Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts


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Why study Philosophy?

  • You have big, deep, or irresistible questions:
    • how do I live meaningfully?  
    • what do we owe to the future?
    • why is there something rather than nothing? 
    • can AI ever become conscious? 
    • should I believe in something beyond nature? 
    • how much should government contribute to people’s wellbeing? 
    • in what ways does one’s social identity matter?
  • You put great stock in the clear and incisive expression of your ideas, and you want to help others make the best case for their ideas
  • You love debate, and you want to hone your skills of critique and interpretation
  • You are engaged in social, cultural, and political issues, and you believe that the advancement of political ideals is crucial to the well-being of our world.
  • You have a curiosity about other cultures and historical periods, especially their world-views, thought-systems, and ways of life.

Philosophy is the study of life: for yourself, for your job, for your discovery of knowledge, and for your community. Individuals with training in philosophy are engaged in the world today in a variety of ways. It enhances your imaginative, interpretive, analytical, critical, and communicative capacities. Majors in philosophy acquire intellectual abilities crucial for self-fulfillment, responsible participation in public life, and success in a wide range of careers—including law, business, education, journalism, medicine, and public service.