Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

Courses of Study

Course of Study for the PCC PhD Program

The PCC program has been designed to help shape the intellectual, moral, and spiritual leadership necessary for meeting historic global challenges.

Drawing upon some of the most powerful ideas and impulses of our philosophical, scientific, and religious traditions, the faculty has constructed an intensive multidisciplinary course of study to help accelerate students' journeys into their particular leadership roles within this work.

Students may earn either their MA or PhD, with a track in Integral Ecology, if they choose (see below for more on the Integral Ecology track).

Both the MA and the PhD programs strive to embrace the degree goals throughout the curriculum, and should be understood in the context of an overarching commitment to the cultivation of creative vitality and spiritual insight.

 

PhD Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program endeavors to cultivate in its graduate students both intellectual rigor and sympathetic imaginative faculties for entering fruitfully into a multiplicity of world views, historical eras, and cultural sensibilities.  By understanding transformative historical and contemporary ideas, students develop the ability to discern vibrantly creative possibilities for bringing about life-enhancing futures.

The PCC PhD program encompasses all the PCC MA goals, requiring greater sophistication and nuance in scholarly work from PhD students, and adds two additional goals for PhD students.

 

Goal 1: Global Change Agents

To generate creative and effective thinking about the unprecedented evolutionary challenge of the ecological, cultural, and spiritual crisis that is currently facing the human and nonhuman members of the Earth community.

Student Learning Outcome 1:               

Students will be able to articulate sophisticated critiques of the causes and consequences of the current global crises, reflecting an understanding of human embeddedness in the planetary community.

Student Learning Outcome 2:               

In response to the currently dominant worldview, students will be able to generate alternatives that promote a sustainable and flourishing future for the broader Earth community.

Goal 2: Sophisticated Evaluation          

To develop and apply appreciative and critical evaluations of major transitions in Western world views that have contributed to the current planetary situation.

 

Student Learning Outcome 3:               

Students will be able to speak and write cogently about the nature of world views for a variety of scholarly and popular audiences.

 

Student Learning Outcome 4:               

Students will be able to critically reflect upon the history and evolution of Western world views.

 

Student Learning Outcome 5:               

Students will be able to critically engage with dominant paradigmatic elements in the history of ideas and culture, with a focus on Western world views.

 

Goal 3: Transdisciplinarity

To critique, evaluate, and apply transdisciplinary scholarship.

 

Student Learning Outcome 6:               

Students will demonstrate competence in transdisciplinary thinking by integrating content and frameworks from at least two disciplines to create scholarly products.

 

Student Learning Outcome 7:               

Students will be able to critically engage with research approaches from a diversity of perspectives (e.g., religious and spiritual traditions, historical, and scientific perspectives).

 

Goal 4:  Inner and outer evolution

To clarify and expand the relevance of ideas studied to one’s personal life and aspirations, with an eye to their implications for the transformation of culture and society at large.

 

Student Learning Outcome 8:               

Students will be able to build connections between their studies, their personal lives, and the larger communities in which they are embedded.

 

Student Learning Outcome 9:               

Students will be able to tap into and express individual creativity through personal and/or scholarly communication.

 

Goal 5:  Historical knowledge

To analyze the evolution of Western thought, through the ideas of major figures of Western intellectual and spiritual history, in relation to the challenges of the present moment.

 

Student Learning Outcome 10:             

Students will be able to pass two comprehensive exams, one of which will demonstrate comprehension of principal ideas and themes in the development of Western thought as reflected in the PCC Guide to Important Texts (available in PCC office or on MyCIIS, www.my.ciis.edu, on the PCC Program Page).

 

Student Learning Outcome 11:             

Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant moments in the history of Western thought in the formal treatment of the dissertation topic.

 

Goal 6: Original Contribution

To produce a work of original scholarship of publishable quality that engages ideas from a transdisciplinary perspective, including a sufficient mastery in depth of at least one subject area, with an eye to the paradigmatic assumptions and implications for the transformation of culture and society at large.

