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What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is the exercise of reason. It trains reason and then finds purpose. 

What do we really know about the world around us, its ultimate causes or purposes? 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 its curriculum.

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 as a discipline. 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.

It may 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.

We embrace that difficulty and relish in its questions and answers, so that students may share the beauty of reason throughout their lives and careers.

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