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(The Atlantic)   Now that we have science, do we truly need philosophy? Well, we do need philosophy majors; otherwise, who would staff our Starbucks, our Buffalo Wild Wings, and our Barnes & Nobles?   (theatlantic.com) divider line 111
    More: Obvious, Googleplex, Scientific Method, philosophy, Aristotle  
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2601 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2014 at 9:23 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-29 10:28:13 PM  

maram500: Sticky Hands: maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.

Math?

Indeed. Knew three math majors from high school. One works with the local college's Christian ministry organization, another for Office Depot, and the last is unemployed and living with his girlfriend's parents. All of them have significant student loan debt.


So you knew three people who thought they were good at math.
 
2014-03-29 10:31:02 PM  

Shakin_Haitian: maram500: Sticky Hands: maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.

Math?

Indeed. Knew three math majors from high school. One works with the local college's Christian ministry organization, another for Office Depot, and the last is unemployed and living with his girlfriend's parents. All of them have significant student loan debt.

So you knew three people who thought they were good at math.


Being a major in a pure discipline does not guarantee one a steady income.  At least it requires logic and thought, unlike others.  What this indicates is that someone is stupid enough to equate anecdote to data.
 
2014-03-29 10:38:13 PM  

Foxxinnia: I don't understand the connection. Why would science somehow displace the importance of philosophy?


Quick! Call a philosopher!
 
2014-03-29 10:40:53 PM  
Also, who would buy theres?
 
2014-03-29 10:43:00 PM  
So what do philosophers do these days?

It sounds like most of what passes for philosophical discourse these days is a rehashing of the Greek originals - at least that's what the article seems to say. While interesting, why not just go back to the original?
 
2014-03-29 10:44:59 PM  

maram500: Sticky Hands: maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.

Math?

Indeed. Knew three math majors from high school. One works with the local college's Christian ministry organization, another for Office Depot, and the last is unemployed and living with his girlfriend's parents. All of them have significant student loan debt.


Something tells me if you knew more math, you would understand the problem with your sample size.

/Math major
//Recession-proof career in Information Security
///The former helped me accomplish some amazing things in the later.
 
2014-03-29 10:48:02 PM  
It is a fascinating hobby to be sure.
 
2014-03-29 10:49:23 PM  
Do adults staff other BWW locations? Mine is 99% teenage girls.
 
2014-03-29 10:50:42 PM  

Foxxinnia: I don't understand the connection. Why would science somehow displace the importance of philosophy?


Ask Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Lawrence Krauss. That's their position.
 
2014-03-29 10:51:09 PM  

garkola: So what do philosophers do these days?

It sounds like most of what passes for philosophical discourse these days is a rehashing of the Greek originals - at least that's what the article seems to say. While interesting, why not just go back to the original?


What did philosophers ever do?

Really, of all the strange degrees to get, philosophy seems like one of the strangest. "What do you do?" "I sit around pondering all day long."
 
2014-03-29 10:56:50 PM  

Next week's Tom Sawyer: maram500: Sticky Hands: maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.

Math?

Indeed. Knew three math majors from high school. One works with the local college's Christian ministry organization, another for Office Depot, and the last is unemployed and living with his girlfriend's parents. All of them have significant student loan debt.

Something tells me if you knew more math, you would understand the problem with your sample size.

/Math major
//Recession-proof career in Information Security
///The former helped me accomplish some amazing things in the later.


History major. Also: see previous comment--"Lighten up, Francis..."
 
2014-03-29 11:09:38 PM  
whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-29 11:14:42 PM  
i have degrees in philosophy and creative writing (not one, but two useless degrees!) and i think there were three other philosophy majors in my graduating class.  two of them went to law school and the other one was going to grad school for history i think.  as for me, i went back to live with my parents and worked in a plastics factory.

personally, i loved taking philosophy classes.  to me, philosophy is the study of how to think and formulate ideas.  it ties into all sorts of other academic disciplines, like literature and history and ethics and political science.  most of the people who dismiss philosophy have never taken a course in it and really have no idea what it is about.  i've had people say stuff like "so you sit and think about the meaning of life, huh?"  not really.  most of my classes dealt with topics like religion, ethics, and the gov't.  lots of the beliefs and opinions i have now as an adult were developed and defended in my philosophy classes, so in a way those classes have shaped me more than anything else.
 
2014-03-29 11:21:08 PM  

maram500: Sticky Hands: maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.

Math?

