The study of philosophy, both Western and Jewish, develops abilities applicable to any subject matter, and essential to life and leadership in a Jewish state.
It does this by teaching students to be self-critical, and by encouraging self-correction. Philosophy challenges its practitioners to examine their own opinions as well as to respect those of others. Finally, it empowers them to recognize and resist the false claims of demagoguery.
Philosophy and Jewish Thought at Shalem further emphasizes the essential role of the well-developed and well-defended idea in society’s progress. Students learn how movements begin with arguments, and how the arguments now considered obvious were once viewed as radical in nature. This knowledge may grant them the courage to imagine—and argue for—a different and more just society.