Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why Study Philosophy?

A New York Times article counts (some of) the ways:

For students in philosophy,
"what they learn in class can translate into practical skills and careers."
"is really at the core of just about everything we do. If you study humanities or political systems or sciences in general, philosophy is really the mother ship from which all of these disciplines grow."
"In an era in which people change careers frequently, philosophy makes sense. 'It’s a major that helps them become quick learners and gives them strong skills in writing, analysis and critical thinking.'"
With its emphasis "on the big questions and alternative points of view, [philosophy] provides good training for looking at larger societal questions, like globalization and technology."
And of course,
“Philosophy is a lot of fun.”


Sharon Crasnow said...

This is a nice article but I wonder about the ending. So, women just study philosophy because they like the guys? That's unfair I know since there are specific references to what other women mentioned about their career goals and the fit with philosophy, but still, it is sort of an odd way to end the article. Or am I being too sensitive and it was just a way to make it light?

Khadimir said...

And perhaps an inappropriate way? But then, if the article was of computer science majors, that would strike me as slightly creepy. But that might just be me.

KateNorlock said...

The article doesn't conclude that it's the only reason women study philosophy. Even the young woman who said it didn't identify it as her sole motivation. I have to admit though, that men in my social circle seem to be getting a bigger kick out of that attempted light-note ending, than do the women. Interesting, no?

Maybe the men like to imagine the young woman was talking about them, ha ha! Whereas those of us who were disappointed with the pickins, know better.

Sharon Crasnow said...

Here's something interesting. The west coast hard copy of the article did not have that ending! I just found that out today when I got home and found that my guy had saved it for me to read.

The way I read that ending by the way, was that it wasn't saying that that's why women took the classes but rather was directed to men (think about who the audience is)as a reason why they should take the classes ("The girls will like you better!") and perhaps that is why the men in your department found it appealing.