Be employable, study philosophy

The discipline teaches you how to think clearly, a gift that can be applied to just about any line of work



Because it delivers real skills, philosophy doesn’t go out of fashion the way the vague, trendy subjects do. The University of Windsor just announced it’s closing its Centre for Studies in Social Justice, after 11 years. I suspect some of the problem there may be that no one can actually define “social justice.” And the importance of defining terms to ensure we all mean the same thing when we’re talking is one of those skills I picked up in philosophy.


  1. I’m very skeptical of this idea that studying philosophy gives you skills you can use in lots of other life contexts. It definitely gives you the skill of understanding philosophical texts, discussing them in a classroom, and writing papers about them. But does this skill transfer to very different situations like writing a news report, buying a car, or patenting technology? My understanding is that there’s a lot of psychological evidence that it doesn’t:

    1. I only have my own anecdotal evidence as a coffee consultant as well as those who I have tutored in philosophy that have gone into business. On a regular basis, critical thinking and phenomenology are used by us to solve large scale problems. Many of my young friends are successful in corporate America, and they have told me more than a few times that they use their philosophical skills more often than their finance/business management ones. Again, this is anecdotal. And, of course, one has to be creative enough to use philosophizing as being out in the world and not in a classroom.

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