Studying philosophy offers the use of practical skills, providing one with the tools to make informed decisions and clear arguments. It involves sorting through dense materials, comprehending complex ideas, interpreting and explicating arguments, and clearly communicating ideas effectively, through oral and written means.
In its most simplest and ancient Greco-Roman definition, philosophy can be understood as “the love of wisdom,” derived from philia: love, and sophia: wisdom. To philosophize is not merely to read and know philosophy; there are skills of argumentation to be mastered, techniques of analysis to be employed, and a body of material to be appropriated such that we become able to think philosophically.
Philosophy offers one the opportunity to evaluate one’s own way of thinking and become aware of the ever-changing ethos of society and culture (especially in the twenty-first century), in order to flourish personally and intellectually. Integrating philosophy in academics also allows students to acquire an appreciation for international and intercultural relations and traditions.
There are many career fields one is open to with a philosophy background including law, business, education and academics, journalism and media, government and public administration, medicine, environmental science, and more. This is due to the wide range of topics in traditional philosophical education; metaphysics, existentialism, analytic, epistemology, etc. In recent years, many of the leading newspapers have reported on the usefulness of a philosophy degree for long-term success in the workforce. Check out some of them here:
- “In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined,” New York Times
- “Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life And in Work,” New York Times
- “I think, therefore I earn,” The Guardian
- “Learn Philosophy,” US News & World Report
- “Philosophy is Back in Business,” Bloomberg Businessweek
"Philosophy is the perfect major for law school." Those words were handwritten at the bottom of my acceptance letter by the Dean of Admissions at the Emory University School of Law. Instead of reading Kant and Heidegger and instead of tracing the history of ideas, you're reading learned treatise and judicial opinions and tracing the history of law. That's not even touching on the fact that the LSAT, the admissions test for law school, is comprised of questions involving logic, reasoning, and reading comprehension. Philosophy prepares you for all that. It really is the perfect major for law school. ~ Jonathan Morhaim, Attorney at Law, FGCU, Class of 2011
As many of these articles note, studying philosophy will also prepare you for entrance exams for Graduate School. According to recent surveys, philosophy majors perform outstandingly across the board. In fact, they:
- Score highest on the GRE than any other humanities or liberal arts majors
- Score higher on the LSAT than political science majors and any stand-alone pre-law majors
- Score higher on the GMAT than any type of business or economics majors
Questions? Make an appointment with a philosophy faculty member and they’ll be glad to answer any of your concerns.