Reasons for studying Philosophy

  • You are intrigued by philosophy and find it more interesting, important or challenging than anything else you have come across.

  • You believe there is a truth, a way that things really are, and you want to find out more about it, and find a way to prove that you are right.

  • You believe there is no such thing as truth, a way that things really are, and you want to find a way to prove that you are right. (Or maybe you don't, come to think of it, if you are holding that position.)

  • You want a job in the corporate world and you have heard that philosophy degrees are held in high esteem because people with philosophy degrees have excellent analytic, communication and writing skills. (See the New York Times article.)

  • You are somebody who would never want a job in the corporate world; you are a critic of coroporate culture and globalization, and you want to hone your critical skills and understanding of politics, values, morals and culture.

  • Your studies in arts and sciences leave you with big questions and lingering methodological issues (e.g., "What is language or science anyway?" or "How does the experimental method really work?"). So you want to study philosophy because it addresses these issues and questions.

  • Your studies of science, math and so on have shown you that it is possible to secure rigorous knowledge of the world and you wonder why philosophers are still so troubled by basic questions, so you want to have a peek at philosophy.

  • Your studies and interests in other areas of the arts and sciences convince you that the history of philosophical thinking is important in shaping ideas and attitudes, and you want to become more familiar with that history.

  • Your studies and interests convince you that philosophy has had a pernicious influence on thinking and society and you want to point that out and help undo that influence through critical analysis—and to do this you need to know what it is you are criticizing.

  • All of the above.