What I wish people knew about a Philosophy degree – Between the Acts

Philosophy as a subject is quite hard to pin down, and what Philosophy is exactly is something discussed by philosophers quite a bit. Its perception and definition in
people’s minds has changed a lot over time as well. On top of that it’s not something many people have had explicit interaction with, despite everyone having had
philosophical thoughts many times in their lives. With all of that, I don’t blame people for being confused about it and perhaps unsure what a Philosophy degree might
involve.

Philosophy, literally meaning “love of wisdom”, is at its core about asking questions, suggesting answers and discussing it, which sounds like a lot of disciplines – mainly
because everything else like science, maths and psychology used to be counted as Philosophy before they branched off. As a result, Philosophy is left with questions
these disciplines can’t answer such as what is moral, what is the self and what is knowledge. Philosophy teaches many useful skills that are invaluable, regardless of
who you are, like thinking critically, giving well-reasoned arguments and conceptualising the abstract.

It’s not all just ancient dead men – it can be really varied

If people have any sort of idea of what Philosophy is, it very often includes Plato and Aristotle or maybe Descartes. While these all are most definitely features of a
Philosophy course, it’s not just them. The course discusses many current topics (like the ethics of AI) and many new philosophical questions which have arisen since
Socrates, so more recent philosophers (some even still alive today!) and their ideas do feature. And not all philosophers studied are dead white men, although changing
this is an ongoing effort. While there is still a problem with a lack of diversity in what is studied, effort is being made to include/highlight a diverse range of philosophers
and, when that is less possible, analyse topics with a more global view. This can only enrich philosophy as greater diversity means a greater diversity of thought and new
ways to look at problems. https://keshiinjakarta.com/

There’s something in Philosophy for everyone

Philosophy is really varied and so are philosophy courses, allowing you to explore loads of different things and really pick what you’re interested in. KCL offers many
different modules. From Logic (which I’ve heard described as like maths and coding but not) and KCL’s Methodology (which includes a lot of useful building blocks for
Philosophy and even some probability), both of which include no essay writing, to Environmental ethics and Philosophy of Language. I was really excited to pick my
second year modules and learn lots of totally new things, as well as continuing with some things I loved last year. This past semester I really enjoyed my ‘Indian
Philosophy’ module and ‘Women Thinkers in Antiquity and the Middle Ages’ module, which were both really different to what I had already studied.


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