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Is Philosophy for you?
If you are the kind of person who asks “Why do you think that?”, the kind of person who wants to know the reasons we believe what we do, Philosophy will help you to pose those questions and seek answers in a systematic and organized way.
The subject matter of Philosophy is famously hard to characterize. Perhaps the work of philosophy is best understood as the art of stating the obvious. The discipline of Philosophy lies in being able to notice and articulate some of the most fundamental of the beliefs we hold, beliefs that serve to bind our lives together.
Philosophers go on to evaluate whether these basic assumptions are good ones — ones that are true — or whether we should revise our beliefs.
Where to go from here?
If you are thinking about pursuing a degree in Philosophy, you are bound to run up against the inevitable question: “What are you going to do with that?” As with any discipline, only a very small number of Philosophy majors go on to post-graduate work in the field. And, let's face it, very few firms advertise jobs requiring a Philosophy degree. But the fact is that very few degrees are directly linked to a specific career path in any case, and very few of you entering university predict correctly what careers they will have.
There is growing evidence that the sorts of skills a Philosophy degree will equip you with are highly valuable in many professions, and that changing careers several times is becoming the norm, rather than an exception.
Philosophy graduates do extremely well on many standardized tests, such as LSAT (best of any major), GMAT (better than Economics majors, much better than Business majors), and GRE (best overall).
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Want to know more?
The Philosophy Department offers honours, major and minor programs. We also have an active Philosophy Student Union, which has organized a range of forums for philosophical discussion.
For students planning to enter law school after graduation, the department now offers a specialized degree concentration: Concentration in Philosophy and Law. The data shows that Philosophy majors are better equipped to be admitted to law school than students in any other degree program.
By focusing on topics in Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy, Ethics, and Moral Theory, the Concentration in Law is directly applicable to legal theory and policy courses, giving you a strong background and a head start in law school.
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Dr. Holly Andersen describes PHIL 144: Introduction to the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science
Dr. Dai Heide describes PHIL 356: 18th Century Philosophy