Philosophy is the art and science that touches the essence of being and critically analyses everything. It’s at the core of everyone’s life and daily actions, in everything that is said or done, directly or indirectly. It’s common for other disciplines to apply philosophical principles and methods in other disciplines, be it law, politics, economics or history. But philosophy can claim even more, for it’s considered the foundation on which many subjects are built. All research begins by questioning the world outside and inside of us. And it’s philosophy that gives us the fundamental knowledge about how to ask questions.
Although philosophy is a discipline that has its roots in pre-biblical times and was one of mankind’s first research endeavours, it’ is by no means a dead art. It’ is alive and thriving. In many everyday situations and in many fields of research, we’ are confronted with questions that are to be solved through the application of philosophy. The philosophical subfields such as business ethics, public ethics or medical ethics are there to solve the most urgent and difficult social problems. Philosophy of law and political philosophy precede the disciplines of law and politics, because ideas are the background without which all research in law and politics cannot do. And of course philosophy isn’t only in demand in the social sciences. All the technological progress towards which humanity is heading is based on, and should be based on, philosophical investigations into what could be created, what should be created and what creations could be lethal.
Our lives are based on our beliefs, whether we profess a faith or not. Religious studies helps us to understand the truths we believe in. And also the truths that others believe. By touching on the foundations of the worldviews we carry within us and the worldviews of people from other cultures, religious studies gives us the knowledge that is essential for tolerance and sustainability in our multicultural world.