In the philosophy department at Muhlenberg, we train our students to solve problems logically, to think creatively, to develop ideas collaboratively, to argue respectfully and persuasively, to write with depth, precision and clarity and to produce arguments that meet the highest standards of reasoning. These ‘soft’ skills are highly prized by every profession, including law, medicine, government, science, technology and business. And they are skills that unlikely to be replicated by robots or computer programs.
Broadly put, philosophy is the endeavor to make sense of the world, of oneself and of one's relations with others. As scientific knowledge develops, rival theories proliferate and opinions multiply, we are faced with a dizzying array of competing claims. The beliefs to which we are committed have consequences for ourselves and for those around us. In these sorts of circumstances, we have an urgent need to cultivate wisdom. A philosophical training will provide you with the ability to take a step back, analyze and assess conflicting claims. It will also provide you with the resources to reflect on the value of our actions: for ourselves, for others, for other species and for future generations.
“What is the best way to live a good life?” “What is justice?” “Is there anything in the world that is stable and reliable?” “With so many competing opinions, how can we know which, if any, are true?”
Philosophy addresses these sorts of questions from a unique perspective. It reflects on the meanings of the questions themselves and on the concepts and presuppositions that we take for granted as we are faced with practical dilemmas. It draws from the insights of great thinkers across the globe, past and present, and cultivates the ability to create new solutions.