Indeed. Knew three math majors from high school. One works with the local college's Christian ministry organization, another for Office Depot, and the last is unemployed and living with his girlfriend's parents. All of them have significant student loan debt.


Whereas my vocal music major paid my rent while I went to law school and has lately been my "fun money" source over the last thirty-some years as a Copyright Office GS-9, now 12. A Lyric Tenor who is a crackerjack sight-reader (as I am, due to that training) won't go hungry in any major city. And my band's second (very positively-reviewed) CD drops May 3, so the constant refrain of "liberal arts means you'll live in your Mom's basement" is a bunch of self-gratifying booshwah from the engineering crowd. And guess what? Not only can we craft very well compensated and fulfilling lives, we'll still get laid more than you. Keep telling yourself we're doing it wrong, if you need to compensate. We'll go on having awesome, art-filled lives.
 
2014-03-29 11:25:35 PM  

Dalrint: [whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com image 850x274]


If we can ever clone a T-Rex then the humanities majors need to keep their farking mouths shut if they know what's good for them.
 
2014-03-29 11:33:12 PM  
Nihil novi sub sole.

Philosophy is all well and good, but what more is there to say that hasn't already been said?
 
2014-03-29 11:34:47 PM  

lilplatinum: Philosophy is a fine discipline to study to learn writing and rhetoric and other skills that can actually be useful in other fields while not being a 'job training' degree... not like most farking business majors learn anything of value.

/pretty stupid to go into private school debt to get one though.


Ha! See I double-majored in business and philosophy, and I make a bit more than $70k/year now in an office setting, and the philosophy has been more valuable all the way around.

maram500: "...who would staff our Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Barnes & Noble?"

The people who went $30,000 into debt for a degree in painting...? Or acting...or math...or vocal music.


If all you want to do is make money, then an art degree is a sucker bet.

But I have (without any prior experience in the graphic arts) recently (last few months) taken up painting as a hobby. And let me tell you, it makes you look at things like you never did before.

I can now look at the paintings of the old masters and be far more awed then I ever could have been before.

The act of arranging pigments on a flat surface to represent the world well is far harder than most disciplines. I'm not saying it has as much direct value as, say, IT, especially in the modern world. But it is a far deeper and more complex discipline than anyone can understand without beginning to survey its depths.

I encourage anyone to try painting. It is a harsh mistress, with watercolor probably being the most treacherous of whores.

/I have since been seduced by the petty makeup and ease of acrylics
 
2014-03-29 11:34:54 PM  

ronaprhys: And, honestly, most philosophy majors will contribute by bring science and engineering majors food.


Stereotyping people as menials sounds an awful lot like contempt to me. And you don't sound like anyone who's in a position to look down on anybody.
 
2014-03-29 11:35:48 PM  

Ambivalence: Nihil novi sub sole.

Philosophy is all well and good, but what more is there to say that hasn't already been said?


If most people understood what has been said, then I would agree with you, but they don't.
 
2014-03-29 11:37:30 PM  

Sid_6.7: Ambivalence: Nihil novi sub sole.

Philosophy is all well and good, but what more is there to say that hasn't already been said?

If most people understood what has been said, then I would agree with you, but they don't.


That was a deceptively brilliant observation.

/hat tip
 
2014-03-29 11:40:54 PM  
If you're born rich, philosophy is a great major. It encourages people to think about society and their place in it. It's a great thing for powerful people to learn that building a better society helps everyone.

If you have to borrow to get the degree, it's sad. Because as you graduate, you realize your place in society is as a wage slave, destined to work decades to pay interest to banks on debt you can't discharge. Understanding the injustice does not make it easier to bear.
 
2014-03-29 11:41:33 PM  

Ambivalence: Sid_6.7: Ambivalence: Nihil novi sub sole.

Philosophy is all well and good, but what more is there to say that hasn't already been said?

If most people understood what has been said, then I would agree with you, but they don't.

That was a deceptively brilliant observation.

/hat tip


//*bow*
 
2014-03-29 11:45:47 PM  
College is more than just a means of making money and Dilbert isn't funny, Mr. Fark Engineer
 
2014-03-29 11:54:17 PM  
Well we needed at least one, my father in law. (Honestly, I don't understand half of what he is talking about in that entry.)
 
2014-03-29 11:54:19 PM  
Once, a long time ago, tech schools were for career qualifications, and universities were for broadening one's mind.

I'm still trying to figure out how you can have a 4 year degree in computer science.  How is that not tech-school training?
 
