Philosophy is the original academic discipline–the first and most basic. It deals primarily with the notions of meaning, knowledge, truth and goodness. It's grounded in a literature spread over the last 2500 years.
To study philosophy is to think and discuss in logical ways such general concepts, the basis of all critical inquiry. It involves learning to construct, defend and criticize alternative positions on the most fundamental issues that human beings have continued to think about over that time. Through this practice students also come to understand the grounds and merit of positions on narrower issues of all sorts, as well as the implications of their assumptions about value and meaning in their own lives.