Philosophy's history is central to understanding philosophy. Beginning with ancient philosophy (Homer) to medieval beginnings and through the modern period (17th and 18th centuries) and now, into more present times. The history of philosophy leads one to understand or begin to grasp the origin and presumptions of philosophy, many of which are still prevalent today. Creative and vital thinkers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, and Mill and Kant, and many recent writers have shaped philosophy. These contemporary writers mostly engage with past thinkers' previous writings, building upon or refuting their arguments and conclusions.
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of knowledge; it is the systematic and critical fundamental questions that arise throughout everyday life and other disciplines. It trains the brain, not to memorize and regurgitate facts, but rather, how to logically think through any set of circumstances or facts.
So Why Study Philosophy?
1. Prepare for success in a variety of careers.
2. Increased wages.
While a philosophy graduate makes less at the beginning of their career, by the mid-career range, people employed with philosophy degrees tend to make more than those with business administration degrees.
3. Being a more informed citizen.
Philosophy offers the tools to sort through all the news and media propaganda, allowing one to be able to sort the facts from the opinions is a necessary step to being genuinely informed in today's world.
4. Bringing perspective to your career.
5. Scoring higher on standardized exams.
By studying philosophy, one becomes more adept at reading critically, think critically, and perform inductive reasoning. Philosophy helps a variety of professions. This trained thinking is sought after by graduate schools as the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, etc. are time restrained tests of this type of thinking.