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How can taking a philosophy class benefit a person throughout life?

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meghan345123 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 26, 2012 at 3:03 AM via web

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How can taking a philosophy class benefit a person throughout life?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 26, 2012 at 3:27 AM (Answer #1)

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The greatest benefit that a person can gain from taking a philosophy class is the ability to think more deeply and clearly about various aspects of life.  Philosophy classes generally expose students to ideas that can inform their thinking about such things as ethics and epistemology.

While many people might not think that epistemology is important, it can be good to have a grounding in that field.  When we study philosophy we learn that it is not always easy to be sure that we actually know what we think we know.  This is an important insight.  When we realize this, it can make us more humble about the things that we think we know.  It can help us to understand that different people can have different attitudes and can all “know” that they are right.

Ethics is another area that a philosophy helps us to understand better.  When we take a philosophy class, we can be exposed to different ideas of moral and ethical philosophy.  We might learn about Aristotle’s golden mean, Kant’s categorical imperative and Mill’s utilitarianism.  All of these ideas can give us insights into what constitutes good or bad behavior.  Behaving well is important for our lives and a philosophy class can help us in this area as well. 

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