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    crop of Raphael's School of Athens (Scuola di Atene)

    Philosophy can be described in many ways. It is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for understanding, a study of principles of conduct. It seeks to establish standards of evidence, to provide rational methods of resolving conflicts, and to create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments. Philosophy is also concerned with problems whose solutions do not depend on discovering new facts, but rather on ways of thinking about facts. The essential tool of philosophy is reasoning.

    Philosophy is best studied for its own sake. Recent studies, however, have indicated that employers want and reward many of the capacities which the study of philosophy develops: for instance, the ability to solve problems, to communicate, or organize ideas and issues, to assess pros and cons, and to boil down complex data. "Majors in liberal arts fields, in which philosophy is a central discipline, continue to make a strong showing in managerial skills and have experienced considerable business success" (Career Patterns, by Robert E. Beck). In addition, there are people trained in philosophy in just about every field. They have gone not only into such professions as teaching, medicine, and law, but into computer science, management, publishing, sales, criminal justice, public relations as well as legislative staffs.