Unfortunately, philosophy is not widely studied in public schools today, yet in earlier times it was considered the foundation of education. This is because philosophy encompasses all other subjects; it is the study of knowledge itself, life itself, reality itself. Philosophical premises are the foundation on which we build our understanding of the world around us. Exploring this subject develops one's capacity to think critically and question dominant ideas, leading to more confident, self-reliant and thoughtful individuals.
So what is philosophy? Literally, the term is Greek for "love of wisdom." And Aristotle, one of the giants of the field, defines it as "the science which considers truth." In its simplest terms, philosophy is the act of asking "Why?" The branches of philosophy - Metaphysics, Episteomolgy, Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics - direct this kind of question toward Reality, Truth, Right, Society and Beauty, respectively.
Topics I. Ancient Greece - The Birth of Western Philosophy (Socrates/Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Aristippus, Zeno, Heraclitus, Diogenes)
II. The East - Philosophy of Spirit (Gotama Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Baruch Spinoza)
III. Epistemology - Skepticism, Knowledge and Mind (Rene Descartes, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche)
IV. Ethics - Rules, Consequences, Virtues and Perspectives (Kant's Deontology and Hegel's Absolute; Bentham and Mill's Utilitarianism; Aristotle, Buddha, and Confucius's Virtue Ethics; Nietzsche and A.J. Ayer's Relativism)
V. Modern Issues in Philosophy -Artificial Intelligence and Technology -Philosophy and Physics -Contemporary Ethical Schools -Hot Button Issues -The Future of Free WIll -The Brain, The Soul, The Self -Time and Possible Worlds