Department of Philosophy

Why study philosophy?

In philosophy we ask big, important questions. While asking such questions is easy, answering them is difficult. Because these questions are often abstract and vague, it is necessary to use precise reasoning and analysis to clarify what exactly it is we are asking. Only then can we attempt to develop answers. For example:

  • What is the morally right thing to do?
  • What is the nature of the mind?
  • When can we know something, rather than merely believing it?
  • Do the sciences exhaust what can be known about the natural world?
  • What is justice?
  • What assumptions do we make when we try to answer questions like these?
  • Plus many, many others...

In studying philosophy, you will learn what others have thought about life's big questions. You will also learn to challenge those views, and to develop your own thoughts in a precise, logical manner. Philosophy will help you develop critical thinking skills, enabling you to analyze the underlying logic and assumptions in arguments about a variety of topics. This is a skill that generalizes to virtually every area of life.