Viewed from a distance one could think that philosophy is only a small voice in an orchestra of academic disciplines that could be easily drowned out. However, if you look closer you will see an incredible wealth of fascinating problems and solutions. This concentrated supply of philosophical ways of thinking is to a large part the result of the long and diverse history of Western Thought. Whoever has time to think will eventually come upon one or another theory about the world or about God.
The Institute of the History of Philosophy at the KU Linz devotes itself to thinking about philosophical traditions from antiquity to medieval philosophy, from modernity to contemporary thought. To be thoroughly acquainted with the philosophical concepts of the past yields a clear advantage in avoiding argumentative fallacies in the present. Brand new arguments will not look as new and shiny when one can discern them to be reinventing the wheel.
Engaging with the history of philosophy makes us proficient in distinguishing between mere repetitions of thought and ground-breaking new ideas. Engaging in critique keeps us from merely reiterating our own finite thought. The concentrated study of the history of philosophy helps us define our contemporary way of thought and make it more precise.