackexchange so please let me know if this question is off-topic or opinion-based. I am not looking for personal opinions necessarily, though I wouldn't mind it per se.

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    If I understand correctly, what you are looking for is not a syllabus, which would be for a single course, but an online degree plan in philosophy, which would have a list of courses needed to complete it. There is a website Best Online Philosophy Degree Programs with links to some such plans. The links will take you to program details with the courses listed, e.g. here is the one for UNC-Greensboro. Lists depend on a program's specific emphasis.
    – Conifold
    Aug 16, 2021 at 19:54
  • Thank you very much for your comment, yes this is exactly what I am looking for!
    – Saegusa
    Aug 16, 2021 at 20:08
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    You may have a look at Honderich's Oxford Companion To Philosophy. At the end of the volume, you have maps representing either of whole field divided into sub-disciplins or each subfield divided into major topics, with the relations holding between these topics. Aug 17, 2021 at 9:49
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    Also The Philosophy Study Guide provided ( online) by the university of London gives a good idea of the subject. Aug 17, 2021 at 9:51
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    To make things simple, philosophy is divided into (1) Logic ( mainly, the study of deductive systems and theories) (2) metaphysics (3) epistemology and philosophy of science (4) ethics (5) political philosophy Aug 17, 2021 at 9:54

2 Answers 2


To some extent, there is no single thing that is a syllabus for philosophy, since it is such a broad subject and can be studied in different ways. It would even be possible for two people to have a degree in philosophy and to have studied very little in common. Some courses place a considerable emphasis on historical philosophy and like to structure their treatment of subjects around what the major philosophers said. Others take a more subject-oriented approach and only refer to historical philosophers when they consider it relevant.

Here is a possible syllabus. To some extent, it reflects my own preference for philosophy in the analytical tradition.

Historical philosophy.

  • Greek philosophers: pre-socratics, Plato, Aristotle
  • Modern philosophers: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. (Philosophers use the term 'modern' to refer to the post-medieval period, roughly from Descartes to Kant.)
  • Phenomenology and existentialists: Brentano, Husserl, Kierkegaard, Nietsche, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre.
  • Recent philosophers in the analytical tradition: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine.


  • First order predicate logic (Since you are a mathematician, you will already know this. But there is a great deal more to logic than the fragment that mathematicians study. In fact, in my experience, mathematicians tend to know surprisingly little about logic.)
  • Informal aspects of logic and critical thinking
  • Confirmation theory. Paradoxes of confirmation
  • Logic of conditionals (tends to get ignored in most logic texts)
  • Modal logic
  • Philosophy of logic


  • Theories of knowledge, belief and truth.
  • Justification and skepticism.
  • Perception.
  • Innate knowledge.
  • A priori and a posteriori


  • Ontology
  • Universals
  • Substance and essence
  • Realism vs nominalism
  • Causality
  • Modality
  • Space and time

Philosophy of Language.

  • theories of meaning and reference
  • intentionality and intensionality
  • language and thought
  • semantics and pragmatics
  • speech acts
  • semiotics

Philosophy of Mind

  • Identity and the self
  • Mind/body, mind/matter relationship
  • Qualia and consciousness
  • Freedom and determinism


  • Meta-ethical theories: virtue theories, naturalist theories, deontological theories, non-cognitivism, utilitarianism, etc.
  • Ethical issues.


Philosophy of Law (Jurisprudence)

Political Philosophy.

Philosophy of Science.

Philosophy of Mathematics.

Philosophy of Religion.

  • Thank you very much, this is highly appreciated.
    – Saegusa
    Aug 17, 2021 at 10:37

I find it helps to break the study of philosophy into 2 areas: The History of Philosophy (e.g. A-Z), ancient to modern. And practising the habit of observing and reflecting on nature and natural phenomena, and mimicking the Pre-Socratics, asking questions how or why. For example, I think light refraction is interesting, then I study this in general. Once understood, I move on to a different subject - physics and nature, life and thinking about nature.

I also find it helps to consider ethics and morals by working in community projects - such as helping the homeless, which gives a chance to consider Stoicism. Also working with community groups, helping to improve and progress the interests of a community, well-being.

I study logic not by Philosopher - but by subject, though being aware of inventors of whichever aspect, of course.

I think, there is the study of the history of philosophy AND to live a philosophical life - first requires reading, the second requires to be an active part of the community - or the dêmos, as was in Ancient Greek democracy, and γνῶθι σεαυτόν - to Know Thyself through personal development and facing challenges and achieving personal goals.

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