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Why Study Philosophy

"The question to ask about education is not 'What can I do with it?' That is the wrong question because it concentrates on instrumental values and reduces everything to a useful art. The right question is rather 'What can it do to me?'" -Arthur F. Holmes

"For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize." -Aristotle

"Anyone who seeks truth seeks God, whether one realizes it or not." -Edith Stein

Why Should You Study Philosophy?

The reason to study philosophy is because all of us are already philosophers—and studying philosophy gives one the chance to do better what all of us inevitably already do. All of us, at some point, either ask questions about or make assumptions about why we suffer, or whether morality is objective or culturally-relative, or whether the natural sciences give us exhaustive knowledge about reality, or whether beauty is ‘in the eye of the beholder’ or something about which one could be wrong.

In addition, the study of philosophy gives one the chance to

  • understand and evaluate complex and controversial ideas,
  • develop skills in argument analysis and construction,
  • deepen the ability to think independently and creatively,
  • cultivate more careful judgments about the issues you encounter,
  • articulate and defend your considered judgments orally and in writing,
  • develop an integrative vision that enables you to appreciate the ways in which philosophical concerns touch your personal and professional life, other academic disciplines, and broader social concerns.

These abilities are crucial transferable skills that can contribute to success in a variety of career and life contexts. In short, philosophy provides foundations for thinking across the academic disciplines and hones thinking skills that can be applied in nearly in nearly all walks of life.

We invite you to read these articles on the advantages of a Philosophy degree.

"The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business," By Carolyn Gregoire of The Huffington Post

"A Philosophy Degree Earns More than an Accounting Degree," by Jane Wells on Yahoo! Finance

Why Should You Study Philosophy at Wheaton?

Studying philosophy at Wheaton gives one the opportunity to study the questions listed above with a community of Christians and with faculty convinced that the pursuit of philosophical questions is, ultimately, part of our pursuit of Christ, the Logos. 

Wheaton’s philosophy department is distinctive in a number of ways:

  • We have a large and active major, with 60 to 90 majors in any year
  • We have an active student-led philosophy club, and we offer opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty, participate in small mentoring classes, and work as teaching assistants.
  • We focus on reading primary texts and deep interaction with those texts.
  • We are a historically-based program, with a required 8 hour History of Philosophy sequence and regular 400-level historical seminars.
  • We are pluralist, teaching a broad array of philosophical methods, and we have faculty who are both continentally- and analytically-trained.
  • For those interested in graduate study, we train and prepare students well for top programs.