'Why Study Philosophy'

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by midcan5, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    I often read that students should study some field of knowledge that leads to productive work. But consider that my eventual working world did not even exist when I started college. My degree was eventually in Liberal Arts as I was never sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. When you examine the degrees of many of the national leaders in technology or business, their degree is often not related to their work. How is that, some even dropped out of school. So then maybe we need to ask what makes a person a good citizen and a productive member of society. Could it be a liberal education steeped in philosophy?

    "Is a liberal arts education for everyone? Probably not. Some people would rather do just about anything than major in philosophy, and that is fine. But a liberal arts education forms students to be a thoughtful and concerned citizens, and that is the subtext here. Educated, concerned citizens aren’t going to sit back and let the economic elite run the show. McCrory can critique the educated elite all that he wants, but when you pal around with the likes of Art Pope you really have no business accusing anyone else of elitism.

    McCrory himself studied political science and education. Bennett, who was interviewing him, has a PhD in – you guessed it – philosophy. The underlying assumption appears to be that if you’re part of the upper class, you can enjoy the luxury of a liberal arts education. If you’re lower or middle class, the public institutions that are supposed to be part of the mythical “American dream,” that level playing field, should only offer courses in skilled trades. Wealthy young people will get a liberal arts education. Poor and middle class young people will choose a trade."

    Femmonite: Notes from an Employed Philosopher
     
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  2. drifter
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    drifter Platinum Member

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    I have noticed a lot of law students were steeped in philosophy classes in undergraduate schooling.

    I like to read some philosophy just because I get a different viewpoint or insight into ways of looking at things in life.

    I have more of a preference in studying social theories though.
     
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  3. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

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    There is no need at all to go to college to study liberal arts.

    You can do it on your own for free. The funny thing is that the public is convinced that they have to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to read a book.
     
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  4. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    My oldest is getting his PhD in philosophy. His goal is a tenure track teaching position out of school, but that's tough to pull off. But the odds have been against him all along and he knocks down every barrier in his way, so I'm not too worried. Even if that doesn't pan out, he'll be prepared for any number of professional jobs out of school. He's a pretty good framing carpenter too. :)
     
  5. drifter
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    drifter Platinum Member

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    Well I agree with you about the free education.

    I think it's BS that the government "requires" a college degree for some types of jobs.

    It's just a way to make money off people.

    But as far as your comment on getting your own education with books, absolutely.
     
  6. drifter
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    drifter Platinum Member

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    He's a dedicated person !:clap2:
     
  7. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Diamond Member

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    Reading philosophy is an active event, much like reading a book on Mathematics or legal judgments. The authors, translators and editors of works of the great philosophers are not often the best writers, for their efforts to cover all bases leads to many parenthetic paragraphs. Most works require intense concentration and note taking.

    The payoff is worth it. When the light bulb goes off it's like hitting the game winning home run or sinking that last second basket.
     
  8. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Hmmm... this could be an whole 'nuther thread, wherein I expound on the co-opting of public education as a screening service for business, rather than genuine liberal education. In a nutshell, education should about teaching, not evaluating, endorsing or otherwise 'vetting', students.
     
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  9. drifter
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    drifter Platinum Member

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    Make a thread on that topic we can go there and see if anyone else has a different perspective. Send me a link please.
     
  10. Friends
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    Friends Gold Member

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    It is a good thing he knows carpentry.

    A liberal arts degree does not prepare one for a realistic job, and it may alienate one from one's co-workers. The liberal arts graduate will want to talk about Plato or Homer. His co-workers will be talking about last night's ball game or what happened on a sit com.
     
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