Philosophy Major at Princeton

Can anyone provide insight into the Philosophy major at Princeton?

Philosophy at Princeton is formidable. Regarded as one of the top 10 programs in the world (#8 in World; #5 in the US). Within the US the only school’s that rank higher are University of Pittsburgh, NYU, Rutgers, and Harvard.

Princeton is renowned for it’s impressive faculty members, this major reinforces that, with a number of prominent philosophers onboard - inclusive of Peter Singer, notably the most prominent academic philosopher in the world today.

The discipline really creates critical thinkers with flexible minds, in a similar way to math (but without the math, haha). One of my friends who is extremely good at math and could easily major in it (which is no mean feat here) is majoring in philosophy instead, partially because it uses the same kind of analytical skills.


I went to Princeton. I loved it and will continue to say so. In addition, I love Philosophy - I didn’t pursue it as a concentration at Princeton, but have always been an assiduous follower. I have read all of the greats: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, Hume etc.

Although I agree that Peter Singer is one of the world’s leading philosophers (by namesake only); he is a fool. Not only is he foolish, he is also thoroughly evil, dispassionate, and dangerous. Utilitarianism is perhaps the single worst ethical belief known to man. It’s just wrong on so many levels.

For those that have not heard of Singer, he has previously stated the following (paraphrased):

“Most opponents of abortion, attack the assertion that a fetus is a ‘person’ at conception, and argue that, since it is not a person, it’s all right to kill it. I argue, however, that it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s a person. Since it can’t make any conscious, voluntary decisions, it’s ok to kill it.”

He continues later to say that killing newborn infants is never as morally reprehensible as killing an older human being, because it hasn’t developed all of it’s “human qualities” yet (speaking, walking, etc.)

I’m aware that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to me this depicts a high level of naivety.

@Princeton.Tiger Instead of name-calling and throwing insults. How about using reason, explain why he’s wrong? why his views are incorrect? why he is a “fool” so to speak?

Also, why don’t you try answering the initial question within this forum by providing insight into the Philosophy major at Princeton…

If you were to engage with Peter in an argument, expressing your distaste for his theories and concepts, he’d really challenge your reasoning as to why. Quite honestly, having seen the depth of your response, I highly doubt you’d be much of a contender. Reinforcing your argument is a good start. He would tear your ideas to pieces and then trample your remnants beneath his hooves. Have a look at this work again, and try appreciate the intriguing, challenging line of reasoning behind all of his assertions.

When he and another well-regarded professor of philosophy, Michael Sandel of Harvard University spoke at Amherst College. Even he couldn’t defeat the sensibility of Singer’s reasoning, regardless of how hard he tried. So, give it a rest: the man is one of Princeton University’s most precious assets.


Hey @anonymous77 -

I actually majored in Philosophy at Princeton.

Yeah, I mean, because the major is so broad and flexible, most philosophy majors have totally different experiences during their time here. Because we are required to take any specific classes (just 8 departmentals that fit certain areas in philosophy), Some people tend to concentrate in certain areas.

All in all, what that website says about the department being the top in the country is true, if not to a further extent. The top three philosophy departments are probably princeton, harvard, and rutgers, with USC, Pitt, and UMich, NYU following closely behind. The faculty are absolutely brilliant and most are also great lecturers/mentors

I would ignore the whole thing about peter singer on the website. I’m not even sure if he’s a regular faculty member or just associated faculty. Every prof is at the top of their area and super well respected.

Some downsides of the department includes the fact that most philosophy majors kind of keep to themselves and so there isn’t much in the way of a group identity like you see in MAE. If that matters to you, it may be a downside. There are also a few professors who are so well respected in their field that they don’t really care too much about their advisees, but that’s a minority and those kinds of profs exist in any department.

MAE = “Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering”

If you’re wanting more information, view Princeton’s Undergraduate Philosophy site.

I hope this helps somewhat :slight_smile:

@Princeton.Tiger Please let’s keep all discussion on here civil and objective. It’s okay to disagree, but if you could rationalise why instead of name-calling, that would be great. Cheers

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