Philosophy is the general education requirement students love to hate. From Principles of Reasoning to Ethics, students complain and ask why they should have to take classes that don’t apply to real life.
But philosophy is one of the most practical subjects offered.
Philosophy is the study of existence. It asks questions about morals, ethics and decision-making. And that’s exactly why students need it.
College students are at pivotal points in their lives. It’s the first time in their lives they break away from the origins of their moral compasses: their parents. Learning about the origins of their morals will guide students to make decisions. Asking “Why do I believe this?” builds a basis for thinking logically about a decision.
When students find out why they’re making the decisions they make and assess their moral bases, it’s easier to come to a sound conclusion about big changes happening in their lives.
But philosophy isn’t just a moral guide. It also helps students discover how to set up and communicate an argument successfully. When arguing, it helps to know what fallacies to avoid in order to communicate the point more clearly. And when trying to come to a conclusion, the more logical, the better.
Any student in any major will have to argue a point someday. Take opinion writing for example. If the antecedents — the evidence — to support a conclusion are true, then the conclusion must be true. But if opinion writers don’t know that, they cannot logically form their argument. Or if business majors think their point is true, they have to know how to argue it, or else their idea will be shot down by executives. Having that logical basis to support the argument will fundamentally always make it stronger.
Although it isn’t true that journalism or business majors should do deep dives into philosophical arguments, it’s still important to know the basics to be successful. So when writing essays, giving speeches and debating, students should know how to make an argument hit home.
Pay attention to philosophy. It has so many more practical applications than students think when they’re in their intro to logic and reasoning classes. Philosophy only promotes critical thinking, strong arguments and moral compasses. Logic and reasoning have many more practical applications than the boring proofs might make it seem.
Shelby Campbell is a junior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Shelby know by tweeting her @bloodbuzzohioan.