 

Student Learning Outcome 12:

Students will be able to present the research and ideas that will form the basis of the dissertation in a well-organized and persuasive public lecture to the PCC community of faculty and students.

 

Student Learning Outcome 13:

Students will be able to write a dissertation that offers a substantial and original contribution to scholarship, and is certified as such by at least two PCC faculty members. Dissertation is not to exceed 250 pages.

 

 

PhD Language Recommendation

Ph.D. students may be required to demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language if it is deemed essential for the student’s dissertation research. Language proficiency may be demonstrated by having passed two years of course work in the study of a language, or by achieving a satisfactory score on the ETS.

 

PhD Comprehensive Examinations

The standard format consists of an annotated bibliography along with a discussion paper that forms the basis for a dialogue between the student and the supervisor. At least one of the exams must be taken with a PCC faculty member. Ideally, all other coursework must be completed (though it is possible to do one of the examinations concurrently with a last course). Each comprehensive exam must be completed in one semester. See the PCC Program Handbook for more details.

The PCC general comprehensive exam consists of a 20-to-25-page essay drawing from the PCC recommended reading list and other relevant sources, situated in the context of the first and/or second of the PCC PhD learning goals. With the recommendation of the student's PCC faculty mentor and the PCC chair, a student may opt for an oral comprehensive exam as an alternative to the written exam.

The second/specialized comprehensive exam prepares the student for the framing of the dissertation proposal by reviewing the literature of the student's field of interest. The exam consists of a reading list and a 20-to-25-page essay, to be followed up by a discussion with faculty.

 

PhD Dissertation

The PCC faculty direct dissertations in two broad specializations: Integral Ecology and Cosmology, and Archetypal and Consciousness Studies. After successfully completing both comprehensive exams, the student may begin working on the dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal must be finished in three semesters; a student may petition his or her mentor in writing for an extra semester, but it should not be assumed that such an extension would be granted. If an extension is granted, the student will elect one semester of the supervised Proposal Completion Seminar (PARP 6900). Once the proposal is completed and approved by a three-person committee, the student may begin writing the dissertation proper. Throughout the dissertation writing process, the student registers for 0 (zero) units/flat fee.

 

PhD Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness PhD program is increasingly selective. It is independent of admission to the MA program and requires a separate admissions application. An applicant for the PhD must have done outstanding work at the MA level (see “MA Program Goals,” above). In addition, the PhD applicant must (1) identify at least one PCC core faculty member who would be appropriate to serve as a mentor in the PhD program and a second faculty member who would be able and willing to serve on the dissertation committee; (2) show close familiarity with that faculty member’s particular area of expertise; and (3) demonstrate the necessary preparation and motivation for specializing in that area (or areas), especially with respect to research leading to the dissertation. The materials required for application are an autobiography, a two-to-four-page statement of goals, a writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts.

 

Those admitted into the doctoral concentration who do not have an MA from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness may be required to complete up to an additional 18 units of coursework (minus equivalencies) from the core section of the MA curriculum.

 

Curriculum

PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

—36 units

 

  I.  PARP 6060        Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness—3 units

      Not required for graduates of the MA in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program, who should fulfill this unit requirement with an

      alternate.

 

II.  Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Electives—18 units

      Select from the following courses (course options may vary):

      PARP 6110        Cosmological Powers

      PARP 6120        Cosmology of Literature

      PARP 6225        Synchronicity and Its Implications

      PARP 6270        Asian Spiritual Masters

      PARP 6275        Plato and Platonism

      PARP 6279        Christian Contemplative Traditions: History, Theology, Practice, and Theory

      PARP 6283        Merleau-Ponty: The Body and the Earth

      PARP 6315        Epic of the Universe           

      PARP 6391        The Alchemy of Permaculture

      PARP 6403        Spirit and Nature

      PARP 6407        Karma and Biography

      PARP 6455        Becoming Intimate with Nature

      PARP 6499        A Brief History of Western Thought

      PARP 6506        The Great Turning

      PARP 6522        Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge(s)

