Philosophy is a systematic attempt to understand and to resolve some of the most profound, far-reaching, and fundamentally important problems of human experience, such as the existence of God, the meaning of life, the problem of free will, and the nature of consciousness, truth, self, knowledge, beauty, justice, time, duty, death, and virtue. Some of its main branches are epistemology (the study of the nature and foundations of knowledge), metaphysics (the search for the ultimately real, the attempt to discern the most fundamental kinds of things which constitute self and world), logic (the study of the principles used in distinguishing between correct and incorrect reasoning), ethics (the study of moral concepts, and the moral evaluation of conduct and character), and aesthetics (the study of art, beauty, and aesthetic judgment).
The study of philosophy also includes a careful and critical examination of the basic assumptions, the central concepts, the value assertions, and the conclusions of all other disciplines. Such an examination forms the basis of such philosophic areas as the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, the philosophy of art, and the philosophy of science.
A study of philosophy not only enhances our intellectual understanding of the world and enables us to make larger sense out of our experience, but also brings about in us an awareness of the numerous ways in which views and assumptions of a philosophical sort are intimately involved in everyday living. In addition to broadening our perspectives and heightening our sensitivities, it encourages the development of a number of higher intellectual functions. It helps us to discern relationships and organize inferences, to think with clarity and explicate with precision, to critically analyze and think independently, and to probe, question, and explore.
The study of philosophy is appropriate for any career or profession that requires critical thinking and communication skills.
- Higher Education
- Public Service
Also: Graduate Study
PreparationRecommended High School Courses
- Critical Thinking
- Debate Recommended Activity