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Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives (BA)

This Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives bachelor's programme is unique in that it offers comparative perspectives from around the world that will enable you to be part of the next generation of thinkers, someone studying and shaping philosophy for a globalised 21st century.

Study Philosophy in a global context

Philosophy challenges you to question prejudices and to be open to different perspectives. This philosophy bachelor programme is unique in that it offers a cross-cultural dimension of comparative philosophy in which the world’s thought traditions mutually inform and enrich one another. Studying the philosophies of India, East Asia, and the Arab world alongside those of the West will give you a global context for thought and make you the kind of professional that today’s global world is simply crying out for.

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Why study Philosophy at Leiden University?

  • Leiden is the only Dutch university, and one of only a few in the world, to offer a philosophy programme that combines Western perspectives with those of India, East Asia, Africa, and the Arab world.
  • The programme is taught in an internationally acclaimed academic environment.
  • You will have the opportunity to tailor the programme to your interests.
  • We work with small tutorial groups that stimulate in-depth discussion and excellent skills training and mentoring by senior students and dedicated lecturers.
  • You will have access to the University’s world-famous Asian Library, which features several unique collections.
  • Within the programme, there is the possibility to study abroad for some time or to do an (international) internship.

Lorenzo Marsili

First year student

Lorenzo Marsili

"I really like the global view in this programme. A lot of Western academies still concentrate on western philosophy and see the western view as the highest one. It’s clear Leiden doesn’t do that. All different and international schools of philosophy get attention. It’s wonderful they do this and it’s very useful to keep in touch with globalisation. Actually, I didn’t know much about non-western philosophy before I came here; I was victim of many prejudices. I was really surprised about the different schools of thinking."

Frank Chouraqui

University lecturer

Frank Chouraqui

“I address questions about the place of human beings in the world, what makes the human experience so special and how do historical and symbolic factors, like culture and myths, make us so different from other living beings?”

Jaap van Diggele


Jaap van Diggele

“A background in philosophy is really useful in dealing with other cultures. As well as clearly formulating your own opinions, you learn how to empathise with others and ignore prejudices and one-sided viewpoints.”

Is this the programme for you?

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, we can safely say that the Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives programme is for you.

  • Do you enjoy discussing current issues in science and society?
  • Would you like to learn more about the history of the concepts we use to frame those issues and about alternative concepts used in other cultures?
  • Do you enjoy high levels of abstraction?
  • Do you often feel that current debates fail to address the right questions?
  • Are you willing to challenge assumptions?

Check out the programme structure

Feminist theory & Buddhist Philosophy

University lecturer in Chinese and Comparative Philosophy Jingjing Li researches feminist theories within the Buddhist philosophy of consciousness-only. She examines how we can re-learn how to value the Buddhist feminine ideal in order to broaden the horizon of both Buddhism and feminism. Continue >

Online Experience Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

Want to know if this is the right study for you? If you are thinking about enrolling in this programme at Leiden University, you can take an online student experience. The experience consists of online mini-courses with readings and a few assignments, just as if it were real first-year courses.

Go to the Online Experience

Chat with a student

Do you have a question about studying at leiden University or student life in Leiden? Do you want more information about the Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives programme? Chat with a current student for answers to your questions!

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