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The philosophy major trains students in rigorous, analytical reasoning and teaches them how to solve problems and communicate logically and persuasively, both in speech and in writing. By studying classic texts and contemporary problems, students learn how to construct powerful arguments while pondering some of the deepest questions in human life: What makes for a meaningful life? Do humans have free will? What is the nature of consciousness and can it be explained? Is the existence of a benevolent and all-powerful God compatible with the existence of natural and human evil? What is the nature of right and wrong? Are there objective moral standards? Students in the philosophy program learn how to explore answers to these fundamental questions by debating and defending complex ideas and arguments and expressing beliefs with clarity and precision. They develop a sensitivity to the assumptions that underlie our factual and evaluative judgments, and become careful and critical readers, writers, listeners and thinkers. The training that philosophy majors get is useful in all professional arenas, and also plays a valuable role in living a thoughtful and productive life.
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Philosophy majors are employed in a wide variety of professions and, according to a study published in the Wall Street Journal, the mid-career median salaries of philosophy majors exceeds those of majors in any other discipline in the humanities, when compared with salaries of others who have earned a bachelor degree. Many employers, including those in business, education and government, are interested in hiring people who have exactly the skills utilized most in philosophical inquiry and debate. Some graduates of the philosophy program go on to law school and other professional and graduate programs, and philosophy majors are known to achieve the highest scores on the graduate school entrance exams, including the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Ohio State graduates with philosophy degrees have chosen jobs that include research administrator the the National Youth Employment Coalition, stockbroker with Dean Witter, systems engineer with IBM, assistant district attorney in San Francisco, film and TV screenwriter and teacher with Teach for America.
The word philosophy comes from Greek words meaning “the love of wisdom.” The pursuit of wisdom begins with questioning—questioning one’s own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. By studying classic texts and contemporary problems, students learn how to analyze and defend their beliefs while pondering some of the deepest questions in human life.
Philosophy students acquire a set of reasoning and communication skills that equip them for a huge range of possible futures. They consistently score higher than any other major on the GRE and the LSAT, because of their training in critical thinking and analysis of arguments. They write persuasively and problem solve inventively on all sorts of subjects. Philosophy provides the skills that people need to thrive in jobs that will not be replaced by robots, and the perspective they need to choose work and activities that help to create meaning in their lives.
Examination of major problems, such as the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, morality and the relation of philosophy to science and religion.
Examine at least three of the great philosophical traditions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Examination of long-term ethical challenges facing humanity due to technological, environmental and other developments.
Explore the question of whether there is a relation between mortality and a meaningful life.