Why study philosophy?
“The unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)
The best reason for studying philosophy is that philosophy is intrinsically amazing. Specifically, philosophy engages the most basic and important questions in human life, and thereby helps one think more clearly and better understand oneself and the world. Examples of philosophical questions include:
- Does God exist? Why is there evil if there is God?
- What is it to be a person? Are we the same persons over time?
- What is the nature of consciousness? Does the soul exist?
- What is the relation between the mind and the brain? Can computers think?
- What is knowledge? How can we know we are not in the Matrix?
- What are religious beliefs about? How can we understand differences among religions?
- What is science? Is science compatible with religion?
- What is right or wrong? Is abortion/ euthanasia/ capital punishment/war/ same-sex marriage right or wrong?
- Why do we need government? What is the best form of government?
- What is a just society? Why should we obey the law?
- What is a meaning of life? What is happiness? Is death good or bad?
Philosophy is also incredibly practical. Much of what you learn from philosophy can be applied in any field as it enhances your skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, writing, and argumentation. For more information about the uses of philosophy, see Philosophy: A Brief Guide for Undergraduates
Another example of practical values of philosophy is that philosophy can provide a strong preparation for graduate and professional schools. Armed with the above skills, philosophy students consistently have the highest mean composite scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the highest average scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and outperform most majors, including business, on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). For the test data and other practical values of philosophy, including its marketable value in a rapidly changing economic climate, check this out: The Practical Values of Philosophy
Joungbin Lim (Ph.D., University of Virginia)
- Research interests: metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, epistemology
- Courses taught at TROY: Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Logic, Western Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion
Jay Valentine (Ph.D., University of Virginia)
- Research interests: World Philosophy, World Religions, Philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism
- Courses taught at TROY: Introduction to Political Philosophy, World Religions, Ethics, Applied Ethics, Non-Western Philosophies
Rick Garlikov (ABD, University of Michigan)
- Courses taught at TROY: Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Critical Reasoning, Bioethics, The Meaning of (the Concept of) Love
- Research Interests: Ethics, Medical Ethics, Business Ethics, Philosophy and Ethics of Economics, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Analytic Philosophy of a variety of concepts, including "Love"
- Essays and books online free at: www.garlikov.com