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idkifimsmart

Why study philosophy?

43 posts in this topic
17 hours ago, ENFPEACE said:

I have a friend who majored in Philosophy at Harvard.

He used that skill to be an excellent admin assistant.  Evidentally, he was a firm believer of the "money isn't everything" philosophy.

While I can appreciate a good secretary (they're amazing), that seems like a grand waste of an expensive degree.

Frankly, you can train anyone with an 8th-grade education to be a great secretary. No $200k diplomas required.

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The simple fact that most important philosophy in history is in the public domain kinda makes paying for the education a bad deal. Philosophy IMO should have a much bigger influence on law and economics than it does in academia atm. Having taken a few undergrad philosophy courses, it was apparent that it was not practical or goal oriented. I actually think your poli-sci and sociology majors get a better philosophy education in a way despite the lack of breadth philosophical sources.  

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9 hours ago, eagleseven said:

Frankly, you can train anyone with an 8th-grade education to be a great secretary. No $200k diplomas required.

Well, not anyone. But anyone who has the potential has no need of an overpriced education. And anyone who lacks the potential won't benefit from the education.

College is inefficient.

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10 hours ago, unkindhuman said:

Philosophy done improperly is not really philosophy. 

Have you noticed how you respond to arguments without making any actual points? Just broad generalizations with no support? I'm counting that as a point against collegiate philosophy.

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10 hours ago, unkindhuman said:

Philosophy done improperly is not really philosophy. 

And a true Scotsman does not wear undies.

If you're not getting worthwhile results from whatever you're doing, either you're doing it wrong or it's not worth doing at all. If you're getting good results, give it any name you like and keep doing it.

If the Dean is getting good financial results from what you're doing and you're not, then you're a sucker.

 

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4 hours ago, yes said:

Have you noticed how you respond to arguments without making any actual points? Just broad generalizations with no support? I'm counting that as a point against collegiate philosophy.

I choose to spend my time dealing with more important issues than putting in any real effort responding to these "arguments". 

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4 minutes ago, unkindhuman said:

I choose to spend my time dealing with more important issues than putting in any real effort responding to these "arguments". 

We can all see right through that, you know.

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4 hours ago, unkindhuman said:

I choose to spend my time dealing with more important issues than putting in any real effort responding to these "arguments". 

Of course. I agree that posting here is not the greatest use of one's time. But let's not pretend that spending hours, if not days, proving to your professor that you are able to rephrase her/his opinions on Hegel in your own words is a better use of time. The forum, at least, is free of cost.

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On 1/9/2017 at 11:50 PM, yes said:

I used my philosophy degree to wait on tables and bartend at an Applebee's. Eventually I went on to become a programmer, but I'm not sure how heavily the philosophy degree factored into it.

I got a lot out of the philosophy, personally, though I should also mention that I basically studied against the grain. Had I followed instructions and focused on what the professors told me to focus, the education would not have been as beneficial as it was.

If you're into law, medicine, or a number of other post-graduate trainings, philosophy tends to be an accepted and appreciated bachelor's degree.

 

Say more about this.

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4 hours ago, yes said:

Of course. I agree that posting here is not the greatest use of one's time. But let's not pretend that spending hours, if not days, proving to your professor that you are able to rephrase her/his opinions on Hegel in your own words is a better use of time. The forum, at least, is free of cost.

You think you can understand Hegel in a few days? LOL

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I tell the students in my Western Philosophy course the following:

"Your 'philosophy' is your set of answers to the Great Questions."

[I provide a list.]

"We study Philosophy to give answers to the Great Questions that allow us to live life well."

 

Note:  Hegel was a fraud.

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1 hour ago, Monte314 said:

Note:  Hegel was a fraud.

No. He was beyond understanding of mere plebs of todays world.

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On 1/9/2017 at 11:41 PM, idkifimsmart said:

Although I'd love to study philosophy, I realize that college is a large investment and a degree in philosophy will most likely not pay off financially. 

At the same time, I believe philosophy to be a wise investment because of the knowledge I would obtain and the positive way it would shape my character and actions. 

What are your opinions about studying philosophy? What are some things that can be done with a philosophy degree? 

Why? Because you want to do it. And there's no replacement for the challenge of college-level study. You can read books at home and think about things, but you're not being challenged to think and write, and rise to a higher level of understanding.

