The Program of Graduate Study in Philosophy (M.A and Ph.D), which currently has the highest evaluation (7) from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), has master's and doctorate degrees, within a single area of concentration, Philosophy, organized into 4 lines of research: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art; Ethics, Political Philosophy and Theory of Human Sciences; History of Philosophy; Logic, Philosophy of Language and Philosophy of Sciences. The completion period for the master's degree is 42 months; for the doctorate degree, 54 months; and for the direct doctorate degree, 66 months.
All the professors of the Department of Philosophy are qualified to be graduate advisors, with full professors, 12 associate professors, 15 assistant professors and 17 retired professors. In addition, there are two professors from the School of Education and one from the Faculty of Economics and Administration of the University of São Paulo. The Program has 53 advisors, with 40 permanent members and 13 collaborators.
The selection process for admission to the masters and doctoral degree programs receives about 190 applications per year. Candidates take two exams - a test of philosophy and, for master’s candidates, one foreign language, or two foreign languages in the case of a doctorate - and an interview in which the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae and research project are evaluated. Approximately 70 new students per year enter the graduate program.
On average, the Program has about 260 students enrolled. In ten years (2003-2012), its student body produced 214 master's theses and 221 doctoral dissertations, totaling 435 completed work. This means on average more than 21 master's theses and more than 22 PhD dissertations are defended per year.
One of the Program's most striking features is its ability to train highly qualified teachers and professors. The program has already been able to prepare students to become faculty members in five successive academic generations, and has also served as the training center for large number of the professors of philosophy at several other universities. To get an idea of its impact in the academic world, more than 250 of the program’s graduates have become professors in institutions of higher education in Brazil and abroad.
The Program is focused mainly on research, developed in two directions: as individual work of philosophical research in one of the department’s lines of research; and work done in research groups.
The courses offered by the lines of research aim to contribute to the student’s basic training, preparing him for individual research. The graduate student is encouraged to choose and take courses from the range of subjects offered which will contribute most to his or her research. Courses are normally worth 8 credits, which means that the student must take 3 courses for the master's degree, 1 for the doctorate, or 4 courses for the direct doctorate. The small number of courses, on the other hand, is predicated on the student’s intense work in the ambit of the planned activities, by means of which the student developments her research, based on the original research project. These activities consist mainly in reading and interpreting classic texts as well as the exposition and discussion of the student’s work, in seminars and colloquia regularly organized by the advisors.
Participation in research groups, as an important instrument for the training of graduate students and an excellent way of promoting a better balance between teaching and research, is strongly encouraged. This participation has produced satisfactory results both for the autonomy and intellectual maturity of graduate students, and for the rigorous standards demanded by consistent philosophical investigation. The program currently houses 9 research and study groups, in addition to 2 laboratories: a bachelor's degree laboratory; and a laboratory of social theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis.
Perhaps the best way to get an idea of the work done in the Program is by the intellectual production of its teachers and students. In 10 years (2003-2012), the faculty published 92 books, 423 book chapters and 316 journal articles, with considerable impact on the research done in philosophy. In the same period, students published 188 articles in specialized journals. It is worth noting that this production only comes to light after discussion and approval by the supervisor or, in some cases, a good number of professors involved to the respective area of production. If, on the one hand, this increases the time for the production of the articles, on the other hand it emphasizes the strongly formative character that the Program imposes on all student production.
All the professors of the Program are dedicated to at least one research project, most of which are funded either through research grants or through specific funding from Fapesp, CAPES and CNPq.
The Program regularly promotes national and international events of great relevance to the area. Some events reflect specific initiatives of the research and study groups; others happen regularly. In addition to these longer and larger events, conferences, workshops and seminars are often organized.
The Program also supports the publication of eight periodicals, distributed in specialized journals such as Discurso, Studia Scientiae, Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Rapsódia, and volumes for the dissemination of works by students and researchers, such as Cadernos de Ética e Philosofia Política, Cadernos Nietzsche, Cadernos Espinosanos and Cadernos de Filosofia Alemã.
Since its creation, the Program has continued to create research and teaching networks with other universities. Thanks to several research projects, funded by FAPESP, CNPq and CAPES, it maintains continual connections to several educational institutions in Brazil and abroad, being the protagonist of programs of cooperation in teaching and research with universities and emerging centers. In recent years, it has completed the PQI (Professional Qualification Program) project with the Federal University of Mato Grosso and the PROCAD (National Program for Academic Cooperation) project with the Federal University of Bahia and the Federal University of Paraná. The Program currently has a DINTER (Inter-institutional Doctoral) agreement to train teachers with the Federal University of Maranhão, which provides for the training of seven PhDs from the Department of Philosophy of UFMA; and participates together with the Post-Graduate Program in Philosophy of the Federal University of Sergipe of PROMOB (Program to Encourage Mobility and Increase Academic Graduate Cooperation in Higher Education Institutions of Sergipe), which provides short-term internships for UFS students and professors at USP and for courses taught by USP professors at UFS.
The ability of USP's Graduate Philosophy Program to bring together researchers can be gauged by the number of professors from other universities who frequently visit it in order to participate in its activities. For example, in the last three years of evaluation of CAPES (2010-2012), there were 97 researchers in total, covering all regions of the country. Reciprocally, the professors of the Program gave talks and intensive courses at several Brazilian universities.
The Program has also implemented a policy of internationalization centered on the continuous exchange of teachers and students. In addition to the research and teaching relations of its professors with renowned centers outside the country, as well as the participation of its professors on the editorial committees of international journals and in international research groups, the following are also notable: the increasingly frequent presence of foreign professors participating in doctoral and masters' defenses; the participation of doctoral students in events abroad, for presentation of work and research contacts; the organization of colloquia abroad in partnership with foreign universities; and agreements for international teaching and research cooperation.
The internationalization of the Program is a reality attested to by the intense movement of foreign teachers in their activities. In the last three-year evaluation period of CAPES (2010-2012), the program received 118 foreign professors, a large number of whom taught intensive courses, gave talks, or participated in master's and doctoral defenses. At the same time, students are encouraged to spend a period of study and research outside the country. In the doctorate program, joint degrees with foreign universities, such as Paris I (Sorbonne), Tours, Mainz, and Randboud, have been an increasingly frequent practice. In these cases, the diploma is equally valid in Brazil and in the country of the foreign university.
At the same time, the Program ensures the regular acquisition of books in order to maintain its library at an international level of research. In addition to the regular purchases made by FFLCH and through the Fapesp Fapi-Books program, the Program acquires works through the technical reserve of the scholarships granted by the development agencies.
Also worth noting is the teaching internship, carried out by the Teaching Improvement Program (PAE) of FFLCH. The coordination of the Graduate Program established as a monitoring modality the aid to the preparation of seminars, the aid to the elaboration of dissertation, and the monitoring of reading activities, among other activities. Thus, in addition to providing opportunities for scholarship recipients to improve their teaching activities, PAE seeks to contribute to greater integration between the undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Prof. Dr. Carlos Eduardo de Oliveira
- Prof. Dr. Maurício Cardoso Keinert