What is Philosophy and Why Study It?
Philosophy is an activity people undertake when they seek to understand themselves, the world they live in, and the relations to the world and each other. No other field can help you understand a world changing so rapidly in cultural, technological, and natural terms. Philosophy trains you to stand back from what’s taken for granted and to examine it and expands your horizons, leading to personal and professional growth. Those who study philosophy are engaged in asking, answering, evaluating, and reasoning about some of life’s most basic, meaningful, and difficult questions. Far from being an abstract field, philosophy is among the most practical courses of study.
What skills will I acquire?
Taking philosophy courses imparts skills that will be useful not only in any career but also in your personal life. The study of philosophy will enable you to think carefully, critically, and with clarity, take a logical approach to addressing challenging questions and examining hard issues, reason well and evaluate the reasoning of others, discuss sensibly, and write effectively. Studying philosophy will teach you to think logically and critically about issues, to analyze and construct arguments and to be open to new ways of thinking. In addition, you will learn to write clearly and persuasively, absorb and sift complex information and to distinguish between different views and come to a reasoned position. You will also learn to be self-motivated, creative and able to prioritize your work and working to deadline – all talents sought after by employers.
Personal and Professional Development
Careers and jobs are only one part of the rest of your life. The study of philosophy not only affects how you think but also your development as a person. The study of philosophy can be truly enriching an highly gratifying, and it is excellent preparation for lifelong learning and en enhanced intellectual, political, and social existence. It can help you to live better by helping you to understand yourself as a thinking, acting being. Socrates famously said that “the unexamined life is not worth living;” and philosophy is the tool he recommended for examining both one’s own life and the various possibilities open to you throughout your life. What beliefs are important to you now and how reasonable are they? What principles guide you in deciding what to do and do they stand up to scrutiny? Which paths will provide a more fulfilling life for you and which popular paths will eventually leave you feeling hollow? Both the content and the skills you gain from the study of philosophy will enable you to think better about such things and so to make good choices.
What jobs can you get with a degree in philosophy?
Careers in law, human resources, advertising, marketing, the media, publishing, politics, health care, social services and journalism are possible career options.
Some famous students of Philosophy:
Bill Clinton, 42nd U.S. President; Tony Blair, Former British Prime Minister; Robert Greenhill, President of Morgan Stanley; Paul Martin, Jr., 21st Prime Minister of Canada; Ricky Gervais, Comedian; Ethan Coen, Director; Steve Martin, Comedian; Susan Sarandon, Actress; Stephen Colbert, Comedian; Harrison Ford, Actor; Terrance Malik, Film Director; Woody Allen, Comedian and Director; Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City; T.S. Eliot, Poet; Wes Anderson, Director.