Why major?

13 posts

Brain Bath

Billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman says his masters in philosophy has helped him more than an MBA

by Richard Feloni | Business Insider Nov. 24, 2017 Reid Hoffman is the billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn and one of tech’s most influential investors. Instead of a business education, he pursued his master’s degree in philosophy. He told us that the analytical thinking skills he learned have made him a better investor and entrepreneur. When students begin graduate studies in philosophy, they’re typically looking to explore the essence of existence — and suffice it to say, most are not getting on a path to riches. But one of Silicon Valley’s most influential billionaires, LinkedIn founder and Greylock Partners investor Reid […]

Brain Bath

That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket

From George Anders 2015 column in Forbes magazine. Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more. He’s the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Canada’s University of Victoria and a master’s degree from Cambridge in philosophy and the history of science. “Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument […]

Brain Bath

Why study philosophy?: A statement by Jordan Kotick, Vice-President J.P. Morgan, Wall Street

While considering what to study in my first year as an Undergraduate, I decided to take a few Philosophy courses. When informed of my decision, those I knew murmured, “Philosophy…what are you going to do with that?” Soon after my first year was complete, realizing that I enjoyed these courses and my intellectual curiosity was peaked and challenged, I decided that one of my double majors as an undergraduate was going to be Philosophy. The echoes grew louder as those I knew grumbled “Philosophy? What are you going to do with that?” After four years and a Bachelor of Arts […]

Brain Bath

A Society with Poor Critical Thinking Skills: The Case for ‘Argument’ in Education

Huffington Post (08/15/13 | Updated 10/15/13) by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz Researchers have shown that most students today are weak in critical thinking skills. They do poorly on simple logical reasoning tests (Evans, 2002). Only a fraction of graduating high school seniors (6 percent of 12th graders) can make informed, critical judgments about written text (Perie, Grigg, and Donahue, 2005). This problem applies to both reading and writing. Only 15 percent of 12th graders demonstrate the proficiency to write well-organized essays that consisted of clear arguments (Perie et al., 2005). Critical thinking and argument skills — the abilities to both generate and critique arguments […]

I'm Dangerous

“I think, therefore I earn”

by Jessica Shepherd, The Guardian (19 November 2007) “A degree in philosophy? What are you going to do with that then?” Philosophy students will tell you they’ve been asked this question more times than they care to remember. “The response people seem to want is a cheery shrug and a jokey ‘don’t know’,” says Joe Cunningham, 20, a final-year philosophy undergraduate at Heythrop College, University of London. A more accurate comeback, according to the latest statistics, is “just about anything I want”. Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show philosophy graduates, once derided as unemployable layabouts, are in growing […]

Business Needs Philosophy

Why Future Business Leaders Need Philosophy

BigThink – August 3, 2013 by Anders Poulsen In the wake of the financial crisis, an era of severe turbulence, rapid changes and increasing complexity has emerged. A black cloud hangs over the past decade’s economic prosperity and global consumption habits, which fundamentally challenges the purpose of business. All too often the approach to business practices has been one-dimensional, lacking in richness and depth. This goes for both the cheerleaders and the critics of the current business practices. In these times, it is important to be able to view the world in different shades – one of possibilities, rather than […]

Well-Known Philosophy Majors

by Brendan Lalor I believe it was the good philosophers at Belmont University, who started the list of well-known people who were philosophy majors. The folks at at Eastern Kentucky University added significantly to the list. The list is reprinted below. And Catherine Nolan has created a “Philosophy Majors” poster. [gview file=”https://thereitis.org/tii-content/uploads/2009/12/philosophy-majors_c-nolan.pdf” save=”0″] I’ll take any additions you may want to submit, along with the documentation. What Can I Do With a Philosophy Degree? The truth is; you can do ANYTHING with your degree. But don’t take our word for it – the following is a list of people, all […]

Can I Get a Job With a Philosophy Degree?

by Brendan Lalor If you want to “be all you can be” as a human being, it’s hard to imagine a more practical course of training than the study of philosophy. As Aristotle argued, philosophical activity — reflective, appreciative understanding of and speculation about the world — is conducive to the most fulfilling life. Hence, philosophy is a perfectly practical area of study for people who care to live good lives. But even we philosophers have to consider the other sort of “practical” use of philosophy more closely tied to employment and economic considerations. Not an MBA, a Philosophy degree […]

THE USES OF PHILOSOPHY

excerpted from the American Philosophical Association’s Philosophy: A Brief Guide for Undergraduates General Uses of Philosophy Much of what is learned in philosophy can be applied in virtually any endeavor. This is both because philosophy touches on so many subjects and, especially, because many of its methods are usable in any field. General Problem Solving. The study of philosophy enhances, in a way no other activity does, one’s problem-solving capacities. It helps one to analyze concepts, definitions, arguments and problems. It contributes to one’s capacity to organize ideas and issues, to deal with questions of value, and to extract what […]

How to Get to the Top — Study Philosophy

Questions of Principle 2 January 1990 | Globe and Mail [Toronto] by Thomas Hurka CALGARY – How should Canada educate students to compete successfully in the business world? Some provincial governments think it is by teaching them business. The Alberta government has announced plans for an “unprecedented” expansion of business education at its three universities. Already, 120 extra students are studying management at the University of Calgary. Recent evidence suggests this approach is mistaken. We will produce better managers if we educate them first in traditional subjects in the arts and sciences. We may do best of all of we […]

Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work

26 December 1997 | New York Times by CAROL MARIE CROPPER CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – What can you do with a philosophy degree? In an age of M.B.A.’s and computer scientists, more than 4,000 American college students graduate each year with a bachelor’s degree in the ancient discipline. Sometimes their parents and friends wonder what will happen to them. One thing is certain: Not many of them will go on to make a living as philosophers. Even those who persevere through a doctorate may wind up doing something else. More than 1,000 people with Ph.D’s in philosophy applied for the 448 […]

To Beat the Market: Hire a Philosopher

10 January 1999 | The New York Times by EDWARD WYATT BALTIMORE, Md. — Perhaps it is the references to the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges, the late Argentine author whose metaphysical imagery he uses to illustrate a point about price-to-earnings ratios. Or maybe it is the nods to the philosophy of William James, whose theories are called upon to justify why America Online is a value stock. Certainly some hint is in the “thought experiments” that he calls upon his staff to perform. Spend even a few minutes talking with William H. Miller III and it becomes clear that […]