2014-03-29 11:58:34 PM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Once, a long time ago, tech schools were for career qualifications, and universities were for broadening one's mind.

I'm still trying to figure out how you can have a 4 year degree in computer science.  How is that not tech-school training?


They still have tech schools for IT.  DeVry, for example.  They claim to have degree programs but I don't know if they're accredited or not.
 
2014-03-30 12:00:42 AM  
Science is philosophy's autistic brother.
 
2014-03-30 12:01:00 AM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

Dole Office Clerk: Occupation?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
Dole Office Clerk: What?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
Dole Office Clerk: Oh, a *bullshiat* artist!
Comicus: *Grumble*...
Dole Office Clerk: Did you bullshiat last week?
Comicus: No.
Dole Office Clerk: Did you *try* to bullshiat last week?
Comicus: Yes!
 
2014-03-30 12:02:40 AM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Once, a long time ago, tech schools were for career qualifications, and universities were for broadening one's mind.

I'm still trying to figure out how you can have a 4 year degree in computer science.  How is that not tech-school training?


A true comp sci degree is about the math *and* electronics behind it all... very little traditional IT stuff is taught (programming, networking, sysadmin stuff, etc)
 
2014-03-30 12:04:00 AM  

teenage mutant ninja rapist: Foxxinnia: I don't understand the connection. Why would science somehow displace the importance of philosophy?

Yeah I was thinking the same thing.


I think some people see philosophy as being useful if we had freewill and were in need of such tools to help us make better decisions.  Since science has shown us that this is a clockwork universe and no one has freewill, and the reasons we do everything from painting a picture to composing an opera to launching a rocket to setting an apartment on fire is all molecular interaction.  The moment the big bang started it was already put into motion that one day Meatloaf would release "Bat out of Hell III", I would be in here posting about it, and you would eventually read it.  If you had had enough sensing equipment, storage, and a large enough processor you could have recorded the universe's initial state and simulated as far into the future as you wanted.  In this guise, they say, of what use are ideas and metaideas when we know where the true motivations for people's actions lie.  It's all chemical and can be predicted and we should work towards being able to better predict and simulate because that is where we will get our real truths.

When in fact, at that moment they have stepped through the fourth wall from some kind of Nietzsche play and fell into the symphony pit.  Because every branch of every which-a-way thing loses meaning.  We can sit here and think we are trying to make an informed decision as to what branch of information theory is still pertinent and yet, there suddenly is no we here.  Atoms are bumping into atoms and reacting as they've always have.  There is no discussion but rather electrons racing down pathways of positive charge causing muscle tissue to react and press buttons on devices converting the signal back to electrical and a message gets posted.  More or less.
 
2014-03-30 12:04:15 AM  
Why?
 
2014-03-30 12:11:41 AM  
There ARE more worthless degrees. Not many i grant you but there are SOME. Remember the firestorm on Fark about the guy in the "Occupy" movement who was angry that he was unemployed when his degree was in puppetry?
 
2014-03-30 12:13:41 AM  

Delawheredad: There ARE more worthless degrees. Not many i grant you but there are SOME. Remember the firestorm on Fark about the guy in the "Occupy" movement who was angry that he was unemployed when his degree was in puppetry?


That is not a thing.  No, no no no no.  That can't be a thing. It just can't.  That's ridiculous.
 
2014-03-30 12:31:55 AM  
Philosophy defines the world while science fumbles around under its skirt.

/I have a love for both.
 
2014-03-30 12:33:43 AM  

Private_Citizen: If you have to borrow to get the degree, it's sad. Because as you graduate, you realize your place in society is as a wage slave, destined to work decades to pay interest to banks on debt you can't discharge. Understanding the injustice does not make it easier to bear.


It's not sad if you go to a public school and don't go that much in debt.  The truth is that a BA is needed for most jobs, and what that BA was for is rarely relevant unless you are in a job that requires a specialization. 

So if you are going to get a BS because society demands it, there are worse things to do than pick one which requires training in logic, comprehending and rebutting arguments, rhetoric, etc.
 
2014-03-30 12:45:37 AM  
Philosophy is one of the basic duties of every citizen.  You should know enough about the systems to follow symbolic logic and recognize simple fallacies, and enough about historical philosophy to recognize the major themes and ideas and know what historical period they originated in.  This is the basic level of required skepticism involved in democracy... if you don't have it, please don't vote, ever.

That said, philosophy  degrees are useless.  Not because the  classes are worthless, but because philosophy is a system... a tool, not the finished work.  You have to have some actual knowledge of something to start out with, something  informing your assumptions,otherwise being a skilled philosopher is about as useful as having the world's finest chisel but no stone or wood to actually shape.

