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what do you learn in the philosophy major?

43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
edited May 2007 in Other College Majors
many people say they usually end up as lawyers or go to grad school, but what about the ones who want neither? i looked at my school website and it said some philosophy graduates went into business, programming, teaching, etc. i'm just curious how those graduates ended up in something technical like programming. unless they had other sorts of training/double major?
Post edited by 4321234 on

Replies to: what do you learn in the philosophy major?

  • NoneNone Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    Philosophy majors learn how to think and how to learn. Both skills are really important for any job. The Philosophy major could have learned some basics about programming on the side over the years, and a one-month job training at the company could teach him/her most of what he/she needs to know on the job. If the liberal-arts education was good, it shouldn't be too hard to pick up the skills. Furthermore, a lot of both philosophy and computer science are based on logic. Most of what you learn that is used is learned on the job.
  • 43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
    I see. What's the major difference between a Philosophy and English major? Both majors write, but English focuses on literature while Philosophy on ethics and morals. But the counselor told me Philosophy majors are very picky on words and it relates to technical writing in some way. But I think English can be very selective on words as well. What's the difference anyway, besides English studying literature and Philosophy not so much?
  • nobodyknowsnobodyknows Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    oh wow your adviser didn't do a very good job of explaining, let me try and fill in the gaps...

    ok there are two common ways to study philosophy, Schools of philosophy and branches of philosophy.

    Schools of philosophy are just that, different philosophies. Some that are included, consist of: Transcendentalism, Objectivism, platonic, Aristotelian, existentialism, etc.

    Branches of philosophy include Metaphysics (the study of existence), Epistemology ( the study of knowledge), Ethics (the study of moral guidelines based on metaphysics and epistemology), Politics (the study of the role of government), and Aesthetics (the study of art)

    Philosophy is different from English in that English is a study of Literature and composition (i.e. Linguistics [which by the way is another branch of philosophy]) in detail, where philosophy covers a far more broad range. The easiest way to think of it is Philosophy is the thought that goes into making language. Weather they knew it or not Tolstoy was writing in the style of his philosophy as he wrote war and peace and so on. Philosophy is the evaluation of his beliefs and thoughts, where English is the evaluation of the actual written material.

    btw., as far as careers go philosophers can fill in the role of any intellectual, for example, professors, magazine editors, authors, novelists, journalists, film directors, scientists, and many more. Anything that involves ideas and that explains why a philo. major will end up being a programmer.

    Sorry for the ranting and raving, I hope this helps.
  • yarareyarare Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Great info! Also, go to the link below, it should help. :-)

  • 43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
    wow, that website is the best! thanks so much!
  • sauronvoldemortsauronvoldemort - Posts: 1,094 Member
    dude. i took logic class and i thought it was lame. learning terminology was boring. truth tables were tiresome. the proofs were a pain. but of course, logic is only a portion of philosophy...
  • charizardpalcharizardpal . Posts: 521 Member
    Dang that sucks. I thought the class would be cool. You could talk like Spock from Star Trek.

    Well I dealt with the female Japanese tutor today. Boring...then I went online. Ever been to the Japanese Page? Scratch that, don't go there....anyway it's boring and there are alot of agressive ego-prone athesists there. I think I'll limit my posts there....maybe just to new threads since I do get med-length responses to posts there. (longer than ones here usually)

    To the OP: I won't ask "How did you come decide to choose a user name that is nothing but numbers?" I also won't ask, "Is your password made up of the same numbers?"
  • mabomabo Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    what do students do in classes?

    is it mostly writing?
  • 43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
    dude. i was told not to take logics if i wanted to explore philosophy.

    charaizardpal: i also won't ask you what star trek has to do with my topic
  • 43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
    i think it's mostly writing and seminars maybe. not sure how it would be different from an english class.
  • sauronvoldemortsauronvoldemort - Posts: 1,094 Member
    somehow, i don't think i will like majoring in philosophy at all. it will come in conflict with my christian beliefs. i mean, most of the things u learn in philosophy is atheistic ideas.
  • ehiunnoehiunno Registered User Posts: 878 Member
    sauron, I don't tend to think thats necessarily true.

    I don't know a ton about modern philossophy, but what i do know about modern and histpric philosophy bases itself on more agnostic ideas. That is, the principles that do involve a god usually do not make out the god of a particular religion. There are definitely philosophy's that are in direct conflict with christian ideals, and there are athiestic ones (sartre's interpretation of nihilism comes to mind) dont get me wrong, but the beauty of philosophy is that is isn't a hard science (except in the relm of logic). There are ideas, and many of them can be tailored based on your beliefs and opinions. Take Christian Existentialism for example. Those are two things that don't seem to go hand in hand, but there is an extremely famous philosopher (whose name I can't remember and its really, really bothering me).

    The key to being a christian philosopher is the same as being a good philosopher of any religion; thinking for yourself. If you blindly follow the ideas of other philosophers, you have no right to call yourself one.

    and btw, I think logic is one of the, if not the most interesting aspect of philosophy, but then again I was considering a math major for a while before settling on eng science/physics.
  • charizardpalcharizardpal . Posts: 521 Member
    I glanced at a (phil/phych?) book at my college bookstore and it was filled with stuff on existialism. Do we exist? (The cover had a picture of a sleeping bat.) The cover talked about whether dreams came from another world and and stuff....

    Whatever, between Philosophy and Logic, I still would prefer to emulate Spock. "Captain, that would be illogical." You'd be better at chess too-Philosophy doesn't help you with board games. In fact, it'd probablly hinder you. (Would I be justified to captured his queen? Or should do I have no right to exist, and should I just surrender?)
  • sauronvoldemortsauronvoldemort - Posts: 1,094 Member
    hmm...well, only when u learn about herbert spencer's evolution theory, will u truly then fear philosophy.

    philosophy in general is less detrimental to ur faith than provocative. it raises the questions like what is evil, what is the happiness, etc. things that make u ponder and question materialism and selfishiness, immoral acts. but it also raises dangerous questions like : who created God? If God has nothing to do with evil, then what created it?

    of course, other studies such as cosmology, biology are much more dangerous since they present atheistic facts as truths.

    i'm not acquainted with sartre at all. i think i know a bit about spinoza, leibniz, plotinus. i read half of republic and thought it was okay (but not great).

    and i totally don't get existentialism. it doesn't sound that spetacular.
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