Introduction to Philosophy
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To begin with, here are some sites you ought to get to know. Our
department web site includes this
list of student research tools (with some amusements at the bottom).
Why is philosophy important at all? Socrates offers one answer in the "Apology," or "Defense Speech of Socrates," which is in our textbook. He explains there that "the unexamined life is not worth living." Here is another approach to thinking about the value of philosophy: Ayn Rand's essay "Philosophy: Who Needs It?", based on a speech she made to the senior class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1974. Note that the answer is "everyone." This essay isn't so much a plug for her own views as much as a plug for philosophy generally as a vital activity.