The Duke Center for Philosophy of Biology offers a certificate in philosophy of biology. The certificate draws upon course work and faculty from departments of biology and philosophy, as well as from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. It is designed to enable students with substantial backgrounds in one of the two disciplines to learn about the major issues that animate research and scholarship on the intersections between biology and philosophy. The philosophy classes enable students to acquire experience in methods of philosophical analysis and to explore the broader philosophical background of problems in the philosophy of biology. The biology classes provide exposure to theoretical questions in biology that raise conceptual issues, experimental methods, and quantitative modeling with substantive and often unarticulated philosophical implications. Students generally apply to the program in their first or second years of doctoral study.

The requirements are:

  • Two 200-level seminars in Philosophy of Biology
  • Two 200-level courses in Evolution and/or developmental biology
  • A directed reading class supervised by a faculty member in the center for philosophy of biology
  • A capstone research paper
  • Regular participation in the Philosophy of Biology reading group over a two-year period

Pre-requisites for the certificate are prior enrollment in at least one 100-level class in the philosophy of science or the philosophy of biology, and at least two courses in biology at the 100 level.

For more information, please contact us.

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