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Why Philosophy?

Philosophy in the News

The Information Age Versus the Industrial Age

The industrial age is over. The computer, not the engine, is the dominant machine in today's business world. Thinking is the most valuable skill in a post-industrial economy. No wonder philosophers are doing better and better.

Advantages of Philosophy

David Schrader of the American Philosophical Association sees “a growth in the number of students majoring in philosophy.” The reason, he speculated, is that “in a world where people change careers many times, the skills that philosophy teaches you are wonderfully transferable.” Those tools include critical thinking, logic and analytical writing, which have practical applications in a range of careers such as law, teaching, medicine, business and management. These skills are valuable to have in times of economic and employment uncertainty.
U.S. News and World Report, December 18, 2008

“To Beat the Market, Hire a Philosopher” — That is the headline of an article in The New York Times Mutual Funds Report. Bill Miller, manager of the most successful mutual funds in the country, was a philosophy graduate student at Johns Hopkins University before turning to investment. He uses his philosophical studies in his investment work, applying the ideas of the American thinker William James and examining the value of companies using philosophical thought experiments. Miller’s success shows how a philosophical approach pays off financially to beat the market.
The New York Times, January 10, 1999

“For all the jokes about them, philosophy majors appear to do remarkably well,” said C.M. Cropper, in an article in the The New York Times explaining that philosophy majors are increasingly successful in a world in which business and government depend more and more on abstract reasoning abilities.
C.M. Cropper, “Philosophers Find the Degree Pays off in Life and Work,” The New York Times, December 26, 1997

Jorge Secada, director of undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Virginia, noted, “Apparently, people in the real world think philosophy majors are well trained. They are trained to think, to analyze. They express themselves well. They write. We are doing better in finding employment for philosophy graduates than most majors in the arts and sciences area.”
“Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life and in Work,” The New York Times,
December 26, 1997

The recommendation of most chief executive officers is: “First an arts and science degree in a field like English, physics or philosophy, then an MBA. First some general intellectual skills, then the specific knowledge needed to apply them to business.”
Globe and Mail, Toronto, January 2, 1990

The New York Times Career Planner reports that “philosophy is one fundamental area of study that has found a new role in the high-tech world.” In an information based economy, people who can think conceptually are more and more valuable.
E. Fowler, The New York Times Career Planner (New York: Random House, 1987)