The study of Philosophy (Greek philos, "love, friend"; sophia, "wisdom") involves learning to think critically and reflectively, to assess modes of reasoning and to argue constructively. Through a close study of issues raised in key texts from from a number of philosophical traditions - and in a wide range of contemporary philosophical writings - philosophy encourages habits of clear, flexible and imaginative thought in both writing and discussion.
Philosophy may be studied as a discipline in its own right or as a useful complement to other subjects. Philosophical theories have strongly influenced patterns of thought, ethical views, and social and political attitudes. Studying philosophy can deepen the understanding of many central contemporary issues. Some philosophy subjects combine well with the study of history, literature, politics, sociology and law. Others enrich the study of psychology and other sciences, giving students skills in dealing with methodological issues and critically questioning the concepts, assumptions and structures of argument used in the disciplines.
Philosophical skills can help you think clearly and critically about your other studies. They can also be of practical assistance - helping you to better organise your thoughts and present them clearly and persuasively.
Studying Philosophy at UNSW
Philosophy can be taken by undergraduate students as a major (and at Honours level) in a number degrees offered in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and through combined degree programs offered by other faculties - please refer to the table below.
Philosophy can be studied as