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    When you tell someone you’re taking Philosophy, you often get the impression the person you’re talking to (especially, it must be said, if they’re a STEM Nazi) doesn’t know what the subject actually is, and assumes it’s just sitting (mainly in the reclined position) considering the meaning of stuff in a whimsical way. Oh the ignorance. So I’ve decided to give some reasons why Philosophy should be (and is, by employers and those who know), considered one of the most prestigious, challenging and rewarding subjects out there (yes, right up there with medicine, physics, law and maths):

    1) In terms of skill in logical thought and precision, Philosophy matches any science or quantitative subject. Formal Logic notation is notorious for its complexity, and on Oxford’s website, in the description of the Logic unit, it warns that even students who took Further Maths A Level ‘will struggle’.

    2) At the same time, it hones writing, argumentative and analytical skills to the same extent as any other humanities subject, like History or English Literature. Hence combining the best aspects of the arts with the sciences.

    3) It involves the study of, quite simply, the greatest minds to have ever walked the Earth. While Geography students are off learning about rates of coastal erosion on the Norfolk coastline, you’re learning about the intricacies of the work of Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Rousseau, Descartes, Nietzsche, Sartre, Hume, Socrates, Machiavelli, Aquinas, Augustine, Voltaire, Kant, Camus, Russell, Mill, Epicurus, Confucius and so many more. Philosophy's scope means it's near impossible not to find deep interest somewhere.

    4) Philosophy is the original and oldest subject. There’s a reason Newton named his work ‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’. Science (formerly Natural Philosophy) is a child of Philosophy, and simply cannot function without it. Every day, budding young scientists carry out their investigations, all the while oblivious to the fact that they rely on the work of philosophers like Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper and Francis Bacon to do so.

    5) Employers know that the soft skills many science students lack can be found in a Philosophy student. The subject is best done as a verbal process or through structured verbal argument, thus perfecting your communication, debating and verbal reasoning skills. Spend time studying syllogisms and analytic philosophy and, in all likelihood, you will be the most ferocious debater for miles around. If you want, training in philosophical reasoning can allow you to dominate your philosophically illiterate opponents (which, sadly, will be most of them).

    6) Philosophy has shaped our world more than any other subject. From every war begun in the name of a particular philosophy of religion, to every revolution caused by a philosophy of politics, to every scientific invention born of philosophy of science, Philosophy is there, in the background, always.

    Thanks for reading this; I’d be happy to have a discussion below. I leave you with my personal favourite Plato quotation:

    “There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands”.

    Please do check out my similar thread on Theology as well
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...rimary_content

    Here are some statistics on Philosophy from the USA for those people hardest to persuade:

    Source:
    http://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/b...19841346388353




    Source: http://philosophy.osu.edu/why-study-philosophy




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    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    When you tell someone you’re taking a Philosophy degree, you often get the impression the person you’re talking to (especially, it must be said, if they’re a STEM Nazi) doesn’t know what the subject actually is, and assumes it’s just sitting (mainly in the reclined position) considering the meaning of stuff in a whimsical way for three years. Oh the ignorance. So I’ve decided to give some reasons why Philosophy should be (and is, by employers and those who know), considered one of the most prestigious, challenging and rewarding degrees out there (yes, right up there with medicine, physics, law and maths):

    1) In terms of skill in logical thought and precision, Philosophy matches any science or quantitative degree. Formal Logic notation is notorious for its complexity, and on Oxford’s website, in the description of the Logic unit, it warns that even students who took Further Maths A Level ‘will struggle’.

    2) At the same time, it hones writing, argumentative and analytical skills to the same extent as any other humanities course, like History or English Literature. Hence combining the best aspects of the arts with the sciences.

    3) It involves the study of, quite simply, the greatest minds to have ever walked the Earth. While Geography students are off learning about rates of coastal erosion on the Norfolk coastline, you’re learning about the intricacies of the work of Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Descartes, Nietzsche, Sartre, Hume, Socrates, Machiavelli, Aquinas, Augustine, Voltaire, Kant, Camus, Russell, Mill, Epicurus, Confucius and so many more. Philosophy's scope means it's near impossible not to find deep interest somewhere.

    4) Philosophy is the original and oldest subject. There’s a reason Newton named his work ‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’. Science (formerly Natural Philosophy) is a child of Philosophy, and simply cannot function without it. Every day, budding young scientists carry out their investigations, all the while oblivious to the fact that they rely on the work of philosophers like Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper and Francis Bacon to do so.

    5) Employers know that the soft skills many science graduates lack can be found in a Philosophy student. The subject is best done as a verbal process or through structured verbal argument, thus perfecting your communication, debating and verbal reasoning skills. Seriously, spend three years studying syllogisms and analytic philosophy and, I promise, you will be the most ferocious debater for miles around. If you want, training in philosophical reasoning can allow you to dominate your philosophically illiterate opponents (which, sadly, will be most of them).

    6) Philosophy has shaped our world more than any other subject. From every war begun in the name of a particular philosophy of religion, to every revolution caused by a philosophy of politics, to every scientific invention born of philosophy of science, Philosophy is there, in the background, always.

