All Students Should Take Philosophy 101

When I graduated college, I realized I missed out on one of the most important classes offered in a university setting. Hopefully you never find yourself in my situation.

I am referring to Philosophy 101. Philosophy is the most important class you will ever take in college, regardless of your major. Everyone has an obligation to learn its basic tenants.

Philosophy has practical applications in every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional.

It teaches you how to think critically and construct rational arguments. These may seem like simple skills that all adults should know, but that is not the case.

After learning basic philosophy, you will realize there are many powerful people in society who fail to do this. Furthermore, you will realize that many of the people you once dismissed as crazy are, in fact, quite rational.

Learning philosophy has some drawbacks. Many people do not want the ability to think for themselves. If you are one of these people, then I question whether you even deserve a college degree.

Do not ever think that you are above taking a philosophy course on the grounds that it is too “artsy”? I am looking at you STEM majors.

If you can get over the initial shock of seeing what it is like to think for yourself, then philosophy will offer you numerous benefits.

Regardless of your profession, it will give you the ability to make rationally constructed arguments and decisions that will enhance your career.

It will enrich your personal life as well. For instance, you can use philosophy to determine when a used car salesman is trying to screw you over using a series of carefully crafted logical fallacies. Or you can use it to dismantle the web of lies constructed by your significant other.

It will even give you the ability to resist the media’s attempts at brainwashing, if you so desire.

I oftentimes wonder about the world we would live in if everyone knew basic philosophy.

Philosophy is the greatest enemy of tyranny worldwide. It is not guns dictators are afraid of, but people that have the ability to rationally question authority. One person armed with philosophy is more powerful than a thousand armed with AK-47s.

Our founding fathers were so aware of this that they decided to give free speech priority over the right to bear arms. Their intention was not to protect our right to be vulgar and offensive, but rather our right to use philosophy in a public forum. Interestingly, this is often regarded as vulgar and offensive.

Philosophy will permanently change the way you look at the world. This is a good thing.

3 Replies to “All Students Should Take Philosophy 101”

  1. Andrew Post, Journalism & Broadcasting, Class of ’07 (Winter). Used to write my own column for The Spectrum. It’s “tenets of philosophy,” not “tenants.”

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