New Philosopher

What’s philosophy for?

Once a year, my university hosts an open day for (mostly) high school students who are considering what they might like to study after graduation. Over the course of the day I’ll speak to many students – and their parents – who like the idea of studying philosophy at university. But the idea also makes them nervous: philosophy sounds like fun, but they want to know what they can ‘do’ with it.

It’s a perfectly reasonable question, particularly when making such life-shaping decisions. Philosophy is fun, but bills have to be paid, and you don’t exactly see a lot of ‘Philosopher Wanted’ job ads. The students and their parents are looking for what we might call an ‘instrumentalist’ answer. They goods studying philosophy will lead do. So that’s the sort of answer we tend to give: “Philosophy gives you a great set of critical reasoning skills!” we say. “Those skills will be crucial no matter what job you do!” Then, under our breath, we mutter “But of course, that’s not what it’s for.”

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da New Philosopher

New Philosopher1 min lettiPsychology
Scintillating Grid Illusion
In the scintillating grid illusion, illusory dark spots are perceived on white patches at the intersections of grey bars. Studies have suggested that processing related to the orientation of the bars plays a role in this illusion, but the specific un
New Philosopher2 min lettiPsychology
Perception
People with synaesthesia experience a “blending” of their senses when they see, smell, taste, touch or hear. Such people have specially wired brains. As a result, when something triggers one of the five senses, another sense also responds. This blend
New Philosopher15 min lettiPsychology
Entrenched Perceptions
Susanna Siegel is Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. She currently works on topics in the philosophy of mind and epistemology. Her books The Contents of Visual Experience and The Rationality of Perception were published by Ox