What is Philosophy?
The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom”, where wisdom means ‘deep understanding’.
In everyday settings people use the word “philosophy” to refer to a general and personal world view. There is much more to philosophy as an academic discipline.
The academic discipline of philosophy is focused on questions about the fundamental nature of people and the world, including questions about what kinds of behaviour are right and wrong, under what conditions knowledge is possible, and the difference between good and bad reasoning. The discipline is very old (it has been going for over 2500 years), and contemporary philosophy grows out of that long history of argument and debate.
Philosophy doesn’t only focus on fundamental questions, but on the problem of how to support answers to those questions. So philosophers are interested in different types of arguments, and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.
Why Study Philosophy?
There are different reasons that might make studying philosophy a good idea for you. Among them:
- You might find philosophical questions interesting, and you might already think about some fairly deep questions.
- You might benefit from the fact that studying philosophy properly involves learning to think in a more disciplined way. Critical thinking is a skill that can be improved with practice, and is important in many professions.
- You might be studying other subjects that have significant overlaps with philosophy, or depend on skilled argument. The most obvious examples of this are law, political science, linguistics, and psychology.
Remember, philosophy can be part of a degree with other subjects. You can study it a little without majoring in it, and you can major in it alongside one or more other major subjects.
For more information about philosophy at the workplace, please follow this link: http://ukznphilosophy.wordpress.com/philosophy-and-the-workplace/