Master of Arts in Philosophy

with a Focus on the Arts and Aesthetics


Many of the questions that occasioned Plato’s reflection on art are still with us: What is the relationship between art and truth? Is the task of the artist to represent already existing things or to create altogether new things? Is the spectator of art to be regarded as a mere witness or as an active participant?

What is the role of emotion in the experience of art? What are the most salient differences between the various arts?

Other questions have arisen with increasing urgency in more recent times: What does psychoanalysis have to teach us about the place of art in our lives? How are class, race, and gender pertinent to the production and enjoyment of art? Do we need to re-conceive aesthetics in view of a global electronic culture?

Art and philosophy are typically pursued in separation from each other, with only the rare single course considering both at once. Yet philosophical dimensions of art have become of increasing concern to artists, art historians, art critics, and philosophers themselves in the last decade. For example, the question as to what constitutes an artwork – i.e., what are its material and social conditions and limits – has been much debated and is an example of a specific theme to be treated in offerings at Stony Brook Manhattan.

No other set of courses with a comparable emphasis exists in the New York area. Thus, artists, who consider philosophical features of their work, the educated public, art collectors and art administrators, and those who seek to earn a master's degree in philosophy, will be interested in this unique opportunity.

The Philosophy Department of Stony Brook University has been internationally recognized for its focus on contemporary European philosophy and its interdisciplinary orientation. To those interested in pursuing a rigorous and rewarding post-graduate degree in Manhattan, a Master of Arts in Philosophy offers courses, resources, and faculty previously accessible only on Stony Brook University's Long Island campus.

Considering applying? Click on Admissions for more detailed information.

More questions? Contact the program director: Mary Rawlinson,



Department of Philosophy      Harriman Hall 213, Stony Brook, NY 11794     Phone: (631) 632-7570
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