Studying Philosophy

Have you ever considered how your responsibility for your actions can be reconciled with the fact that your body is subject to nature's laws? Do you wonder about how you are obligated to treat other people, and why? Would you like the opportunity to engage in arguments about the existence of God, the reliability of your perceptual beliefs, the nature of values, or consciousness, or causal relations? These are just some of the many issues that preoccupy philosophers. Understanding what is at stake in grappling with these issues is essential to understanding your own most basic assumptions. This means that studying philosophy is not only interesting in its own right; it is a gateway to self-understanding. 

Students who have studied philosophy testify to the positive impact this experience has had on their lives. They continue to enjoy reflecting on things they would otherwise have taken for granted. No matter what career paths they take, they benefit from their philosophical training in how to think through problems with rigor and care. 

Because philosophers focus on the most difficult and abstract questions, they place high priority on developing the skills necessary to analyze and clarify ideas and arguments, orally and in writing. It is no surprise, then, that students who major in philosophy do exceptionally well on tests required for admissions to graduate and professional schools. After graduating from college, they pursue a wide range of careers - in law, public service, journalism, business, computer science, medicine religion, and the arts. Even students who minor in the subject, or just take a few courses, benefit from the opportunity to investigate the assumptions concepts, and methods of their major discipline of study.

For more information about studying philosophy at Michigan, click the relevant links in the side bar.