Granted By: Indiana University
Academic Unit: IU School of Liberal Arts
Overview: Philosophic inquiry aims, ultimately, at a general understanding of the whole of reality. It draws on the insights of the great historical philosophers, on what has been learned in all other major fields of study, and on the rich perspective embodied within our ordinary ways of thinking. Philosophers address a diverse array of deep, challenging, and profoundly important questions. Examples include the nature of the self and of personal identity; the existence or nonexistence of God; the nature of such phenomena as time, mind, language, and science; the sources and limits of human knowledge; the nature of the good life; the foundations of state authority; the requirements of social justice; and the nature of art, beauty, and aesthetic experience. Philosophical questions are addressed not by reference to empirical information alone, but by means of analysis, synthesis, argument, and the construction and evaluation of philosophical theories.