The word “philosophy” originates from the Greek word φιλοσοφία (philosophia). “Philo” means to love and “sophia” means wisdom. Literally, philosophy means love of wisdom. When considered as an academic discipline, philosophy is concerned with the study of fundamental problems such as those connected to the nature of knowledge, reality, existence, mind, language, science, and morality. It involves a broad and systematic critical examination of questions that underlie the foundations of other disciplines. Some of the typical questions philosophers ask are:

  • What kind of world do we live in?
  • Is there a God?
  • Is there an external world?
  • What kind of life should we live?
  • Do human beings act freely?
  • Where do moral obligations come from?
  • How do we construct a just society?
  • Where does knowledge come from and what are the limitations of our knowledge?

The discipline of philosophy helps you develop a sophisticated sense of logic, a capacity for rigorous reasoning, a comprehensive perspective in understanding the world, and a broad base of knowledge that intersects with other disciplines such as mathematics, physics, biology, economics, social sciences, and psychology. Studying philosophy enables you to read carefully, write well, reason clearly, communicate effectively, think critically, and most importantly, think for yourself - essential skills for a successful career and an enriched life.

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Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy

Zulhaqem Bin Zulkifli

I entered NTU as part of the second batch of Philosophy majors. This was met with some criticism as I could have gone to other more reputably perceived universities but still chose NTU. This turned out to be one of the best choices I had made. I will not lie – my years as a Philosophy undergraduate were difficult and at times felt impossible because of the level of advanced reading and writing skills that the programme demanded. But this is Philosophy after all, and while difficult at first, it was certainly rewarding. Being trained in Philosophy allows us to be able to express our ideas with precise clarity, and more importantly, the ability to think critically and to acquire intellectual flexibility in accommodating and considering perspectives that we do not personally subscribe to. My professors were very passionate about their field and were infectious sources of inspiration for all of us. Many of them taught me to be brave in traversing new bodies of knowledge and to be not be daunted by to be someone who stood out in the fields that they study. It has certainly been of great inspiration for me personally. One does not enter Philosophy and leaves the same person, because the experience is a crucible from which one emerges polished, both in mind and in soul. Well, if you believe in a soul that is.