Basically, imagine trying to teach science where all you did was tell people about the methods and the people and some of their conclusions, but didn't actually ever discussed any scientific  data.  You could maybe sound like a scientist for thirty seconds before being revealed for a complete incompetent.  Philosophy is a logical  operation, a function that takes assumptions and returns a validity value and a set of resulting conclusions.  Like any function, the Garbage in/Garbage out function applies.  If all you've gotten out of your undergraduate years is the tool, realistically you've just wasted a bunch of money, because the tool  isn't that complicated and most other people have gotten both the tool and a broad or specialized base of knowledge to use it effectively.
 
2014-03-30 01:00:49 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Philosophy is one of the basic duties of every citizen.  You should know enough about the systems to follow symbolic logic and recognize simple fallacies, and enough about historical philosophy to recognize the major themes and ideas and know what historical period they originated in.  This is the basic level of required skepticism involved in democracy... if you don't have it, please don't vote, ever.

That said, philosophy  degrees are useless.  Not because the  classes are worthless, but because philosophy is a system... a tool, not the finished work.  You have to have some actual knowledge of something to start out with, something  informing your assumptions,otherwise being a skilled philosopher is about as useful as having the world's finest chisel but no stone or wood to actually shape.

Basically, imagine trying to teach science where all you did was tell people about the methods and the people and some of their conclusions, but didn't actually ever discussed any scientific  data.  You could maybe sound like a scientist for thirty seconds before being revealed for a complete incompetent.  Philosophy is a logical  operation, a function that takes assumptions and returns a validity value and a set of resulting conclusions.  Like any function, the Garbage in/Garbage out function applies.  If all you've gotten out of your undergraduate years is the tool, realistically you've just wasted a bunch of money, because the tool  isn't that complicated and most other people have gotten both the tool and a broad or specialized base of knowledge to use it effectively.


Philosophy is not just logic. Logic is just one tool the in the cognitive machine shop and mall of your other criticisms can be equally applied to all other 4 year degrees. A BA in most things is just so much toilet paper if you're not going for the PhD. or have more than three years' experience.
 
2014-03-30 01:02:42 AM  

Pribar: Science tells us how to do things, philosophy tells us why we shouldn't...


I interpret the relationship like this. I know I shouldn't anthropomorphize a concept as vague as 'science,' but let's do it anyway. The overarching 'goal' of science is the pursuit of a complete and rational structure of the material world around us. It has developed into a pretty sophisticated system with a lot of built in self-correction. In order to have that self-corrective trait it effectively needs to be amoral. I don't mean that in a bad way either. The scientific body of knowledge only requires more knowledge, more data, more inputs. It inherently does not care where that information comes from as long as more knowledge is discovered and the correct solution is found. The problem is that there are scientists with a weak moral core who let this amoral quest affect their own humanity. We've seen it time and time again these brilliant scientific minds who commit outright atrocities for the sake of greater knowledge- old psychiatric hospitals, the Tuskegee experiments, so on and so forth. Sure this information did help the scientific body of knowledge, yet the men were harvesting this information from disadvantaged individuals in brutal and horrific ways. The sheer number of lives that had to be essentially destroyed in order to obtain what we know just about modern psychiatric care is mind-boggling. We cannot allow learning minds to have an education wholly committed to this abstract pursuit of the scientific method. There absolutely needs to be some elevation of if not the 'soul' then at least the human element of this world. Science certainly seems to be much more moral than it use to be, but I would not believe that scientific knowledge isn't be gathered in immoral manners in some significant degree somewhere. Further and more importantly though, it is what we do with our scientific knowledge that most exemplifies this problem. Nuclear science is not evil, it simply is, but certainly immoral people can use it in evil and reckless ways. This drives a number of people to be anti-science. They are mistakenly prejudiced against it, and not simply the practitioners, and end up becoming pro-ignorant in the process. They don't see the science body working for them anymore. They see knowledge being exploited for the sake of being exploited regardless of the cost. Some people are smarter than others sure, but no one is born ignorant. It is something that is instilled in them and often and perhaps even understandably caused by seeing our knowledge used to inflict harm, pain, and distress upon others. If seeking and using knowledge causes such suffering then retreating to ignorance is in fact the more moral position!

