Philosophizing Outside of Academia


David Storey (Boston College) interviews people whose work has them doing philosophy outside of traditional academic contexts.

He has interviewed around 30 people so far, and has launched a podcast, Wisdom at Work: Philosophy Beyond the Ivory Tower, to share them.

I asked him for more information about his project. Here’s what he said:

I interview people who studied philosophy and work outside the academy in some capacity. This includes both professors who hold normal academic positions but moonlight doing public-facing work and those who left the academy (including MAs, ABDs, and PhDs who couldn’t get jobs, as well as former professors). 

My aims are to share their stories, especially how they found their way through the wilderness and reinvented themselves; to identify the common psychological and logistical challenges of transitioning; to distill the patterns (where philosophers go and how they get there); and eventually, to build a comprehensive map charting the pathways out of academia, and then feed that map back into academic programs. I have interviewed folks who work in a wide range of sectors: government, counseling, consulting, tech, finance, human resources, and more.

My hope is that this will be of use to several groups of people: philosophy majors unsure of their career trajectory;  graduate students and young PhDs staring down the punishing academic job market; professors interested in either doing public facing work or leaving academia altogether; and professors who are retooling their programs and curricula to provide more professional development for their undergraduate and graduate programs. In short, I hope this will be a useful resource for our profession as we struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

You can find Wisdom at Work on Apple podcasts here. More information can be found on my website here.

I just received a grant from the APA’s Berry Fund in Public Philosophy to support the project, and I am in the process of spreading the word. I would be grateful if you would share with students, philosophy majors, colleagues, placement directors, etc. If you have suggestions for topics or guests for future episodes, please contact me at [email protected]. Thanks!


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