Open Search


Why Major in Philosophy?

Philosophy is a quest for truth and understanding; it is the discipline that pursues better and better questions through a process of endless self-questioning in conversation with a variety of people, communities and eras. In many ways, it is the discipline that weaves all other disciplines together. The process itself is rigorous, and if you are really invested it is often exhausting and painful. But it is also transformative, and incredibly rewarding.

Many students know from the start that Philosophy is calling their name. These are often students who find that questions like "how should I live", "what is the meaning of life", and "what does it mean to be human" weigh heavily on them in every day life. These are students who find themselves preoccupied with big, intricate questions about everything from the cosmic to the erotic to the economic, and wonder why other people seem less concerned.

However, Philosophy has also been called "the accidental major"; many students begin their university studies intending to major in something like English, Psychology, Politics or International Development, but find themselves drawn toward Philosophy almost as a need, more than a conscious desire.

For example, the English student who finds him-/herself dissatisfied with reading plays or novels in order to analyze them as such and then move on, may crave the philosophical approach: they may hunger to read literature and then ask "what does this story mean for us right now, and tomorrow? How should having read this story change who we are, how we think and feel, and how we live?"

So, if you are interested in what makes positive change, because you want to study International Development, try a Philosophy course. If you are interested in justice as an aspiring lawyer or police officer, try a Philosophy course. If you love constructive debate, are devoted to clear articulation of thought, and love to make connections between things not obviously related—if you like to test the strength of an argument, if you are a patient reader and a good listener, if you will not settle for easy answers—if you are open minded, and desire to be stretched and challenged—Philosophy could be just the place for you. 

Print This Page