διὰ τὸ θαυμάζειν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ νῦν καὶ τὸ πρῶτον ἤρξαντο φιλοσοφεῖν.
“Through wonder human beings, now and in the beginning, began to philosophize”
Aristotle, Metaphysics 982b
The word philosophy means love of wisdom. As Aristotle notes, it begins with wonder – wonder at what he calls, in the same passage, “obvious perplexities” which in turn lead us to questions about “greater matters.” In philosophy, we address questions about human nature, politics, virtue, freedom,
morality, the existence of God, and the very possibility of knowledge itself; it is a conversation that has been going on for thousands of years and has profoundly shaped our world. Philosophy is rigorous, rational inquiry into the nature of the whole, and the place of humanity within the whole. It is in this
sense that philosophy is the queen of the sciences and their foundation.
Often, the objection is raised that philosophical questions are not practical questions. On the contrary, they are the most practical questions, because they concern how we ought to live our lives. If we are to be free, we must engage in philosophic reflection about the best way of life. As Socrates
told the Athenians (right before they executed him for philosophizing!), “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being” (Apology of Socrates, 38a).
In addition to discussing the questions mentioned above, which Socrates describes as “a very great good for a human being” (Apology of Socrates, 38a) the study of philosophy provides practical benefits as well by promoting:
1. Critical thinking and analysis
2. Persuasive speaking and writing
3. Close reading and rigorous reasoning
These are immediate benefits. There is a long-term benefit as well:
4. Those who major in philosophy tend to out-perform those with other majors on law school and graduate school
All of the philosophy courses we teach at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College can be used by students to satisfy the Humanities distribution requirements (HUMD).
The philosophy faculty at Montgomery College offer traditional face-to-face, online, and blended classes. Many of our instructors offer honors modules as well.
Courses regularly taught on the Germantown campus include . . .
• PHIL 101 – Introduction to Philosophy
• PHIL 140 – Introduction to the Study of Ethics
For a complete description of these and other history courses, please consult our online course catalog:
For a complete listing of the days and times when these courses are offered, please consult our online schedule: