Why Philosophy?

Philosophy majors are often asked, “What IS philosophy?” and “What do you do with a philosophy degree?” In other words, of all the majors one could choose to study, WHY PHILOSOPHY?
If you are a philosophy major, or thinking about becoming one, here are some facts to help you answer these questions. Share them with your friends and family!

EMPLOYERS WANT PHILOSOPHERS

"The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors are Changing the World of Business"  http://tinyurl.com/m6jowun

"A Philosophy Degree Earns More than an Accounting Degree"   http://tinyurl.com/oskacoj

Did you know that according to the most recent federal figures, the percentage increase in philosophy majors in recent years has been greater than the increase in the number of four-year college graduates?
Source: “Study of Philosophy Makes Gains Despite Economy” [http://tinyurl.com/d3bydjv]

Here’s what philosophy graduates know:  Employers want someone who can think logically, find unique solutions to problems, and communicate them to others. Employers are looking for people with skills that translate into running a business.

“The knowledge I use as CEO can be acquired in two weeks…The main thing a student needs to be taught is how to study and analyze things (including) history and philosophy.”   Amos Shapira, CEO, Cellcom
Source: “Want Innovative Thinking? Hire From the Humanities” [http://tinyurl.com/4twabdp]

Andrew Wicklander, owner of a software company, says that when he is hiring, he looks for people who can identify real problems in the current state of his industry, break them down into manageable bits, and apply new concepts to solve the problem. Business majors typically have “memorized a map of business processes and solutions.” But this is not what he is looking for in his line of work. He wants someone who can, in philosophical terms, ‘perform analytic critical reasoning’ in a fast-changing market.
Source: “The Power of Philosophy” [http://tinyurl.com/c5jpd7a]

Philosophy differs from most disciplines because, in philosophy courses, students are not taught what to think but rather how to think. Knowing that some problems have multiple solutions—or no solution—is an important skill, and employers recognize the value of hiring people who know how to ask the right questions, analyze issues from many points of view, and assess the pros and cons of competing proposals. This is the business of philosophy.

The new ETHICS TRACK in the philosophy major will open new career doors for students who study ethics, in particular. To find out more: http://philosophy.arizona.edu/content/ethics-track

THE SKILLS OF PHILOSOPHY ARE TRANSFERABLE TO MANY DIFFERENT FIELDS

Our UA philosophy majors have pursued careers in business management, marketing, advertising, law, medicine, non-profit organizations, environmental liaison work, software engineering, criminal justice, public relations, consulting, library science, journalism, social work, retail, and more.

A University of Arizona 2012 philosophy graduate, Rader Lane, turned a summer job into a full-time professional position as an Interpretive Ranger at Grand Canyon National Park, conducting programs about the cultural and natural resources of the area. Rader credits his career to philosophy. He says, “Learning the facts is the easy part. Philosophy trained me to connect intangible concepts and universal ideas with the tangible objects of the Grand Canyon area, giving people a much deeper experience. Philosophy itself is the practice of interpreting reality, gaining clarity, and using the tools of language to express how things ought to be understood.”

STUDENTS OF PHILOSOPHY EXPLORE TOPICS EVERYONE LIKES TO THINK ABOUT

Philosophy majors learn how to critically examine potential answers to questions such as, “How can I know for sure if what I believe is true?” “What sort of society is best?” “Is morality just whatever each society says it is?” “Do our perceptions represent the way things really are?” “What can science tell us about the true nature of the world?” “Does my own identity persist through time?” “How should I live my life to be a good person?”

Although everyone might, at one time, discuss these things, philosophical exploration is done with the rigor of analytic thinking that rises above casual discussions based on mere opinion.
In scrutinizing the potential answers to these questions, students of philosophy learn the skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, conceptual analysis and argumentation. Philosophy students know how to look at the big picture, stay open-minded, and always look for the truth.

“Business leaders around the world have told me that they despair of finding people who can help them solve wicked problems. They simply don’t have enough people with the right backgrounds. [They need] people trained in the humanities who…have learned to play with big concepts, and to apply new ways of thinking to difficult problems that can’t be analyzed in conventional ways.”   Tony Golsby-Smith, CEO, Second Road Consulting Firm [http://tinyurl.com/4twabdp]

STUDYING PHILOSOPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Because of the faculty, the philosophy department at the UA is consistently ranked in or near the TOP 10 year after year, alongside Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and NYU. (www.philosophicalgourmet.com)

Entry into the Ph.D. program in philosophy is highly competitive, and only the best students are selected. For this reason, you can be sure that courses taught by grad students are top quality, too.