      PARP 6523        Environmental Ethics

      PARP 6525        Perspectives on Integral Ecology

      PARP 6533        Touch the Earth: Integral Ecology Practicum

      PARP 6538        Krishna, Buddha, and Christ

      PARP 6563        Buddhism and Ecology

      PARP 6651        Integral Gaia

      PARP 6743        Hill of the Hawk I

      PARP 6744        Hill of the Hawk II

      PARP 6746        The Earth Journey

      PARP 6748        Nature and Eros

      PARP 6754        Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy

      PARP 6800        Integral T’ai Chi

      PARP 6821        Archetypal Process: Whitehead, Jung, and Hillman

      PARP 6822        Advanced Seminar: Hegel, Wilber, Morin

      PARP 7001        Psyche and Cosmos I: Transpersonal Psychology and Archetypal Astrology

      PARP 7002        Psyche and Cosmos II: Transits in Depth (Practicum)

      PARP 7007        American Philosophy

      PARP 7008        James Hillman and Archetypal Psychology: An Introduction

      PARP 7078        Teilhard and Steiner

      PARP 7105        Archetypes, Art, and Culture

      PARP 7114        Advanced Seminar: C. G. Jung

      PARP 7400        Psyche and Spirit: From the Psychology of Religion to Transpersonal Theory

      PARP 7820        Advanced Seminar: Hegel and Jung

      PARP 8150        Advanced Seminar: Nietzsche’s Life and Work

      PARP 9568        The Planetary Era: Toward a New Wisdom Culture

 

III. General Electives—15 units

      Select 15 units from any program.

 

IV.  Foreign Language Proficiency—Noncredit (recommended depending on dissertation topic)

      Proficiency demonstrated by one of the following:

      A. Two years of successful college coursework

      B. Satisfactory score on the ETS Foreign Language Reading Exam

      C. Additional language study (depending on dissertation topic)

 

V.  Comprehensive Exams—0 units

      PARP 9600        Comprehensive Exam (two times maximum)

 

VI.  Dissertation—0 units

      PARP 6900        Dissertation Proposal Completion (two times maximum)

      PARP 7900        Dissertation Seminar

 

Curriculum

PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (Integral Ecology track)—36 units

 

  I.  PARP 6060        Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness—3 units

      Not required for graduates of the PCC MA program.

 

II.  Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Electives—18 units

      Select from the courses listed in the PCC electives list above.

 

III. Integral Ecology Electives—9 units

      Select 9 units from the following (course options may vary):

      PARP 6110        Cosmological Powers

      PARP 6120        Cosmology of Literature

      PARP 6315        Epic of the Universe

      PARP 6391        The Alchemy of Permaculture

      PARP 6403        Spirit and Nature

      PARP 6455        Becoming Intimate with Nature

      PARP 6506        The Great Turning

      PARP 6522        Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge(s)

      PARP 6523        Environmental Ethics

      PARP 6525        Towards an Integral Ecological Consciousness 

      PARP 6533        Touch the Earth: Integral Ecology Practicum

      PARP 6563        Buddhism and Ecology

      PARP 6743        Hill of the Hawk I

      PARP 6744        Hill of the Hawk II

      PARP 6746        The Earth Journey

      PARP 6748        Nature and Eros

      PARP 6822        Advanced Seminar: Hegel, Wilber, Morin

      PARP 9568        The Planetary Era: Toward a New Wisdom Culture

     

IV.  General Electives—6 units

      Select 6 units from any program.

 

V.  Comprehensive Exam—0 units

      PARP 9600        Comprehensive Exam

      PARP 9600        Comprehensive Exam (on an Integral Ecology topic)

 

VI.  Dissertation—0 units

      PARP 6900        Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Completion (two times maximum)

      PARP 7900        Thesis/Dissertation Seminar