Philosophy Department

The word "philosophy" derives from the ancient Greek philosophia, meaning love of knowledge or wisdom. Over the centuries, as knowledge accumulated and distinctive modes of inquiry were refined, many subdisciplines of philosophy in its early form hived off to become disciplines of their own. ("Natural philosophy" turned into the various natural sciences.) A succinct but helpful dictionary definition of philosophy as it's done today is "the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, and conduct." When you study philosophy, not only do you explore fascinating questions of fundamental importance for all human beings, but you also hone valuable critical-thinking skills.

Alumnus Video

In this video, Missouri State alumnus Matt Marinec, a 2007 graduate in philosophy, talks about how his philosophical training has informed both his professional and his personal life since graduating. Matt now works for the Office of Government Ethics in Washington, D.C., but he was back in Springfield to serve on several panels in this spring’s Public Affairs Week.

Why study philosophy?


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  • For a great overview, check out our prezi!
  • You will gain essential knowledge for your future. A philosophy education provides knowledge from an array of subject matter.
  • Since philosophy is applicable to many subjects, you will receive more in-depth discussions and a variety of experiences.
  • A philosophy major develops critical-thinking, persuasion, and writing skills that are important in a wide variety of careers.
  • Philosophy impacts a broad range of subjects, so its study broadens your career options.