And maybe I shouldn't be dumping wholly on science either, because certainly grossly inhumane behavior is occurring in other fields of our society as well such as economics and business. I know we can make fun of philosophy majors (and I certainly will), but for someone were to denigrate the entire field or declare it unnecessary would be an egregious claim. I am not confident enough to believe that all individuals can be self-critical enough to develop a cohesive moral system. Everyone needs some kind of education in philosophy, ethics, and morals. I'm won't say philosophy turns everyone from an unthinking bio-chemical man-machine into a 'real' and critical human (plenty of people do it without and certainly a handful will be unaffected) but it would go a long way to helping a great deal of the populous consider themselves and society in a much more intimate way and I would hope more moral manner too. I don't want to sound apocalyptic, but a society where philosophy as a whole is denigrated and marginalized would eventually just devolve into a mindless place of apathetic reactions from hordes of disinterested man-machines who do not care about what or who they are. We could still maintain a fantastically complex society, but on an individual level we would all be as mentally shallow as an individual ant. Without the pursuit and drive to truly understand the reason for the question "Why?" then this human experiment will have failed. Maybe if we had no concept of philosophy and the humanities we could be colonizing the galaxy right now, but it would be a hollow adventure. What significance would looking down at Earth from space be if we were not inclined to ponder our relation to it? That would be no different from being Australopithecuses wandering the African plains. It would just be on a different scale.

/my longest Fark post yet
//only reread it once
 
2014-03-30 01:06:35 AM  
www.aaanything.net
 
2014-03-30 02:00:06 AM  

Pribar: Science tells us how to do things, philosophy tells us why we shouldn't...


Except another equally eminent philosopher will tell you, with equal certainty and just as rigorous logic, that you should. Both will in the end be saying "I feel this is a good/bad idea"
 
2014-03-30 03:39:06 AM  
Is this the thread where we belittle arts type degrees because they arent directly related to a specific job? Those threads never get old. We should just get rid of the arts altogether. What use are they when all the jobs are trades in the oilpatch? How else can I afford my blow, quads and Ford f150 Not with a philosophy degree let me tell you!
 
2014-03-30 04:39:51 AM  
Okay, to help solidify the "Science versus Philosophy" debate, let me frame why it exists.

For the longest time, a person with nothing more than an idea was, in a sense, a philosopher. Today, we'd call them Bloggers, and they'd probably be just about as popular as they were back then. Sometimes those ideas kick in in a heavy way, even if they are based on falsehood, which we can still see today in the form of Tumblr posts that get endlessly reblogged(And rarely ever properly fact-checked). Now, sometimes, those philosophers had some good thoughts in terms of stuff outside of just basic thinking, some of them in government, some of them in interpersonal psychology, some in religion, but most of them were in the sciences. Now, it remains true that any person can have an idea, but the trouble is, because we have culturally adopted, though often with a remarkably poorly colored employment of the same, the scientific method, thoughts for blogs and facebook posts are nothing more than just that, unless they undergo rigorous testing in laboratory conditions. A philosopher can Say and Think anything, and anyone can be one. But the difference is, a Scientist actually puts it to the test, and an Engineer actually puts it to work. 

More to the point, the idea of a philosophy as a course of college study belies the very concept of philosophy in the first place. While much of philosophical ideas are about building on the work of others, much like that of science, the important thing to consider about many of the most successful philosophers of their respective ages was that they thought largely for themselves. They were heavily spoken of because they were controversial for their time. And going to university and taking dozens of multiple choice tests that drill into your head the ideas of boring ramblers like Kant, endless wrong-sayers like Aristotle, and optimistic utopianists like Lenin and Marx tends to reduce a person from being able to think for themselves, to a test-taker who can regurgitate what another person thought. 

It would annoy me less if collegiate philosophy was more of a study of Historical Philosophy, and was accredited as such, but it is still encouraged as not so, and it is damaging not only to the term itself, but to every student that goes through it.
 
2014-03-30 05:40:07 AM  

vharshyde: optimistic utopianists like Lenin and Marx


So you mean, that guy who read a lot of what that other guy wrote ?

I can see your point on Aristotle (Plato should be ashamed)
 
2014-03-30 06:55:31 AM  

Foxxinnia: I don't understand the connection. Why would science somehow displace the importance of philosophy?


Let me put it to you like this:

2500 years ago there arrived two schools of knowledge on opposites sides of the Aegean. The Athenians (Socrates, Aristotle, Plato) believed that all knowledge can be derived through a process of induction and inference -- by simply thinking about it ie: pure reason. They invented philosophy. But across the sea, the Ionians (Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus) believed that all knowledge can be derived through a process of practical application -- through testing and experimentation. They invented science (or what was known at the time as natural philosophy, and still somewhat called that). The two schools bickered often. The philosophers studied truth while the scientists studied facts.

