What is Philosophy about? It’s about the power of ideas — to change people, and to change the world. Thinking, understanding, and asking the big questions. Demanding answers. Challenging common sense and popular opinions. The image of the wise old man contemplating alone on a mountaintop still expresses some of this, but Philosophy today is a dynamic learning discipline that puts you into dialogue with women and men of all ages and all walks of life, from all around the globe.
Which claims are true, which are false? What is truth, or falsity? Is there a God? How is your mind related to your body? What should you do with your life? What does a just society look like? What are the limits of scientific knowledge? What can money not buy? You study philosophy if you wonder about questions like these, if you want to know why Plato’s answers to them have been so important — or St. Augustine’s, or Descartes’, or Einstein’s, or Derrida’s. In the process, Philosophy will change you, in ways that are very rewarding both personally and practically.
Successful Philosophy students excel in thought, speech and writing. They can move seamlessly between different points of view on an issue; they can anticipate objections to their opinions and are prepared to disarm them; they can ingest difficult material and turn it into something everyone can understand; they can see deep, interesting and far-reaching connections between ideas. And if that is not enough reason for you to study Philosophy, then just consider the following statistics, which speak for themselves.
GRE (Graduate Record Exam):
Philosophy majors have the highest overall scores on the GRE. Note: the GRE is a general intelligence test used for admissions decisions in many graduate programs.
LSAT (Law School Admission Test):
Philosophy majors have the highest mean scores of the ten most common majors writing the LSAT.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test):
Philosophy majors have the highest mean scores in arts and the humanities.
These statistics were obtained from respective testing organizations in 2008, and are available upon request from the Philosophy department.