DSC06118

BA in Philosophy

An attempt to understand how we live and explore the world of ideas in conversations with one another. 

Introduction

Some things are so obvious that they are hidden from us. How do you know that you aren’t dreaming? Are you the same person who started reading this sentence? Why exactly is murder wrong, and how do we know it? What makes something beautiful, or ugly, or awkward?

At the same time, the world around us is full of need. People live needlessly difficult lives.

Philosophy at Azim Premji University prepares you to answer both the hidden questions and the practical need.

We start with wondering about the big questions. You will sharpen these wonderings into clear arguments, and learn to find your own alternative views. Along the way, you will pick up rare and vital capabilities: communicating clearly, working with those you profoundly disagree with, coming up with your own ideas and testing them thoroughly. And you will practice applying your insights and capabilities to the world around you, through seminar discussions and work outside the university, in the field.

Visit our Philosophy microsite for faculty podcast, Student blogs, videos, and more.

Active and self-directed learning

Our courses help you make sense of your experiences and apply your philosophical capabilities in your social context and the world. Our courses are designed to help you reason with care, communicate with people with views different than your own, write and present your ideas simply and clearly. 

You will learn to question assumptions, develop your own arguments and views, analyse arguments critically, and collect evidence accurately. Our hope is that you will develop curiosity and empathy in your intellectual pursuits, and a commitment to public service. 

Accessible to all students

We believe that the practice of philosophical thought should be made easy for anybody to understand, and our programme is designed to help you no matter what your caste, class, region or language background. 

Apply philosophical ideas to practical contexts, and a wide choice of careers

Our programme will help you engage with challenges of representation and exclusion in society, which will help you in roles in NGOs, civil service, education and journalism. We train you to find creative solutions for complex problems.

Our philosophy programme was developed with leaders in public service, educators and academic philosophers from around the world.

WE BRING YOU INTERDISCIPLINARY OPENNESS

Our degree encourages you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning a variety of subjects across disciplines.

A COMMON CURRICULUM FOR ALL STUDENTS

You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your degree to build all the tools you need for your three years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and a workshop in creative expressions.

WE OFFER ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE

We provide active academic assistance and ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the academic programme to fulfil your aspirations.

WE ENSURE FINANCIAL SUPPORT 

We ensure that no student has to drop out of university because of financial trouble or social disadvantage. We provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Living on campus

We believe that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom. In living together, you can meet and encounter diverse people from different social and cultural backgrounds and experiences. 

Our new campus has a range of activities from discussion groups to sports and clubs for our students and faculty to interact with each other and build meaningful relationships over their years of study.

Download Brochure

Course structure

Our courses are designed to help you develop a philosophy toolbox with which you can think independently and respond to various scenarios and contexts. You will learn to reason rigorously, communicate with clarity, and critically engage with complex texts. We hope that you will be able to find creative solutions to complex problems, and learn to speak with people from different backgrounds, socially and ideologically, through seminars, field trips and discussions. 

You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of the year for these set of courses. These courses help you understand the broader contexts of each discipline and the porous borders between them. We help you build all the tools you will need for your years of study in the undergraduate programme.

We introduce you to different modes of thought and themes, including writing and communication skills, strong critical abilities, a facility for language, and the ability to connect ideas across fields of study and inquiry.

We encourage you to make links between your chosen field of study and the world in which we live.

  • Foundations

    These courses will help you develop a toolkit to prepare for your undergraduate study. You will develop your critical reading and writing skills and communication abilities.

    The key areas you will work on are language capacities, reading, writing and speaking. We will work with different forms of writing, ranging from autobiographical writing to mappings and note-taking. These classes will include classroom discussions, presentations, collaborative works, group work and practicums.

  • Creative Expressions

    In this set of courses, you will explore embodied ways of learning through a sustained practice of an art form or a sport. You could choose from a variety of interests including, but not limited to woodwork, martial arts, music, theatre, dance, yoga and visual art.

  • Understanding India

    In these courses, we will explore the nature and diversity of the Indian experience. We study the vast diversity of historical, cultural and linguistic aspects that define Indianness.