Two thousand years later, and the scientists have discovered orbital mechanics, circulatory physiology, the dangers of mercury, arsenic and lead, thermodynamics, synthetic materials, central heating, germ theory, radioactive decay, the shape and rotation of the Earth and every weapon more powerful than a pointed stick, while the philosophers are still studying truth (without much progress).

Philosophy is a fun thought experiment, but as an actual field of investigative inquiry it is functionally useless. You cannot come to any authentic conclusions on anything purely through abstract reasoning. Eventually, you have to stop with the bamboozling wordplay and actually get down to practical application.
 
2014-03-30 07:55:39 AM  

gaspode: Pribar: Science tells us how to do things, philosophy tells us why we shouldn't...

Except another equally eminent philosopher will tell you, with equal certainty and just as rigorous logic, that you should. Both will in the end be saying "I feel this is a good/bad idea"


Mostly that.  Some philosophy gives us some good things.  We can study out things like fairness under the law, people's "rights", civic equality, rational reasons for good laws, what laws go too far, etc.

But there is a lot of bullshiat rhetoric basket weaving equivalent in it as well.  That is the problem with philosophy as a whole, it's not really divided into what's somewhat useful to society and what's complete rubbish, the real world equivalent of only sounding like deep thought, "What if dog was actually spelled C-A-T?" (a movie reference)

The later is akin to calling actual basket weaving an actual science because there are patterns and such, even though it's more of an art or skill craft.  Falling under "science" would do one of two things.  Lend it credibility as an important area of study, or alternatively, bring science down as a whole, as in give it a bad name.

That later one is what's happened with the broad category of "philosophy".  So many people practicing the bullshiat part of it drags the rest down, giving it all a bad name by association.

Science does a pretty good job at weeding out things that try to leech off it's success, ie phrenology, astrology, etc.  Maybe not in the eyes of the people at large, so badly educated are we, but anyone half way rational really looks, they see it for the made-up bullshiat that it is.

Philosophy does not have that bullshiat protection built into it, because it's fundamentally built upon rhetoric and arbitrary choices / classifications.  Anyone who is skilled with language can manipulate it to whatever purpose that they choose, and while they can't always convince everyone, they can, and do, convince large swaths of people, often despite facts and the good parts of philosophy.  Hence, modern politics.
 
2014-03-30 08:04:30 AM  
introspection is the only thing keeping humanity from killing itself off

but no, philosophy as a major is unnecessary
 
2014-03-30 09:03:27 AM  

picturescrazy: I think you proved his point. In our society, a person's value is directly tied to what they do for a living, which is horse shiat.


You are conflating what people do for a living with how much money they make..
 
2014-03-30 09:21:13 AM  

Aar1012: College is more than just a means of making money


If you want to broaden your horizons you should go to a library and read. Don't go to an university and pile debt upon debt to read the same (sort of) books. An university exists to get a piece of paper by which other people can gauge your skill level. Self study exists to learn things simply for the sake of knowing them.
 
2014-03-30 09:50:24 AM  
Sorry I'm late, fully employed, very successful philosophy major here!  Sure I'm in IT, but philosophy has been the most useful class I took in the real world.  It taught me how to think, and to question.  It's not like people use 98% of what they learn in business classes either.
 
2014-03-30 09:59:06 AM  
Reality check (yes, I know this is fark...):
The one philosophy student I know (grad student, SQL jockey, father of a daughter looking into colleges) does know his cognitive science  (how well I don't know, but he certainly doesn't ignore it).  Most of his work might be based on medieval  Islamic scholarship, but the base hardly seems useless.

"math".  Math is all about proving theorems ("a mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems").  Like philosophy, but you get away with far less BS (see above for limits to philosophy BS).  Fortunately, HR drones are hardly going to know this.  Applied math gets used outside the ivory tower, but since even an EE degree means you learn "real engineering" on the job, I suspect the difference is pretty small.

I'm drawing a blank, but I'm pretty sure "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" mentioned that schools don't teach "philosophy", but instead "philosophagy" (google isn't helping me, the once search hit seems to imply it might be right).  Basically, the same way "literature" classes teach literary criticism, philosophy classes teach "philosophy criticism" (this may be completely off base.  ZatAoMM was fine when I was 18, but I haven't found it all that accurate since then).
 
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