Brief History of the Department
Our programme of study of Philosophy is designed to enable our students to come to a great understanding of what the philosophical enterprise is all about. They will come to know that the study of Philosophy is not a time-wasting diversion for people who should have more important and ‘practical’ things to do. The courses of study are so designed that they will come to know and appreciate the fact that philosophy has a value in itself worth pursuing.
It should be borne in mind that philosophy is by its very nature, critical of the status quo, unwilling to accept as unquestioned even the widely held belief. It was Socrates who gave a clue to what philosophy can do when he declared that “the unexamined life is not worth living”.
Being not oblivious of this dictum of Socrates, our programme of study is, first and foremost, designed to show that philosophy has a direct and intimate connection with an outlook upon life. It is not as abstract as people would want to make it. It is a person’s life with all its hope and fears that lead human beings to philosophize.
Simply put, one can say that philosophical project is in fact the speculative attitude that does not shrink from facing difficult and unsolved problems of life. It is a permanent disposition of mind towards those problems of life which sciences and other disciplines are unable to answer, at any rate, at present. Hence, there is a great necessity for the study of philosophy.
Our courses of study, as outlined in the handbook, cover the main value of philosophy which lies in the fact that it broadens human being’s vision of the world, life and its problems. When properly assimilated, it will free our students’ minds from bias and prejudices and enlarge their perception of the world around them. This is so because philosophy trains human minds to remove bias and prejudices. It is in this area of shaping our mental attitude that philosophy contributes more than other disciplines.
In sum, the programme is geared towards making our students access the benefits of philosophy which is pronounced in its function to liberate the mind, mould human beings, shape their value orientation, so as to be able to become more aware of their needs, and better able to establish their power and rights in the society. It is obvious that philosophy contributes immensely to building a better society.
There is no doubt, from the foregoing, that philosophy has a value in itself. Studying philosophy can never be a waste of time. It is importantly a preparation for acquiring knowledge that will enable our students to learn how to participate actively in the journey of life in human society. In other words, it not only prepares one for employment and gainful livelihood but also for life itself. This explains the importance which National Universities Commission (NUC) attaches to the study of “Philosophy and Logic” in the School of General Studies for all 100 level students in all Nigerian Universities.