    Thanks for reading this; I’d be happy to have a discussion below. I leave you with my personal favourite Plato quotation:

    “There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands”.

    Out of interest, when working with, say, the works of different philosophers, what is expected from you as a student from any assessments that you do? Are you by any means required to come up with a profound response of your own or some kind of original analysis to be doing well?
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    Out of interest, when working with, say, the works of different philosophers, what is expected from you as a student from any assessments that you do? Are you by any means required to come up with a profound response of your own or some kind of original analysis to be doing well?
    It really depends on the question. In an exam, if the question specifies a particular philosopher, then you'll probably have to outline their arguments and assess their strength either using your own critique, rehashing those of other philosophers, or just using those of other philosophers and making clear you are doing so. If the question is more vague, you can bring in views of multiple philosophers and lay them off against each other, as it were, and arrive at your own conclusions. But it's not as if you don't have help in this - you may be studying a philosopher from 500 years ago, but you'll have lots of material from contemporary academics (just like a history student does, for example) to help you out. Mainly a good essay consists of excellent analysis leading to a well argued conclusion, they're not expecting you to come up with a profound way of viewing everything! (though, if it's valid, that's amazing too!)

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    Bumpety Bump

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    Not a very useful one though is it
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    Of course it's useful - extremely. Please refer to point 5, and bear in mind that philosophy graduates excel in almost all professions, from investment banking to law, from management consultancy to teaching, to accountancy and marketing. Not only are you nourished intellectually, you're given some serious employment options.

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    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    Not a very useful one though is it
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...-degree-useful

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    It's to hard
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    (Original post by lulucoco98)
    It's to hard
    It doesn't need to be! I mean, yes, the hardest parts of philosophy are harder than anything you'll encounter in English or History, for example, but, I would argue, it's much more rewarding for the effort you put in. Eventually you find yourself wanting to know the philosophy so much - in my case, because I like telling people about it! - that you're prepared to put the work in. Often, for me, philosophy is an escape from the irritation of everyday life, which you just don't get with easier subjects like Geography. Remember: average minds deal with events, great minds with ideas!

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    I can't deny that I find Philosophy/RS/Theology or whatever else it's labelled under at different schools and colleges to be one of the most interesting subjects on offer. I've got used to thinking I'm a bit of a "STEM Nazi" excelling in all mathematics and science subjects without much struggle and having to push much harder in, say, English Literature and History, but definitely don't find these subjects boring.

    In terms of degrees, I think I'm going to have to go for an Engineering degree as this is a prerequisite for the sort of field I'm hoping to work in. However, should this have not been the case, I'd definitely be spending a lot more time focusing on Literature and Philosophy. The greatest thing about these subjects is that even though you are studying something that's been taught to millions before yourself, your own perspective and thoughts are not by anything. You're thrown into a world of unanswerable questions and left to explore indefinitely. I find science to be fascinating but studying it will never be as thought provoking.
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    Hey! Which books would you recommend? (I'm about to start reading Hume's An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding)
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    Btw, I love that album
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    This article is set in America where the job market etc is different to the UK
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    Philosophy has to be regarded as useless as Gender Studies or Art History because you can quite literally make stuff up to answer exam questions and get top marks.

    For example students in a Philosophy exam were also asked to use all their philosophical knowledge to prove why a chair, placed at the front of the room, didn’t exist. While many scribbled down different theories one student simply wrote ‘What chair?’

    In another Philosophy exam, a student was said to receive top marks when answering the one word question ‘Why?’ with ‘Why not?

    In another exam students are reported to have been asked ‘What is courage?’ One is said to have returned a blank page saying ‘This is.’

    It is reasons like this that most people don't highly regard Philosophy.

    But saying that, if I didn't have to work for a living, i'd likely study Philosophy also.
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    When you tell someone you’re taking a Philosophy degree, you often get the impression the person you’re talking to (especially, it must be said, if they’re a STEM Nazi) doesn’t know what the subject actually is, and assumes it’s just sitting (mainly in the reclined position) considering the meaning of stuff in a whimsical way for three years. Oh the ignorance. So I’ve decided to give some reasons why Philosophy should be (and is, by employers and those who know), considered one of the most prestigious, challenging and rewarding degrees out there (yes, right up there with medicine, physics, law and maths):

    1) In terms of skill in logical thought and precision, Philosophy matches any science or quantitative degree. Formal Logic notation is notorious for its complexity, and on Oxford’s website, in the description of the Logic unit, it warns that even students who took Further Maths A Level ‘will struggle’.

    2) At the same time, it hones writing, argumentative and analytical skills to the same extent as any other humanities course, like History or English Literature. Hence combining the best aspects of the arts with the sciences.

    3) It involves the study of, quite simply, the greatest minds to have ever walked the Earth. While Geography students are off learning about rates of coastal erosion on the Norfolk coastline, you’re learning about the intricacies of the work of Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Descartes, Nietzsche, Sartre, Hume, Socrates, Machiavelli, Aquinas, Augustine, Voltaire, Kant, Camus, Russell, Mill, Epicurus, Confucius and so many more. Philosophy's scope means it's near impossible not to find deep interest somewhere.

    4) Philosophy is the original and oldest subject. There’s a reason Newton named his work ‘Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’. Science (formerly Natural Philosophy) is a child of Philosophy, and simply cannot function without it. Every day, budding young scientists carry out their investigations, all the while oblivious to the fact that they rely on the work of philosophers like Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper and Francis Bacon to do so.

    5) Employers know that the soft skills many science graduates lack can be found in a Philosophy student. The subject is best done as a verbal process or through structured verbal argument, thus perfecting your communication, debating and verbal reasoning skills. Seriously, spend three years studying syllogisms and analytic philosophy and, I promise, you will be the most ferocious debater for miles around. If you want, training in philosophical reasoning can allow you to dominate your philosophically illiterate opponents (which, sadly, will be most of them).

    6) Philosophy has shaped our world more than any other subject. From every war begun in the name of a particular philosophy of religion, to every revolution caused by a philosophy of politics, to every scientific invention born of philosophy of science, Philosophy is there, in the background, always.

    Thanks for reading this; I’d be happy to have a discussion below. I leave you with my personal favourite Plato quotation:

    “There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands”.
    My partner is going on to do philosophy at Uni, at first I laughed thinking it was a soft option but then as soon as we began to talk about it I saw that it seriously wasn't. The amount of stuff I didn't understand was immense and standing back from it all made me realize that it's a massively detailed and interesting subject which gave me a new view on it :3
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    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    This article is set in America where the job market etc is different to the UK
    The US job market will be similar to our own in many respects, but try these too:

    http://www.davidbain.org/teaching/em...sophy-students

    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ighereducation

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    (Original post by SilverActor2033)
    My partner is going on to do philosophy at Uni, at first I laughed thinking it was a soft option but then as soon as we began to talk about it I saw that it seriously wasn't. The amount of stuff I didn't understand was immense and standing back from it all made me realize that it's a massively detailed and interesting subject which gave me a new view on it :3
    It gave you a new view on it! That's what philosophy's all about!

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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    The US job market will be similar to our own in many respects, but try these too:

    http://www.davidbain.org/teaching/em...sophy-students

    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ighereducation

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    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/lmj45...gious-studies/
    Check out number 4
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    I agree that Philosophy is interesting and I love to discuss it myself with friends, but it will never be as useful as a good Maths or Engineering degree. It teaches you to write and analyse well, but so do many other degrees that actually teach job-specific knowledge as well.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    I agree that Philosophy is interesting and I love to discuss it myself with friends, but it will never be as useful as a good Maths or Engineering degree. It teaches you to write and analyse well, but so do many other degrees that actually teach job-specific knowledge as well.
    Like?

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    (Original post by !!mentor!!)
    Philosophy has to be regarded as useless as Gender Studies or Art History because you can quite literally make stuff up to answer exam questions and get top marks.

    For example students in a Philosophy exam were also asked to use all their philosophical knowledge to prove why a chair, placed at the front of the room, didn’t exist. While many scribbled down different theories one student simply wrote ‘What chair?’

    In another Philosophy exam, a student was said to receive top marks when answering the one word question ‘Why?’ with ‘Why not?

    In another exam students are reported to have been asked ‘What is courage?’ One is said to have returned a blank page saying ‘This is.’

    It is reasons like this that most people don't highly regard Philosophy.

    But saying that, if I didn't have to work for a living, i'd likely study Philosophy also.
    If these cases are even true, they're incredibly rare. If I answered one my essays with 'why not?', I'd be laughed out the park.

    Here is the introduction of a Cambridge philosophy essay (you can read the rest on their website):


    'Part II, Paper 1, Question 4, ‘There is no basis in reality or language for the traditional distinction between universals and particulars’. Discuss. (1)

    I will argue in agreement with the statement that there is no basis in reality or language for the traditional distinction between universals and particulars. I therefore support MacBride in ‘Universals: The Contemporary Debate’ when he notes he is ‘sceptical of the assumption… that there is a fundamental distinction to be drawn between particulars and universals (MacBride 2009, p.284). A basis in reality, I take it, would look at the metaphysical distinction, taking universals to have an abstract existence whilst particulars have a concrete existence. I will argue against this distinction in §3 on the grounds that no sense can be made of the concrete-abstract distinction. Meanwhile, in §4 I employ Ramsey’s arguments to show that language cannot make sense of the distinction in terms of subjects and predicates.

    A Basis in Reality – the concrete-abstract distinction

    The argument is that we understand universals as metaphysically abstract and particulars as concrete. If this is to work, the concrete-abstract distinction must itself be grounded in reality. I argue that it is not, on the grounds that ‘abstract’ cannot be sensibly defined - there is no sense to be made of the distinction. In opposition to this, Burgess & Rosen in ‘A Subject with No Object’ argue that we understand ‘abstract’ through the Way of Example. We understand how to classify entities as abstract through the giving of paradigmatic examples: such as, perhaps, Platonic Forms.'

    As you can see, no 'why not's here.

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