Welcome to Philosophy and Ethics

In the South African context where Philosophy and Ethics are not "school subjects", two important questions about Philosophy and Ethics are usually asked:

1. What is Philosophy and Ethics? 

The short and somewhat unsatisfactory answer is as follows (for a longer, more comprehensive answer - which will probably evoke even more questions - you will have to take the subjects):

Philosophy endeavors to move beyond our immediate experiences in the world to what lies beneath the surface of our everyday familiarities. Ethics concern the relationship between the individual and society - how humans act and interact with each other. In the process of exploring the fundamental ideas of civilisation, philosophers hold logical and consistent arguments in high regard. Philosophy, therefore, tries to make sense of the world and life around us by getting a broader and very fundamental "picture" of things through comprehensive arguments.

Frequently asked questions regarding Philosophy and Ethics are:

  • "Who am I and how do humans fit into the world?"
  • "What is the origin of everything?"
  • "What exists in the world that we experience?"
  • "How to conduct oneself towards fellow humans?"

2. What can I do with these subjects?

Professionals say that the skills learned in Philosophy, like critical thinking and arguing in a philosophical manner, ensure that students are better equipped for their professions - they have a more elaborate set of tools that allow them to scrutinise their chosen professions, the world, and the people around them.