The King's College

What Is Philosophy?

The word “philosophy” comes from two Greek words: philein (to love) and sophia (wisdom). Philosophy is the love of wisdom.

Philosophy asks, and tries to answer, the fundamental questions about the nature of the world, humanity, morality, and God.

At King’s, our courses in philosophy encourage you to love wisdom—to grow into a man or woman who deeply values wisdom and diligently pursues it not just in college, but for your whole life.

In our introductory Foundations of Philosophy and Ethics courses, you’ll gain an appetite for philosophical inquiry. We’ll talk about some of the most foundational questions and ideas in the history of human thought—questions like these:

  • What is knowledge, and how can we find it?
  • What exists, at the most fundamental level?
  • What makes something good or evil? Right or wrong?

In our introductory courses, you’ll prepare to grapple with those challenging questions, along with many others. You’ll learn practical techniques for clear, cogent reasoning.

After you gain a solid foundation, you’ll enter a sequence of three courses in which you’ll read authors and explore the ideas that have shaped our society in the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. We’ll always keep a steady eye on the implications these questions have for Christianity.

And if your interest is piqued by particular issues, you can study them in greater depth in electives that cover both contemporary and historical topics, like metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion.

At King’s, we think it’s important that you discover and understand influential thinkers of the past. But that’s not all we’re trying to do.

We’d like to help you become an influential thinker yourself.

We’ll do this by helping you see the value of philosophy in the broader context of life—specifically, a flourishing Christian life. So we focus on understanding, reconstructing, and thinking through the ideas and arguments of great thinkers from ancient times to the present day. We must understand how their arguments work, what reasons they give, and what evidence supports their conclusions.

This isn’t easy, and it’s not for those who don’t want to work hard. Philosophy requires slow, patient reading and thinking. It relies on thoughtful questioning. It demands careful, reflective analysis of arguments and ideas.

But when you practice the discipline of philosophical study, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate arguments and ideas in other contexts, too: in your other courses, in your career after King’s, and in every other aspect of your intellectual life.