    You will learn to understand how the subcontinent has changed in its environment, across geography, geology and territory. We will think together about debates on the people who live here, their culture, and the larger questions around population and inequality. Most importantly, we examine the many structures that organise Indian society.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies

    You can choose one interdisciplinary area of study of four courses and a field practice of two weeks. These courses are about current Indian and global scenarios, whether social, political, cultural or ecological conditions.

    • Development

      Development aims to create social conditions for individual and social well being. How are development issues framed and what issues are involved in bringing about social change? What are the theoretical, conceptual and practical contestations around the political project that is development? This set of courses explores the many interdisciplinary fields like the humanities, social sciences, science and technology that inform development challenges.

    • Education

      In this set of courses, you will learn the nature and content of education, and its context and structure, especially in India. We begin by a broad overview of what a democratic conception of education entails, and what the values and ethics that define educational structures are. We examine aspects of education that encourage learning and the role of a teacher in the learning process. will explore and evaluate classroom practices and environments and learn how educational processes determine what is worth teaching.

    • Media and Democracy

      Over the course of time, human communication has been mediated by market-driven technology and gadgets. In turn, these forms of communications shape the public sphere in which ideas of what we are circulate. Modernity has had a close relationship with communication technologies.

      This is a set of courses to help you understand what role media and technologies play in shaping democracy, democratic policies and publics in India. We live in a world of unprecedented access to information. Media and communication have the capacity to deepen democracy but also the ability to foster anti-democratic politics.

    • Climate Studies

      These courses will help you develop the knowledge necessary to understand the earth’s climate systems. You will examine and analyse the role of human activity on the earth’s climate and its effects on the present and future climate scenarios, and identify the effects of climate change on biodiversity through the lens of historical changes in the Holocene. We hope you will apply systems thinking to examine the origins of the climate crisis and proposed solutions and grow comfortable with civic engagement and transfer of knowledge and resources for climate solutions at different levels.

    • Data, Democracy and Development

      The set of courses will orient you to think about data as an essential part of building empathy and democratic values. We ensure you have the requisite tools for data collection, analysis, presentation, and dissemination so that you can construct the right platforms and build technologies that embody democratic principles. These courses will foster a culture of investigation with data, keeping in mind questions of ethics and politics.

      • Development as Freedom

        Common Curriculum

        Build a broad based perspective on poverty, inequality, social policies and constitutional principles using the capabilities approach.

In the core courses, you will work on themes that help you learn rigour, creativity and self-examination. 

  • Introduction to Philosophy

    Core

    This course equips students with core philosophical capabilities, especially working with others you disagree with, clarity of expression, and building the foundations of rigorous creativity.

  • Paradoxes

    Core

    This course introduces formal systems as tools to solve specific problems, giving students the capacity to evaluate which (and whether) a particular formal system is appropriate for the problem before them.

  • Ethics

    Core

    In this course students focus on ethics as applied to concrete ethically troubling contexts within the broader context of India and learn to come up with their own views and criticisms.

  • Political Philosophy

    Core

    This course will acquaint students with major political ideologies in India and enable them to talk to and work with those they disagree with on political issues.

  • Aesthetics

    Core

    In this course, we will investigate the nature of artworks and the role they play in our lives; we will focus on specific problem cases and concrete artworks in order to answer these questions.


  • Philosophy of Measurement

    Core

    In this course, students will gain the capability of identifying and evaluating the normative presuppositions of different measurements through detailed case studies.

  • The Self

    Core

    In using insights from both analytic philosophy and Indian philosophy to grapple with questions about the self, students will develop the capability to draw ideas from one tradition to solve problems that arise in another.

  • Philosophy of the Environment

    Core

    In this capstone course, students bring together the different parts of philosophy they have studied in order to analyse problems about the relationship between humans and the environment as well as the value and moral and political status of the environment.

You can choose a stream with four courses each in a discipline outside philosophy.

You can work on developing deeper philosophical capabilities through an exploration of issues in philosophy. You can practice rigour, produce original views and compare them to other existing views. We offer this opportunity to you in groups or individually. 

Total 96 credits

Faculty