 

PHILOSOPHY MAJORS EXCEL AT THE GRE AND LSAT FOR GRADUATE AND LAW SCHOOL

Check out these numbers. They speak for themselves:
GRE Scores By Intended Graduate Major, 2011-2012
VERBAL                                       QUANTITATIVE                              ANALYTICAL WRITING

Philosophy 160                            Physics 161                                     Philosophy 4.4

English        157                           Economics 159                                English 4.3

Political Sci  156                          Computer Sci 158                           Political Science 4.2

Physics         156                           Chemistry  157                                Physics  4.0

Economics     154                         Philosophy 153                               Psychology 4.0

http://tinyurl.com/c5jpd7a

LSAT Scores
University of North Texas economist Michael Nieswiadomy has conducted several studies (in 1998, 2006, and 2008) derived from LSAT data. In the most recent study, Nieswiadomy took the LSAT scores of test-takers for 162 majors, finding the averages of each major. Philosophy ranks second with economics and theology, after math and physics. Here are the rankings of the top ten:

Mathematics/Physics 160.0
Philosophy/Economics/Theology 157.4
International Relations 156.6
Engineering 156.2
Government 156.1
Chemistry 156.1
History 155.9

(Rankings of other top 30 majors: Computer Science, 16; Political Science, 18; Accounting, 22; Marketing/Business Management, 26; Pre-Law, 28; Criminal Justice, 29)
[http://tinyurl.com/mn2se2]

HANG YOUR PHILOSOPHY DEGREE ALONGSIDE THESE FAMOUS PHILOSOPHY MAJORS:

As further evidence that philosophy translates to many diverse fields, consider this list of famous philosophers (in random order):

David Souter, Supreme Court Justice
Rudi Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City
Albert Schweitzer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Gerald Levin, CEO, Time-Warner
Ethan Coen, Film Maker
Rahm Emanuel, Clinton White House Political Advisor
Robert MacNamara, Secretary of Defense
Mary Higgins Clark, Mystery Writer
James Michener, Writer
Martin Luther King, Jr., Minister and Civil Rights Leader
Angela Davis, Social Activist
Phil Jackson, Basketball Coach
Harrison Ford, Actor
Bruce Lee, Martial arts expert and Actor
Steve Martin, Comedian
Mark Hulbert, Financial Columnist FORBES Magazine
Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

IS PHILOSOPHY FOR YOU?

Apart from the practical usefulness of philosophy and the fact that the skills of philosophy can help you get a job after graduation, there is also the intrinsic joy of pursuing philosophy for its own sake. Philosophy is definitely for you if…

You can’t help but ask “why”?
You enjoy critically assessing and developing arguments.
You like the challenge of grappling with issues that have been studied by some of the greatest thinkers of every age.
You enjoy discussing philosophy with others.
You like thinking about issues and problems in a variety of ways.
You are interested in finding correct answers to difficult and fundamental questions.
 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHY MAJOR TODAY!

To Declare the Philosophy Major, contact: Laura Howard: lmhoward@email.arizona.edu
Or…
Social and Behavioral Sciences College Advisor, Jared Burton: (web page link)

In the UA Catalog:
In Degree Tracker:
Philosophy Club: On Facebook: University of Arizona Undergraduate Philosophy
Read more about the benefits of a philosophy degree:
Study of Philosophy Makes Gains Despite Economy: [http://tinyurl.com/d3bydjv]
The Power of Philosophy [http://tinyurl.com/c5jpd7a]
Demand for Arts Grads Grows [http://tinyurl.com/cl4ceo4]
Soft Skills: What Employers Want (And Don’t Want) In an Employee
[http://tinyurl.com/9mhbbp6]
The Skills and Qualities Employers Want in Their Class of 2013 Recruits
[http://tinyurl.com/dxbg9td]

Don't Dismiss the Humanites  http://tinyurl.com/prqg4dq

"The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors are Changing the World of Business"  http://tinyurl.com/m6jowun

"A Philosophy Degree Earns More than an Accounting Degree"   http://tinyurl.com/oskacoj

 

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