Philosophy isn't about just receiving information. It's a challenge for the mind. Developing critical thinking skills can help you in any field you want to enter; law, for instance, or programming.

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1 hour ago, Monte314 said:

"We study Philosophy to give answers to the Great Questions that allow us to live life well."

 

Note:  Hegel was a fraud.

That is because he was addressing the question of "us" which is different to "how do I live well".  The ancient philosophers were very much concerned about how the city (or state) should be organized to allow its members to thrive. No man can thrive alone. Athens had its aristocrats against the commoners such as the rowers. Rome had it plebeians and patricians. This lead to constant civil unrest. The complaints were always the same. The elites accused the commoners of wanting to appropriate their money. The commoners accused the elites of wanting to enslave them. It is still the theme today and unless resolved will lead to the same unrest.

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5 hours ago, Bevan said:

Why? Because you want to do it. And there's no replacement for the challenge of college-level study. You can read books at home and think about things, but you're not being challenged to think and write, and rise to a higher level of understanding.

I've learned more about critical thinking outside of college than in. And I've learned more about critical thinking from programming than vice versa.

However, I've known my share of coders who can't think all that deeply. Part of it is innate ability. You can't teach that. Without ability, you'll never be more than a script monkey.

All in all, I just don't see what a major - or even a minor - in Philosophy brings to the table that isn't already on the table.

Now Psychology is useful, even though though it's a soft science at best - because the subject matter is damned important. Take some elective courses there. And minor in Management.

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17 minutes ago, Continental Op said:

I've learned more about critical thinking outside of college than in. And I've learned more about critical thinking from programming than vice versa.

However, I've known my share of coders who can't think all that deeply. Part of it is innate ability. You can't teach that. Without ability, you'll never be more than a script monkey.

All in all, I just don't see what a major - or even a minor - in Philosophy brings to the table that isn't already on the table.

Now Psychology is useful, even though though it's a soft science at best - because the subject matter is damned important. Take some elective courses there. And minor in Management.

When i enrolled in college i went to the philosophy department first. That was where i wanted to be at the time. I wanted to find out what was going on with people in the psychological sense, and it was a good place to start.

And i didn't turn in a dazzling performance in the course on Heidegger. I submitted a crappy piece of writing which earned a C, and the prof was being generous, i think.

Classroom participation and a serious interest in the subject was what saved me in the end. I was in over my head, but fearlessly volunteered to get it all wrong.

So the takeaway, and i was only 19 at the time, was beginning to know what i didn't know. But the experience was rigorous, educational in the best sense of the word.

I saw that i couldn't write worth a damn, and that gave me something to work on. Eventually i moved over to the English department and got a BA there. 

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12 hours ago, June said:

 

Say more about this.

Certainly. Philosophy classes generally boil down to assigning readings and then discussing those readings in class, much in the same way an art history class might read about and discuss art history. And just as art history students do not learn how to make art, philosophy students are not taught how to do philosophy, but only how to discuss and quote it.

When I say that I "studied against the grain", I mean that I often ignored whatever requirements and assignments were set by my professors. I skimmed just about every reading assignment, if I read it at all, and only fully read a couple. Instead of reading, I spent my time focusing on my own theories and curiosities, discussing them with classmates and professors alike, whenever I could. I would participate in class, but usually with ignorance towards the exact content of the reading being discussed, and instead elevating the conversation to a higher, more independent level, or deliberately steering the conversation towards a subject that was relevant to my current interests.

My professors were completely aware of what I was doing, of course, but they maintained enough respect for my thoughts, conversation, and arguments that they did not disturb my process. While I was a "trouble" student in some ways, I was also the student that brought thought provoking conversation to class, and continuously demonstrated ability, and they valued that. On one occasion I had to drop a class due to ignoring the given material (75% of which was pure historical data), but still maintained a respectful relationship with the professor (who, by the way,  was the chair of the department). I was able to maintain enough respect from the faculty that I was one of the "core" students in the department throughout my entire time there, and on occasion was even invited to their homes for social gatherings.

All in all, I got very little of the actual college philosophy, and most of what I learned and developed I could have down elsewhere, but I took good advantage out of being in that environment, which was a plus. My grades, of course, were average at best, but that was something I expected and did not mind. If that's an experience you're willing to spend money on, then go for it. But for full disclosure, I should mention I only went to college after being forced to do so by my parents, so I cannot speak in favor of it for anyone attending college for the sake of career development.

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