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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 22, 2014

Canadian Excellence

Why Study Philosophy at University?

It would be wrong to denigrate the possibilities for studying philosophy outside university. You can study philosophy simply by reading philosophy books or by studying philosophy on the web. For many reasons -- because of your financial, personal, or geographical situation or the time at your disposal -- this may be the best way for you to study philosophy.

That being said, there are good reasons for studying philosophy in a university environment. The reasons are simple: universities contain professors who have studied and taught philosophy for many years, and libraries and other information resources that make philosophy accessible to an extent that is rarely matched outside the academy. In addition, university classes provide an arena in which you can discuss philosophy with students and professors who have similar and opposing points of view. As the exchange of opinions and the clash of points of view that this implies is a central aspect of philosophy from which you can learn a great deal, this is a feature of universty courses which should not be taken lightly.

If you are not in a position to study philosophy within the university, you are well advised to read and explore philosophy on your own. Try to have 'philosophical' friends with whom you can share your interests and debate different topics and issues.

If you are intrigued by philosophy and would like to study it at university, then you probably want to know how it applies to the future career university will prepare you for. With this in mind, our next page is a page on how philosophy relates to careers.