What is Philosophy For?

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Promoting clear thinking

Philosophy teaches students to think analytically, to write and speak clearly and persuasively, to evaluate evidence, to construct and present sound arguments for their viewpoints, and to recognize flaws in opposing arguments—skills essential to success in any profession or career.

Helping to create responsible citizens

Philosophy allows students to see through cultural and intellectual fads, protects them from the often empty posturing of politicians, defends them from the slippery claims of advertisers and salespeople, insulates them from the often unfounded assertions of media pundits and commentators, and shields them from foolish opinions and everyday nonsense.

Contributing to our becoming more fully human

Philosophy broadens the range of things that students can understand and enjoy, enhances their expressive powers, contributes to their self-knowledge, foresight, and sense of direction in life, nurtures individuality and self-esteem, and brings them into contact with the most important and fundamental human questions about reality, knowledge, morality, and all other aspects of the human experience.

The Department of Philosophy embodies the University's commitment to its students. We do this by creating an academic environment that encourages students to approach fundamental questions with an attitude of open and disciplined reflection, that evokes a love for the intellectual life, and promotes a deeper appreciation of our civilization, which has been influenced by philosophy at all levels.

Why Major in Philosophy? Why Not?