What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the exercise
of reason. It does not just train reason. Reason finds in philosophy its own
purpose and its own limitations. What do we know about the world around us?
About its ultimate causes? Who are we and what is the goal of our lives? When
studying philosophy, we try to answer these questions, and while answering them,
we discover the beauty of our reason. Through philosophy we develop logical
skills and learn to distinguish between better and worse arguments. It is hard
to conceive of any good liberal arts college without philosophy in the core of
Although philosophy has been around for over 2500 years, few
if any scholars have mastered it. Philosophy, rightly understood, is immense and
difficult. Frequently, intellectuals have treated philosophy as a storehouse of
masks, worn to conceal the shaggy faces of un-philosophical worldviews. At The
King’s College, students learn about philosophy as it was at its beginning. We
introduce our students to the quest for wisdom which the Greeks undertook eight
centuries before Christ. They sought to understand reality and themselves, while
remembering that they were only human and that human knowledge has limits. This
attitude is no less important than the tenets and theories of the Greek
philosophers. Christians have long admired this attitude even as they rejected
Greek ideas about the human soul and salvation. This Greek philosophical quest
for truth was absorbed in the Christian quest to understand God’s word.
be commonplace to say that college should develop a student’s capacity to
reason. It may be even more commonplace to say that reason itself is a beautiful
gift from God. Exploring how to exercise reason and explaining why reason is
beautiful, however, are difficult tasks. The King’s College teaches philosophy
as a way of embracing that difficulty.