Philosophical problems arise when we notice that two ideas, each of which seems sound, conflict with each other. For instance, we might think that we are free to choose, but we might also think that everything that happens has a sufficient cause, which would seem to imply that we are not free to choose. In thinking philosophically, we seek to resolve these conflicts, either by rejecting one of the two ideas or by finding a way to interpret them so that they fit together harmoniously. Students study and value philosophy for its own sake. Through the study of philosophy they also gain skills they can use in their other courses and in life generally. They acquire the ability to think precisely and analytically, the ability to craft arguments, and the ability to express themselves well. Above all, they acquire independence of mind. Students who major in philosophy do better on average in graduate and professional school entrance examinations than students from any other humanities or social science discipline.
Field of study: Philosophy