Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Corpus has a large and vibrant community of philosophy students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Because of this, the college provides excellent opportunities for philosophical discussion. As a philosophy student, discussing philosophy is an essential part of what you do.

We admit undergraduates to read Classics, PPE, Psychology and Philosophy, Mathematics & Philosophy and Physics & Philosophy. Normally about eight undergraduates per year are admitted to Classics, seven to PPE, about two a year in Pyschology and Philosophy and smaller numbers in the other two joint schools. This means that at any one time there are about fifty undergraduates at Corpus taking philosophy as part of their degree.

We welcome students from all backgrounds, including international students, and students from schools that do not have a tradition of sending their pupils to Oxford.

No particular A-level subject is required for the philosophy part of our undergraduate courses (but there may be other entry requirements. Please refer to the University admissions website). Good philosophy students are people who are excited by philosophical questions and who are determined to work hard in order to think clearly about them. We are looking for people with enquiring and critical minds. Philosophers tend to enjoy questioning things that other people ordinarily take for granted. To do this well one needs to be able to think clearly and express oneself precisely, sometimes about very abstract issues. It is an exciting but demanding subject. We expect a high level of commitment from our students, but in turn we provide them with a high level of support.

The philosophy section of our library is the envy of students elsewhere. It is well equipped to meet the needs of both graduates and undergraduates.

We are very proud of our graduate students, who in the last few years have achieved outstanding marks on the BPhil. The student with the highest marks on the BPhil is often from Corpus. There are always several graduates reading philosophy at Corpus. They are attracted both by the excellence of Corpus' library and by the importance of philosophy in the life of the college. 

Corpus is the only Oxford college to be associated with two established chairs in philosophy; currently held by Professors Jeff McMahan and Mike Martin. These two professorships, together with its two tutorial fellowships and its frequent Junior Research Fellowship positions, make Corpus one of the most philosophical colleges at Oxford. Moreover, the college's strengths in classics and in law are also attractive for students working in related areas of philosophy. The college is the home of the Corpus Classics Centre.

Of our two professorial fellows, Jeff McMahan works mainly on ethics, with particular interests in issues involveing or related to harming, killing, and saving.

Our tutorial fellow is Professor Mark Wrathall and Dr David Lee is a college lecturer teaching ancient philosophy.  It is the intention of the College to appoint a Fellow in Ancient Philosophy to take up post in October 2019.

Corpus is also home to a research fellow, Dr Marmodoro, who is the director of a five year research project in ancient metaphysics, 'Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies'. In addition to ancient philosophy, Dr Marmodoro has research interests in medieval philosophy, contemporary metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of religion.

Suggestions for preliminary reading:

Thomas Nagel, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (OUP)
Edward Craig, Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)
Julia Annas, Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)
Graham Priest, Logic: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)

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