Historically, philosophy is at the center of the liberal arts tradition. The very concept of an Academy that combines the freedom to inquire with the responsibility to clarify and solve social problems is the invention of classical Greek philosophers.
By subject matter, philosophy is one of the humanities, and studies the concepts we have developed in order to understand the world in which we find ourselves and express what we have discovered. It critically examines our basic assumptions about the world and human relationships.
But philosophy retains a methodological kinship with the sciences, whose methods developed out of general philosophical inquiry. Critical thinking is the hallmark of philosophy courses that bring clarity, precision, and logically rigorous argument to controversial questions about what is real, knowable and valuable. The development of this critical perspective, an appreciation of inquiry and the values that underlie it, is the heart of philosophy.