We concur with the American Philosophy Association pamphlet on "The Philosophy Major," in which it is written: "The study of philosophy serves to develop intellectual abilities important for life as a whole, beyond the knowledge and skills required for any particular profession. Properly pursued, it enhances analytical, critical and interpretive capacities that are applicable to any subject-matter, and in any human context. It cultivates the capacities and appetite for self-expression and reflection, for exchange and debate of ideas, for life-long learning, and for dealing with problems for which there are no easy answers. It also helps to prepare one for the tasks of citizenship." In addition, the study of philosophy contributes to the development of both intellectual autonomy and the ability to learn through group investigation and discussion. At Marquette, in particular, we seek to foster in the student an active engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition and issues of social justice, especially those which concern the poor.
Philosophy, more than any other academic subject, strives to integrate our understanding of all aspects of life into a coherent, rational whole. As such, it plays a crucial role in the "education of the whole person."
Philosophy as an investigation of the enduring questions facing humanity -- What is the human being?, What should the human being do?, What is the relationship of the human being to the world around him/herself?, and What is the relationship of the human being to the transcendent? -- forces the student to be reflective about his/her human life. Philosophy asks the student to evaluate critically the civilization in which he/she lives while emphasizing the communal nature of human existence and our need to live with others.