value of philosophyTag
“Like Plato’s Academy, the majority of modern universities should be civic institutions that engage with, learn from, and enhance the well-being of their local communities…. Each philosophy department should contain at least one member engaged in public interaction.” (more…)
“Philosophy is even harder than it seems; the right response to its difficulty is not to trash all the work already done by thousands of highly gifted and knowledgeable men and women.”
The following is the first installment of a miniseries on “The Philosophy of Popular Philosophy.” The series is being guest-edited by Aaron James Wendland, assistant professor of philosophy at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, and philosophy editor at The New Statesman. In the following post, he discusses the relationship bet..
A new study looks at the jobs and skills of college graduates, including those who major in philosophy, finds that choice of major “isn’t as deterministic of our work as we might believe,” and aims to help students understand how their education has prepared them for the job market. (more…)
The share of meal plan expenditures on meat by students who took part in a philosophy class on the ethics of eating animals declined from 52% to 45%, with “no evidence that meat-eating rates went back up during the two months data was monitored,” according to a recent study whose authors believe it provides evidence for the claim that “ethics classes can influence s..
Readers may recall our discussion last month of the column by Agnes Callard (Chicago) in which she questions whether public philosophy is good. In response, the Executive Committee of the Public Philosophy Network (PPN) has now issued a helpful reply. (more…)
The American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA) has issued a public statement defending the role of philosophy in higher education. It is a response to a perceived increase in threats to the existence of philosophy programs and presence of philosophy requirements in curricula at colleges and universities, especially Catholic ones. (more…)
Under a proposed reorganization of its curriculum, the University of Newcastle, which advertises itself as a “world class university” would eliminate the possibility of students majoring in philosophy, along with 80% of its philosophy faculty. (more…)
Happy World Philosophy Day! World Philosophy Day is the creation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It’s aims include recognizing the value of philosophy, encouraging philosophical work, and raising awareness of philosophy among the public. (more…)
Philosophy departments often include in their pitch to undergraduates the claim that studying philosophy can improve one’s thinking skills. But does it? (more…)
Occasionally philosophers make claims about the benefits of teaching elementary and high school students philosophy. (more…)
Earlier this year, Andrew P. Mills , professor of philosophy and director of the Integrative Studies Program at Otterbein University, and president of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, conducted a survey about teaching non-philosophy majors and getting them to see the value of philosophy. (more…)
A new program at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University combines philosophy and other humanities disciplines with a business education. “Integrated Business and Humanities” is a business major that requires its students to philosophy, language, culture, and other humanities courses. (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Myfanwy J. Williams, responding to last week’s post about claims made regarding the benefits of pre-college philosophy instruction. Dr. Williams is co-director of what she calls “a very small not-for-profit company,” which she is in the process of establishing with two fellow philosophers, John Foster and Faye Tucker (Second Though..
Philosophers at Wellesley, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Bryn Mawr, and Barnard—all women’s colleges—have authored a letter opposing the proposed elimination of the philosophy department at Mills College. (more…)
Elliott Green, a professor in the International Development Department at the London School of Economics, looked at which works from anthropology, economics, education, geography, linguistics, management, philosophy, political science, and psychology are cited most by social scientists. At the top of the list of the 50 most cited books, he reports, is Thomas Kuhn’s ..
I am a professor of philosophy at a public university. What is the value of philosophy to the taxpayers who subsidize my teaching? Philosophy is an abstruse and difficult field. Many of those whose taxes support higher education probably would have a hard time seeing the point of most philosophical debates. Why ask people to pay for discussions of seemingly arcane a..
As we’ve discussed before, most of our students are not heading off to become philosophers. Increasingly, students already have jobs and are saddled with time-consuming responsibilities, and are coming from a broader range of socio-economic backgrounds. What good is a philosophical education for them? Jennifer Morton (City College of New York) takes up the question ..
The Republican Presidential Primary Debate earlier this week led to a spike in public attention to the study of philosophy. Various news outlets covered Marco Rubio’s claim that the United States needs “more welders and less philosophers,” as well as other disparaging comments about philosophy by John Kasich and Ted Cruz (see previous post), along with responses by ..
Philosophy departments face many challenges. Philosophy is perceived by some as “less practical” and so less choiceworthy a course of study. Most entering students have not taken philosophy courses and do not come to college thinking about studying philosophy. Philosophy is unfamiliar, its critical element can scare away some students, and it has a reputation among ..
Cosmology’s hot streak has stalled. Cosmologists have looked deep into time, almost all the way back to the Big Bang itself, but they don’t know what came before it. They don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings. Something entirely unimaginable might have preceded it. Cosmologists don’t know if the world we see around us is..
Andrew Mills (Otterbein) is conducting a survey about what philosophers think is distinctively valuable about philosophy. I’ve reproduced his note about it, below, and I encourage you to complete the survey. As he says, the survey might help us adjust our teaching “so that we are emphasizing those skills and content that we think are most important for students to k..
“On occasion, someone will ask you why you’re a philosopher and not a scientist or some other, more obviously respectable, intellectual.”
I don’t know when Bryan Frances wrote “Why I Think Research in Non-Applied, Non-Interdisciplinary, Non-Historical Philosophy is Worthwhile” but now is a pretty good time to read it. It’s not even four pages long.
It is not the purpose of a Philosophy class to transmit information or inculcate skills, however useful that may be. It is to introduce students to the life of the mind, with all the characterological as well as intellectual changes that requires. It is to welcome the young man or woman into a moral sphere in which argument, honesty, and a passion for ideas reign…
Why should all of us have some access to philosophy?
Philosophy has traditionally been studied by the elites in a society, I suppose for a few reasons. One is that elites will want to be able to think for themselves. They want to be able to make decisions; they want to have leadership positions in society. Also, the elites in society want to enjoy the best of hum..
Traditionally, the liberal arts have been the privilege of an upper class. There are three big reasons for this. First, it befits the leisure time of an upper class to explore the higher goods of human life: to play Beethoven, to study botany, to read Aristotle, to go on an imagination-expanding tour of Italy. Second, because their birthright is to occupy leadership..