value of philosophyCategory
Philosophy Education As Practice for Working and Thinking Together
“I think one of the most profound effects that we could have… is to give people practice in having productive conversations about important issues that are unclear to us and that we disagree about.” (more…)
Contemporary Philosophy That May Help You In A Difficult Time
At Shepherd, a book recommendation site, philosopher Michael Cholbi (Edinburgh) discusses his own book, Grief: A Philosophical Guide, and a few other works by philosophers he thinks can provide readers with an “emotional compass” to help “navigate the perennial challenges that being human presents us.” (more…)
“Most scholarship is… not going to live forever. Is it therefore not worth doing?”
Writer B.D. McClay was prompted to ask the question in the above headline by remarks from Jason Stanley (Yale), who on Twitter said, “I would regard myself as an abject failure if people are still not reading my philosophical work in 200 years. I have zero intention of being just another Ivy League professor whose work lasts as long as they are alive.” (more…)
Philosophy Majors & High Standardized Test Scores: Not Just Correlation (guest post)
You’ve probably heard that philosophy majors do well on standardized tests for admission to graduate and professional programs, such as the GRE, LSAT, MCATs, and GMATS. You’ve probably also heard the warning that correlation is not causation. (more…)
Increase in Hiring of Liberal Arts Majors Predicted for 2020
“The biggest workplace gaps throughout technology evolution will rely on the soft skills that are cultivated by a liberal arts education instead of technical expertise.” (more…)
Philosophy Majors and the GRE: Updated Data (w/updates)
When students are compared by major on how far above average they do on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), a standardized test used in many disciplines to assess applicants to graduate programs, philosophy majors come out on top, according to a new look at test score data over the past few years. (more…)
The Career Trajectories and Workplace Skills of Philosophy and Language Majors
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…)
Moral Philosophy Courses Can Change Students’ Behavior
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..
Standing Up for Philosophy and Academia In Brazil and Elsewhere
“When those in power choose to oust entire disciplines, then no other discipline is safe from their interference. At stake is nothing less than the existence of independent academic research and teaching. Therefore, this should be a matter of concern to everyone who prefers knowledge to ignorance, and informed critical reflection to prejudice.” (more…)
The Varied Careers of Philosophy Majors
A philosophy professor has put together a book featuring brief essays by thirty people who majored in philosophy at his school and who went on to pursue a wide range of careers. (more…)
“Step aside and let philosophers do their job”
Elizabeth Oljar and David Koukal (University of Detroit Mercy) have penned a spirited case for universities entrusting the teaching of critical thinking to departments of philosophy in The Chronicle of Higher Education (may be paywalled). (more…)
What Do UK Philosophy Majors Do After They Graduate?
How many of those who graduate with a degree in philosophy in the UK are employed six months after graduation? What kinds of jobs do they get?
Job Prospects for Philosophy Majors: Perception and Reality
The number of philosophy majors in the U.S. is down 35% since its recent peak in 2007, and today, philosophy majors make up only around 0.137% of the student population. (more…)
APA Creates “Department Advocacy Toolkit”
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has produced a “Department Advocacy Toolkit” to “provide strategies that may be useful to programs that are at risk, programs hoping to insulate themselves against future risk, and programs aiming to strengthen and/or expand.” (more…)
Why Is Philosophy Important?
Often times when I tell people that my major is philosophy I am met with a confused stare followed by a series of questions asking why and of what use philosophy will be. Many have made jokes about my choice of major and not taken it or myself seriously. This response and the lack of outreach within the field has prompted me to want to show people why philosophy is ..
Getting Undergrads to See the Value of Philosophy: A Survey
Andrew Mills, associate professor of philosophy at Otterbein College, is interested in learning about how philosophers get the non-philosophy-majors who tend to populate their classes to see the value of philosophy. (more…)
A Story about Death, Medicine, Race, and Philosophers
A 13-year old African-American girl goes to the hospital for a tonsillectomy. What ends up happening is heartbreaking, infuriating, surprising—and, in part, a result of the work of philosophers and bioethicists. (more…)
How We Created A Philosophy Major (guest post by Matthew Brown)
The following is a guest post* by Matthew J. Brown, associate professor of philosophy and history of ideas at the University of Texas, Dallas, about how, in an era in which it seems that a different philosophy department is under threat of closure each week, he and his colleagues were actually able to create a philosophy major at their university. Excellent news! (m..
“Philosophy Is A Great Major” – A New Site
They told you that philosophy majors don’t get jobs.
They told you that you should practice asking “do you want fries with that?”
They told you philosophy wasn’t about real-world skills.
They were wrong.
So says Philosophy Is A Great Major, a new website about the benefits of majoring in philosophy. (more…)
Western Illinois As Warning
Inside Higher Ed has an article following up on the recent news of the elimination of the philosophy major at Western Illinois University (WIU). As we previously reported, the committee charged with reviewing programs (APER) did not recommend the closure of the philosophy department. And while Illinois has a reporting requirement for programs with low enrollments at..
Three Recent Plugs For Philosophy’s Practical Value
In the span of a day or so at least three paeans to the practical value of studying philosophy have appeared online, at… (more…)
Philosophy at Western Illinois Targeted (updated)
At its upcoming meeting in June, the Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University will take up Resolution 16.6/5 which, among other things, calls for the elimination of the university’s philosophy program as a way of responding to severe budget cuts: (more…)
The Unpredictable Progress of Knowledge
The whole thing is predicated on what amounts to a shotgun approach to knowledge: you let people metaphorically fire wherever they wish, and statistically speaking they’ll occasionally hit a worthy target. Crucially, there doesn’t seem to be a way, certainly not a centralized or hierarchically determinable way, to improve the efficacy of the target shooting. If we w..
Most Cited Philosophy Books in the Social Sciences
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 ..
The Salary Boost of Getting an MA in Philosophy
Here’s some mysterious data. According to Emolument, a website that trades in “crowdsourced pay data,” while people with a BA in philosophy earn, on average, £42,000 (roughly $60,000), those with an MA in philosophy earn, on average £61,000 (roughly $88,000). That’s about a 45% salary increase. (more…)
Departmental Alumni Pages
Does your philosophy department have an alumni page on its website? I’m not referring to a page limited to PhD placements, but rather one that includes bachelors and masters degree holders. It’s a great way to advertise the value of studying philosophy to prospective majors and graduate students, and to help them gain a sense of the career possibilities open to them..
Remember: “Philosophy’s the thing”
A pair of essays in Times Higher Education—one by Simon Blackburn (Cambridge, UNC) and the other by Mariana Alessandri (Texas, Rio Grande Valley) and John Kaag (UMass, Lowell) —aim to defend the value of studying philosophy.
Each has interesting bits worth considering. Blackburn talks about progress in philosophy:
philosophy has indeed both changed and imp..
Philosophers and Welders and Politicians (updated)
In last night’s Republican primary debate, Florida Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio criticized U.S. higher education for being “outdated.” It is too expensive, he said, and too hard to access. Additionally, “it doesn’t teach 21st century skills.” Like welding.
I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more mo..