At Bennington, students work closely with faculty to design the content, structure, and sequence of their study and practice—their Plan—taking advantage of resources inside and outside the classroom to pursue their work.
From ethics and political philosophy to aesthetics and ancient Greek philosophy to Marx, Kant, Wittgenstein, and topics in continental philosophy—Bennington’s philosophy curriculum provides students with a solid sense of the nature of philosophical inquiry and invites them to consider how philosophical concerns and methods can be incorporated into their studies across the curriculum.
In small, discussion-driven classes, students at all levels grapple with primary texts, engage in multiple writing assignments, and become articulate in the expression of ideas and arguments. Students who undertake advanced, thesis-level work meet in a workshop-style seminar and produce a research paper modeled on the style of a peer-reviewed academic journal article. Students are expected to share and comment on the work of their classmates and form a community of inquiry. The aim is not only to produce a substantial piece of philosophical writing but to experience the public character of intellectual work. Faculty members also share their ongoing research to model the tasks assigned and to encourage a sense of peer-to-peer discussion.