What is Philosophy? By the Way, What Can I Do With this Degree Once I Graduate?

Philosophy is from the Greek word philosophia, or quite simply, “love of wisdom.”

To be a friend of philosophy, then, is certainly to seek understanding of the history and development of philosophy as it engages the world, but more notably it is to take up the question, “How do I live philosophically, ethically, or in ways that make a difference?”

Seen in this light, philosophy examines basic issues in all fields and explores connections among diverse areas of life. The major intersects with questions such as: How can humans gain knowledge about their world? What is the ethical treatment of research animals? When should a nation go to war and is it ever justified?

Philosophers ask about the nature of the human person. Are there moral, aesthetic, and religious values that can be adopted rationally and used to guide our decisions? Philosophy majors have gone on to practice law, study science, or enter the world of business or journalism.

Uses of Philosophy

Undergraduate study in philosophy is fundamental in pursuing the most important questions regarding one's understanding of themselves, others and the world in which they live.


``Asking questions like ‘is that the way it should be?’ was a hallmark of my PLU experience, especially in my philosophy classes.``

2016 Food Symposium

PLU's Philosophy Department, Arbaugh Family Endowment, Southwestern Washington Synod ELCA will hold a multi-day Food Symposium on the topic of food democracy.