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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 26
    More: Obvious, Googleplex, Scientific Method, philosophy, Aristotle  
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2600 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 09:29:22 PM  
5 votes:
I don't understand the connection. Why would science somehow displace the importance of philosophy?
2014-03-29 10:21:57 PM  
3 votes:

ronaprhys: jso2897: This general contempt for the study of anything that doesn't bring money does not bode well for our country's future.

It's not a contempt for anything that doesn't bring money.  That's your bias.

It's a contempt for thinking that getting any major makes you a valuable member of society.  That's horsecrap.  One's major doesn't really matter - it's your ability to contribute to society.

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


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. And I say that as someone with a healthy higher than median income.
2014-03-29 10:09:25 PM  
3 votes:
This general contempt for the study of anything that doesn't bring money does not bode well for our country's future.
2014-03-29 09:52:31 PM  
3 votes:
philosophy is cornerstone, just like science or math.


do we truly need it?


if you have to farking ask, then YOU certainly do.
2014-03-29 09:48:12 PM  
3 votes:
Science tells us how to do things, philosophy tells us why we shouldn't...
2014-03-29 11:40:54 PM  
2 votes:
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 11:25:35 PM  
2 votes:

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 10:04:40 PM  
2 votes:

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


agreed

sometimes it tells us why we should too

It asks us to question whether or not
Sorta the opposite of religion
2014-03-29 10:03:13 PM  
2 votes:
I think philosophy is a noble pursuit for just about anyone, but earning an actual degree in it is wasted effort.
2014-03-30 06:58:37 PM  
1 votes:
Judging by Fark comments, yes, we do need Philosophy, and I'd say it needs to be taught in high school. Maybe not majors, but everyone should be required to take one or two philosophy classes.

For starters, philosophy class teaches how to properly use reason. You will learn binary math and the use of logical operators. That's useful if you want to make logical decisions, move forward to either an engineering or a law degree.

I took Discrete Math which is a more engineering-leaning class, but talking with my aunt who is a paralegal, she studied a lot of the same things I did in her philosophy class.
2014-03-30 11:41:46 AM  
1 votes:
Anyway, as another Philosophy major, I would recommend the degree to anyone.

I would not recommend making it your primary degree, however. Unless you want to get into teaching it.
2014-03-30 08:04:30 AM  
1 votes:
introspection is the only thing keeping humanity from killing itself off

but no, philosophy as a major is unnecessary
2014-03-30 06:55:31 AM  
1 votes:

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 04:39:51 AM  
1 votes:
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 01:00:49 AM  
1 votes:

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 12:04:00 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-03-29 11:34:54 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:34:47 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:21:08 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:14:42 PM  
1 votes:
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 10:26:26 PM  
1 votes:

picturescrazy: ronaprhys: jso2897: This general contempt for the study of anything that doesn't bring money does not bode well for our country's future.

It's not a contempt for anything that doesn't bring money.  That's your bias.

It's a contempt for thinking that getting any major makes you a valuable member of society.  That's horsecrap.  One's major doesn't really matter - it's your ability to contribute to society.

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

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. And I say that as someone with a healthy higher than median income.



Not at all.  A person's worth is demonstrated by what they bring back to society.  Not what they think they bring or what they feel their degree brings.  The thought that any degree, in and of itself, entitles one to respect or some level of monetary income, is foolishness of the highest order.  Provide a value to society or not.  It's your choice.

If you feel entitled - then you are basically entitled to provide me my chai in the morning.
2014-03-29 10:19:32 PM  
1 votes:
If you truly believe the cold hard facts of science then there is no need for philosophy or religion.  Just get whats yours and fark the rest.  THAT is how an organism survives in the universe.
2014-03-29 10:01:49 PM  
1 votes:

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?
2014-03-29 09:36:06 PM  
1 votes:

jake_lex: As a philosophy major, I am not getting a kick out of these replies.


No worries. A very good friend of mine got his degree in philosophy. He's making a great living now in IT.
2014-03-29 09:20:15 PM  
1 votes:
As a philosophy major, I am not getting a kick out of these replies.
2014-03-29 09:14:03 PM  
1 votes:
Sure we do.  But probably around 5-10% of the total that we have now.  For the rest of them a philosophy degree is something that will hopefully lead to a career in something else.

/philosophy talk can get abstruse in a hurry.
//possibly outside the plane of immanence.
 
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