Philosophy is an activity which aims at an understanding of ourselves, our relationships with one another, and our place in the world. It is centrally concerned with fundamental questions about such topics, critically investigating what other subjects and other human activities take for granted.
One benefit of studying philosophy is that it introduces students to important and intriguing issues that are not dealt with at high school or in other subjects - issues concerning the foundations of their thinking and living. Another is that it acquaints them with thinkers and ideas that are of significant historical importance.
For most students, however, the main benefit of studying philosophy is that it develops their powers of reasoning by forcing them to exercise those powers on especially difficult problems. After only a single course in Philosophy, diligent students are usually better at coming to grips with an argument, getting to the heart of an issue, exposing a fallacy and wrestling with a problem. Their critical capacities are generally enhanced, as are their powers of ordering their thoughts and presenting them in a clear, coherent, and well-organized form.
The Wits Philosophy Department is an internationally respected philosophical centre with a long tradition of research and teaching excellence. Staff members have doctorates from top international universities and regularly publish their work in accredited academic journals. The department is vibrant, diverse, and socially engaged. It is home to the Wits Centre for Ethics.
News and Events
Dr. Janine Jones (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) will give a Hoernle Research Seminar with the title:
“Strange Encounters of the Other Kind”
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s A Human Being Died that Night, which discusses her role in the TRC, raises questions about empathy: could she, could black people whose family members had been killed by De Kock, empathize with him? I maintain that what may be construed as empathy is not empathy at all. I argue that if the black women discussed by Gobodo-Madikizela were able to extend themselves to De Kock it was through a way of thinking and being that was not empathetic in nature, on a certain understanding of empathy.
THURSDAY 18 Sep 2014, Venue: Central Block, Ground Floor, Room CB3C, 16.15. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Contact DetailsPhone: 27 11 717 4345
Fax: 27 11 717 4359
Physical AddressRoom CB9
Ground Floor Central Block
Postal AddressPhilosophy Department
Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050