Undergraduate Studies

Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts.
Philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity. ...
Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy and indistinct: its task is to make them clear and to give them sharp boundaries.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus 4.112

Lecture Room

Why study philosophy?

Philosophy is about some of the deepest, most fascinating questions there are, such as - How should I live? What am I? Can science explain everything? Does God exist? Do we have free will? What is beauty? Students read the works of the world's greatest thinkers, ancient and modern, Chinese and Western, from Confucius and Plato to Zhu Xi and Kant to Zhuangzi and Nietzsche. Philosophy students acquire a deep appreciation of universal human concerns, and broaden their horizons in a way no other field of study can. They also learn to apply what they learn to issues facing citizens of contemporary societies. Philosophy offers excellent training for life-long learning and for a wide range of careers by developing skills in interpreting, organizing, and evaluating complex theories; identifying and analyzing problems and reasoning critically and creatively about how to solve them; applying logic to show why some views are well supported and others not; and communicating clearly in speech and writing. A core part of a traditional liberal arts education, philosophy is widely recognized as offering excellent preparation for a variety of professions in business, government, journalism, law, or medicine. Above all, the study of philosophy makes life more interesting and worthwhile.

Information about our courses

Studying philosophy

Here are some websites and articles about studying philosophy:

Graduates and alumni

Hong Kong Legislator Margaret Ng Professor Kwong-loi Shun
  • Hong Kong Legislator Margaret Ng, did a BA and MPhil in Philosophy at HKU.
  • Former Hong Kong Legislator Martin Lee studied English and Philosophy at HKU.
  • Professor Kwong-loi Shun. Chair Professor of Philosophy at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Former Vice-President and Principal of the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
  • Terence Chang, former Headmaster of Diocesan Boys' School, studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature at HKU.
  • Charles Chau, Former executive vice president of strategy and research as well as managing director for North Asia, MTV Networks.
  • Many of our students have gone on for postgraduate studies overseas, e.g. Oxford, Berkeley, Brown, St. Andrews.

Comments, questions and problems - who to contact

  • Dr. Joe Lau is the Director of undergraduate studies.
  • The staff-student consultative committee meets with students regularly to discuss various issues. If you have any comments, please contact Dr. O'Leary or Dr Lau.
  • For matters relating to sexual harrassment, please contact Dr. Alexandra Cook who is our sexual harassment officer.