Why Philosophy?

"Why would I want to take Philosophy courses, or even become a major or minor?"

Philosophy won't make you rich, skinny, or popular. Many of us pursue it mainly because we are unusually curious about the answers to the kinds of questions philosophers ask. If you agree, you might be philosophy major material.

But whether you major in Philosophy or just a take a course or two, there are a number of benefits to be gained.

A study of philosophy trains one to be a critical thinker, a discerning judge of competing claims and arguments. It helps you to know the difference between humbug and insight, evidence and mere rhetoric.

Philosophy courses involve the close reading serious and substantial texts, with the aim of evaluating the author's arguments and the truth of her claims. One is also required to write argumentative essays, a challenging and rewarding exercise. These intense reading and writing skills are valuable in any walk of life.

Philosophy is "mind-expanding". You will learn about different ways of viewing the world, and the many reasons behind them. Whatever your beliefs are, you will find them challenged at some point, giving you the opportunity to re-think them or reinforce your basis for them. This is always done in an atmosphere of respect and good-humor.

 


Page modified 7/15/14