People are always asking philosophical questions, but are unaware of it. "What should I be doing with my life?" "What is the ethical thing to do in this situation?" "Is it reasonable to believe in God?" "Do computers really think?" "What is the proper role of government in family life?"
The study of philosophy will help you to formulate questions like these clearly, examine assumptions logically, propose reasoned answers and defend your position coherently. These are valuable skills in any walk of life. You will learn about and critique what some of the greatest minds in the past have said about such questions, and you will come to realize that Philosophy is the broadest and most comprehensive of all the fields of study. Majoring in philosophy is one of the best ways to learn essential critical thinking skills, flexibility in thought and the ability to analyze, understand and master the complex reasoning skills necessary in the 21st century.
Other fields of knowledge describe the world, and in doing so they make assumptions about the world itself, about knowledge and about inference. Philosophers question assumptions of all kinds and are interested not only in how things are but in how they ought to be. As a result, knowledge of philosophy is more the knowledge of a method -- analyzing, clarifying, questioning, and reasoning -- than the knowledge of specific facts. Mastery of this method will enable you to study anything else more effectively.
If you have no specific career plans at this time, the acquisition of a wide range of skills, interests and knowledge will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of yourself, your society and your world. This breadth should make you a more literate, better-organized and more adaptable person in whatever job you may choose. Our graduates are now successfully working in fields as diverse as business, journalism, military intelligence and social work.
The following resources have been collected to better assist undergraduate students studying or considering studying philosophy.
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