About Philosophy

Philosophy is classically defined as the love of wisdom (Greek, philein = “to love” + sophia = “wisdom”), and over the millennia in the West, it has developed into an academic discipline that seeks to know as much as possible using human reason about the nature and structure of reality. This search for universal wisdom involves several steps. The primary task of philosophical reflection is to explore reality and its fundamental principles, including the nature and ends of the human being. How one understands reality then becomes the foundation upon which informed judgments are made regarding what actions are good and just. The tool used to explore and judge is human reason, and because no tool can be intelligently employed unless it, too, is thoroughly known, philosophy also considers how the mind works and seeks to identify the criteria of sound reasoning. Once the intellect is habituated to such general principles, the discipline of philosophy can turn its attention to more specific objects of study, such as the human person, law, art, science, and God. Grappling with these perennial questions in a formal, academic setting requires the exercise of abstract reasoning, but there are many practical benefits in the long run. For example, check out this article in the Huffington Post about how philosophy majors are changing the face of business. Or read this piece in the Atlantic about philosophy being the most practical major.