Do You Know They Majored in Philosophy?
Philosophy derives from the Greek term philosophia, which means "love of wisdom." It is perhaps the oldest and broadest and of all academic disciplines (many of today's sciences such as physics, astronomy, biology, psychology, sociology, political science, and economics originally grew out of philosophy). It is also arguably the most fundamental of disciplines, since it inquires into the very nature and adequacy of thought itself.
Philosophy examines questions pertaining to the nature of truth, knowledge, reality, selfhood, beauty and ethical commitment — questions that are so fundamental to human existence that they are neither easily answered nor easily ignored. Historically, many philosophers believed that rational inquiry into such topics was the condition for genuine happiness and freedom, and that sustained reflection on them constituted the highest and noblest activity of human life. For this reason, Socrates famously claimed that "the unexamined life is not worth living."
Whether or not Socrates was right, the study of philosophy even today provides one of the highest quality educations a person can have. Students of philosophers learn to think clearly, consistently and incisively, with methodical care and rigor. They develop skills in interpreting texts, critically examining and thoughtfully responding to other viewpoints, constructing and evaluating argumentation, and the disciplined imagining of novel possibilities for human knowing, valuing, and living.
Students of philosophy engage in a sustained dialogue with some the best and brightest thinkers humanity has had to offer, both historical and contemporar thinkers whose ideas have alternately shaped and challenged the way we see ourselves and our world. In doing so, they become liberated from the tyranny of seemingly self-evident, inherited assumptions and become capable of genuinely thinking for themselves about the most important ideas and values that guide their lives.
Most students who choose to pursue philosophy as a course of study do so first and foremost simply because they love the subject. But in addition to its intrinsic interest and value, the study of philosophy provides excellent training for graduate, medical, law or business school. Indeed, it prepares students for a variety of potential careers, from the corporate world to nonprofit work to creative, educational, or entrepreneurial pathways.
Our office is located in 241 Vaughan Literature.
Department of Philosophy
1 Dent Drive
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Jane K. Baker, Academic Assistant