Philosophy asks fundamental questions about ourselves and the world, such as: "Does God exist?", "Is the mind distinct from the body?", "Are values objective or just projections of our feelings?", "Can I know that there is a world outside my mind?". As an academic discipline, philosophy seeks to consider these kinds of questions and explores them via three main areas. 1) Values - includes ethics, metaethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy. 2) Knowledge - includes epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, logic, and the history of philosophy. 3) Reality - includes metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and the history of philosophy. Much of what was once considered a part of philosophy is now studied in several disciplines in the natural and social sciences. Indeed, the history of philosophy is in many ways the history of Western thought.
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Philosophy students tend to have an inquisitive nature, and are often willing to question anything and everything. They typically possess a number of the following: curiosity, a significant amount of creativity, the ability to formulate opinions and defend them in debate, and a willingness to engage in debate on virtually any point, purely for the love of a good argument.
A philosophy major is a practical choice. Philosophy students develop skills that are transferable to a wide range of careers and professions, including business and law. Philosophy students learn how to identify assumptions, raise critical questions, and formulate creative, principled strategies for addressing complex problems. They develop expertise in structuring arguments, writing precisely and clearly, and communicating their ideas in an orderly, persuasive, and unambiguous way. Philosophy courses teach students how to read, comprehend, and summarize conceptually difficult material. In short, studying philosophy trains one to be a better, clearer, and independent thinker.