Why Study Philosophy?
"Philosophy? What are you going to do with that?" The Correct response is "Absolutely anything you want."
-Jordan Kotick, Vice-president, J.P. Morgan
“Forget economics. Philosophy offers a deeper, broader way of thinking to help guide companies through times made tougher by overspecialized experts.” -Bloomberg Buisness Week, January 2010
Philosophy teaches students to inquire in a systematic way into fundamental questions connected with one’s relationships to oneself, others, society, and the world. It helps students pull their studies together into a unified project and to think about broader perspectives and implications, which are often lost sight of in specialized study. In particular, philosophy helps students to develop the following critical thinking essential to academic pursuits and intelligent living.
- Analytical thinking: logical skills involving the ability to break down complex ideas and problems into their elements and to perform reasoning tasks efficiently and correctly.
- Evaluative thinking: skills of making intelligent ethical, social, esthetic, and religious value judgments related to fundamental issues in contemporary society and their implications for students’ personal and professional lives.
- Synthetic thinking: skills of pulling together a variety of views and perspectives and resolving intellectual and practical conflicts related to the many alternative ideas and voluminous information in both the theoretical and applied spheres.
Philosophy prepares students for advanced studies in its own and in related fields and for many careers which require a high level of logical and linguistic refinement, ethical awareness and the capacity to form interpretive judgments within complex and dynamic social and intellectual environments on a global scale. Because of the strong emphasis on logical reasoning, philosophy majors are coping particularly well with rapid technological change. New roles have opened in health care, government, education, business, environmental fields, technology and scientific research for those with professional training in ethics. Traditionally, philosophical education has been valuable for further study in:
- the humanities, especially in fields which involve language, literature and the arts;
- the sciences, especially in relation to their theoretical foundations and their social impact;
- comparative cultures;
- law and policy studies; and
- business and the helping professions.
Many students combine philosophy with another field. Slippery Rock University’s liberal studies program relies extensively on courses in philosophy to afford an important foundation for an undergraduate education.
Students have the opportunity to participate in frequent trips to conferences, join the Philosophy Club and achieve membership in the Philosophy Honorary.