Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


You are here:


Why study philosophy?

Seek wisdom and insight

Philosophy seeks to understand the universe and our place in it. Students of philosophy pursue wisdom and insight from a variety of viewpoints and, using reasoned argument, explore different cultural perspectives.

In New Zealand, students of philosophy have the luxury of being able to draw on Māori, Pacific, European, Asian, and other perspectives; for example, aroha understood as the pursuit of wisdom and insight through love and action.

Philosophy is enlightening – and fun.

Make ethical decisions

Philosophy offers a rational approach to ethical decision making. Students of philosophy ask whether morality is culturally relative; they examine different theories of ethics and the reasons why we should act morally when it might be more fun or more profitable not to.

Think critically

Philosophy is personally and intellectually engaging.

At a time when they are developing their own views on how things work and what matters, philosophical discourse gives students a vehicle for analysing and critiquing big ideas.

By participating in the reasoned exchange of ideas in the classroom, students develop greater tolerance of and respect for others.

Argue logically

Philosophy encourages the use of precise language and careful reasoning in both oral and written communication. Students learn to develop clear, logical, rigorous arguments. They develop skills in research, analysis, extended writing, speaking, and debating.

Build personal confidence

The skills and qualities that students develop through their learning in philosophy build personal confidence, support wise judgment, and encourage participation as responsible citizens in civil society. Together, these skills and qualities contribute to personal mana and lay a foundation for future leadership roles/rangatiratanga in whānau, hapū, iwi, community, workplace, or politics.

Broaden career horizons

The highly transferable skills and attributes acquired in philosophy can be applied in a wide range of career options. Philosophy opens doors into fields as diverse as strategic management, research and planning, systems analysis, legal and medical professions, education, political analysis, ethics, social policy, and international relations.

Last updated September 12, 2011